9 Creeks Loop Mile 35-38 Rounding the Platte River
I’m walking a 40-mile loop around Denver on a what I’ve branded as the 9 Creeks Loop (or #9Creeks in social media.) The Loop travels on 4 established Denver trails, but there is no consistency in measurement on the Loop. One trail’s 5 mile marker could be the 11 mile marker of the Loop. I’ve done my best to measure with MapMyWalk, yet I know I’ve missed up a mile or two. Or to say I’m at miles 35-38, I know I’m wrong. I do know I’m one segment short of finishing and the total, I believe, is actually 41 miles, not 40. Alas, I simply have to say I’m guessing. So here’s my narrative estimate of 9 Creeks Loop Mile 35-38, where I know I walked 6 miles and my husband joined me.
9 Creeks Loop Mile 35 Along the Platte
Well, I didn’t melt after all. Yesterday’s walk reached almost 100 degrees, and I could barely squeak out 2 miles. But on today’s walk, the temperature was cooler. Picking up at Globeville, I continued on.
Globeville sits north of Denver along the Platte, railroad lines bisect it, and interstates 70 and 25 eventually would run through it. Only one street car stop ever existed here, so, historically, due to the limited access to safe and fluid walking areas, the workers of the Globe Smelter stayed and felt isolated from Denver. In addition, the configuration of roads and the interstate earned the area the nickname, “The Mousetrap,” due to the impossibility of navigating the ons and offs of the major thoroughfares. But funny thing is, when walking along the Platte River Trail, it’s pretty straight forward and easy to follow.
9 Creeks Loop Mile 35.5 Moo-ing Sheep
Globeville neighbors the Denver Coliseum and Stock Show Complex, formerly known as the Cow Palace. In January, Denver rock n rolls to the giant rodeo and auction. So, imagine our surprise when we crossed to the west side of the river and heard, “Moo!” Although the air smelled a bit like livestock, we couldn’t locate the sound. Then to our left, we saw a building. A wall that was 1 foot short from the top allowed up to peek over the wall, and lo and behold, the mooing sound exposed a herd of sheep. I raised my camera up above the edge of the wall and took a blind shot. To our surprise, we uncovered about 40 sheered sheep. I have no idea their destination, and frankly, being vegetarian, I don’t want to think about it.
9 Creeks Loop Mile 36 The Old Wastewater Treatment Plant
We continued along the 8-ft wide concrete path, which had a small pebble trail shoulder. Shortly, we arrived at Northside Park, or what used to be the old Denver sewage plant, which closed in the 80s. After becoming destitute and an eyesore, the City with the help of the National Guard cleaned the brownfield up and turned it into a park. We traveled along, staying clear of the commuting cyclists who started to appear.
9 Creeks Loop Mile 36.5 Burlington Ditch
Up ahead, we crossed the River again. But then, we came across another body of water? Thinking that perhaps we had come to our 8th creek, the Clear Creek, I was soon corrected. We had stumbled upon the Burlington Ditch. Created in the 1880s by a group of enterprisers who wanted to sell water rights and construction bonds, the Burlington Ditch services the City of Denver’s new wastewater plant and nearby farmers, eventually dumping into Barr Lake.
The surprises continued after the Burlington Ditch. To the east of the ditch is the historic Riverfront Cemetery. We probably would have completely missed it had we been on bikes, but for a good 1/2 mile, we passed along the banks of the Ditch abutting the cemetery. With some of Denver’s elite buried there, it continues to offer space now and competes with the Fairmount Cemetary to the south.
9 Creeks Loop Mile 37 Denver Wastewater Plant
We knew we were upon the Wastewater Plant about 1/2 mile before approaching it. The smell. Granted, it was 89 degrees and the wind blew just right to offer up the Plant’s aroma, but phewie. Stink-a-roo. Marveled by the size of the Plant and its odd brown color, we quickened our pace to get beyond the smell. I want to say the smell was tolerable, and I was certainly glad when we crossed back over the Platte and the smell disappeared. But it was a long mile of stink.
9 Creeks Loop Mile 38 The Head of the Sand Creek Trail
By now, I knew that my mileage was off for the 9 Creeks Loop. We had walked about 4 miles when we reached the Sand Creek Trail’s beginning, and I know that the 9 Creeks Loop Mile 0 would be about 5 more miles. None the less, the mileage wouldn’t matter for today, but the miles did.
We approached the Sand Creek Trail head, crossing the Platte and the Sand Creek with one bridge. Looking over the edge of the bridge, we gawked at the 4-6 foot long catfish and promptly took a picture. Immediately after exiting the bridge, the Trail turns southeast, and almost immediately again, we crossed the Burlington Ditch and came upon the stinky Suncor petroleum plant.
9 Creeks Loop Mile 38 Along the Head of Sand Creek Trail
If the signs hadn’t educated us that we were on the Sand Creek, the change from concrete back to pebble trail would. The Trail’s elevation gets close to the edge of the Sand Creek, and large marshlands house wonderful birding along the Trail. We continued along, going under caged areas that protected us from falling debris from train tracks. Suncor’s smell stunk up our nostrils, but not as badly as the wastewater plant.
We continued along the Sand Creek further than we wanted for the day due to the inability to get off the Trail. Passing under Vasquez, we finally arrived at an exit point, the Dahlia Trailhead. Whereas we had walked 6 miles according to the pedometer, yet unable to reconcile the total mileage, we called it a day on the 9 Creeks Loop Trail Mile 35-38 and telephoned our Lyft.
Tomorrow, I’ll pick up the last leg of this 9 Creeks Loop, and I hope to give out my last two Wallaroo Hats, finish up my video on my GoPro from Forest City, and remember how great it is to have support from Walk2Connect.