Friday, March 6, 2009

Cherry Creek

The Cherry Creek Watershed is one of the most dominate geological features of the Metropolitan Denver. The creek runs for over 50 miles from it starting point on the Palmer Divide to its junction with the South Platte River at Confluence Park in Downtown Denver. Today Cherry Creek and Cherry Creek State Park are a prime area of recreation for Denver. A bike trail follows Cherry Creek for almost the entire distant from it’s headwaters in Castlewood Canyon State Park to Confluence Park. There are still several gaps in the trail that are yet to be filled. The largest gaps are from Frankstown to Castlewood Canyon State Park and then another gap from near E470 to Cherry Creek State Park. Part of this last section has been filled in, but it is like an island as it does not connect to either the end of the trail near E470 or Cherry Creek State Park. The trail is very heavily traveled in and around downtown Denver and Cherry Creek State Park. As you get further away from these areas, the trail becomes less and less traveled and you have periods of complete solitude as you ride across the prairie environment to the south of Parker, Colorado. To ride the entire trail in one day takes a good bit of effort as the total distance is over 50 miles. Additionally, due to the orientation of the trail and its location, you often are facing a battle against the wind. During one ride on a windy day in March – I was pedaling at speed that should have allowed me to travel at over 20 miles per hour, however because of the wind I was only making 8 miles per hour progress. Two state parks are included in the Cherry Creek Watershed. The first is Castlewood Canyon State Park. (In November of 2008, Zack and I did a loop hike through the Canyon – here is the link to that post on the blog.) This canyon and State Park is at the head waters of the Cherry Creek on the Palmer Divide. The creek runs through this very dramatic canyon and presents a multitude of outdoor recreation options. The other state park is Cherry Creek State Park. This park is located along I-225 and includes the Cherry Creek Reservoir. The reservoir was created in 1950 as a means to prevent a repeat of the devastating flood that has swept through Denver in 1933 when the Castlewood Canyon dam collapsed. Even though only 2 people were killed in the flood it was devastating and did significant damage to Denver. Though the reservoir was created at Cherry Creek State Park in 1950, the surrounding area was not turned into a State Park until 1959. Today this park is the most visited state park in Colorado. Over 1.5 million park visitors come into the park every year. There are facilities for boating, fishing, picnicking, swimming, water skiing, biking, hiking, rifle target practice, archery, model airplanes – just about anything and everything that you can imagine doing at a park. The park has a variety of different animal habitats and ecosystems – from the lake, to swamps, to prairies, to forest. It offers a great place to take a child that is close to the city to teach them about the lesson of nature and to see some fantastic sites of nature. Zack and I enjoy this park and we try and get there and visit throughout the different seasons of the year. All the pictures included in today’s blog were taken there. Our day has been very busy. This morning I had a blood donation at Bonfils in Highlands Ranch. I had worked very hard these last couple of days to get myself very hydrated and it paid off as they were able to take a unit of platelets and plasma without any problems. During my last donation I was dehydrated and the entire process was difficult as my vein had a hard time supporting the suction when the blood was being pulled from my body. After my donation was complete, I had a number of conference calls and I had to finish a huge presentation that I have been working on for days. Zack of course had another day of CSAP’s at school. He is just so happy the weekend is here. Normally Zack has a psychologist appointment on Friday afternoon, however, his psychologist called me yesterday and cancel his appointment because she had a conflict that had come up. So after school I just brought Zack home and he got to hang out and relax! Unfortunately I did not get the opportunity to get to my doctor today. My head continues to hurt, so I think this weekend I will stop over at Tim and Celinde’s (brother and sister-in-law – sister-in-law is a doctor) house and talk to her about it. I really believe it is all related to my sinuses. But I’ll wait and see if Celinde has any recommendations. This evening we were going to go to Claim Jumper for dinner, but I ended up falling asleep on the couch around 5:30PM and by the time I woke up, neither Zack nor I wanted to go out. I love to nap, but I find that I am napping a lot these days because I am not sleeping at night and because I feel so crappy physically. I got to get this situation turned around! We hope everyone has a great weekend. Thanks and be good to one another!

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