High Line Canal from Mile 25-15–An Amble through Littleton
If you haven’t joined us yet, what are you waiting for? We are having an absolute blast connecting with the High Line Canal and walking the 71 miles from the Denver International Airport to Waterton Canyon along the High Line Canal Trail. With the support of Walk2Connect and the High Line Canal Conservancy, 8 of us headed out this morning under 42 degree skies and foggy breath. In no time, the sun warmed the air, we shed our light coats, and our pace ambled through Littleton. With 10 miles to go, our feet pointed south, then west, then north, then south. Ah, the joys of the High Line!
Banquet of Flavors
The theme of this particular segment from Julia DeKoevend Park to Highlands Ranch was “banquet!” We had a virtual smorgasbord of the earth’s bounty. First up, apples. Green. Red. Ripe for the picking and delicious, we feasted several times on these special pieces of trail magic. Not be to outdone, peaches popped up. Then Russian olives, plums, and crab apples grabbed the, sadly, not-yet-ripe-enough, spotlight. We even stumbled upon a couple of trees of spiky apple-like pears. Anyone have guesses?
Barns with Views
If this walking smorgasbord hadn’t been the theme, then I think “barns” would have been the first runner up. Red, white, small, quaint, giant, and everything in between. Some had horses, a few had chickens, all had a story to tell whether they were brand new or historic. But regardless of size, the barns back-dropped to the exquisite views of the Rocky Mountains. Dotted between our views, we caught glimpses of Red Rocks Amphitheater and even Waterton Canyon, our final destination.
Head Gates Dominate!
Okay, if the theme hadn’t been banquet or barns, it would have to be “head gates.” All of these barns need water, and the water for these barns with farms must come from the High Line Canal. As we make our way closer to the start of the Canal, where the water can actually reach these water rights owners, we began to see actual evidence that water actually flowed through the Canal for real usage! Head gates everywhere! Although they generally all look alike with their black bodies and orange wheels, each one is just a bit different than the last, giving each head gate its own personality. All of them are numbered as well, sequentially. Today we made it to head gate 15.
Attack of the Teens
At each mile marker, we try to take a picture. Sometimes the model for the marker gets a bit crazy with the significance of the number, other times, the pictures are fairly routine. But as we crossed over mile marker 20, we realized we were finally in our teens. While walking, we began to think about how a teen would take a picture of a mile marker, and we decided it would be a selfie. So at mile marker 19, we couldn’t resist selfies. And we had some fun. I love how all the models are taking pictures of themselves, and the mile marker is not even in their pictures. How teen!
Tired, but Always Happy
By the time we made it to mile marker 16, our feet hurt, and energy lacked. We thought we were parked at mile marker 15, but actually, it was a bit further. So the last mile was certainly the longest, but as the views from McLellan Reservoir treated us and let us escape our thoughts, suddenly mile marker 15 appeared and then our cars. With another 10 miles under our belts from High Line Canal Segment 8 and only 15 more to go, we hugged until our next segment, which is in a week. Will you join us for High Line Canal Segment 9? Sign up here.