The thunderstorm that kept me awake last night washed away some of the heat we have been enduring for weeks. It was cool enough for a midday bike ride so we headed down to the Clear Creek path. The parking area by the Pecos Street fishing pond is a good place to start. Heading west the trail is mostly level or uphill making for an easier return trip.
The vegetation along the creek is green and lush so you can forget for long stretches that you are riding through an industrial district. Here and there are ducks and herons in the creek and families fishing in the ponds.
Just west of Sheridan is a steel bridge that veers left and over the creek to another path, with a tall mast and cables like the Millennium Bridge in Denver.
Behind a chain link fence someone is raising bees. You can watch them coming in and out of one of the hives. Urban farmers are everywhere.
Signs at the Lowell Ponds State Wildlife Area tell the story of gravel pits reclaimed in the 1980s for the benefit of our animal neighbors. They promise great wildlife viewing if you come back early in the morning or at dusk. There’s a path around the ponds and viewing area.
Back where we started, there is a waterway pouring runoff into the pond. The path is muddy and wet and closed due to flooding. Swallows race in and out of the concrete spillway under the bridge, swopping down to grab water insects in competition with the fish. They have a high-density apartment complex in there, with their mud nests all against the top of the spillway wall.
The Clear Creek trail joins the Platt River bike path east to Denver. To the west you can follow it to downtown Golden. The Westminster stretch is a pleasant ride with surprises along the way if you take the time to look for them.