5 Unusual Places Photo Eiffel Tower

How to Photo Eiffel Tower

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You’ve seen a million pics of the Eiffel Tower, and now those pics got you to buy a ticket and you’re headed to France. And you want to get “your” photo Eiffel Tower. Well, instead of taking the obligatory pic from the park across the street from the Tower, here are 5 unusual places photo Eiffel Tower.

Get your Contemporary On

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If you haven’t purchased a Paris Museum Pass, be sure to get one. It’s worth it, and you’ll end up going to places that you didn’t think you’ll go, making your Paris trip even that more valuable. I got the 2-day pass, and in that time did 7 of the items on the pass. I never felt hurried; I saw what I wanted to see and saved money. So, first on your list should be the Centre Pompidou. Paris’ contemporary art museum must be seen, not only for its permanent works, but its temporary exhibits are world-class. So, go to the Pompidou, take the elevator to the sixth floor. Walk to the end of the glass hallway and look out. You’ll see the Eiffel, and it’s your first unusual place to take a picture. Here, mine even got some raindrops.

Quasimodo and You

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Next, use your Paris Pass at Notre Dame. After you’ve oohed and aahed inside at the stained class, go outside. If you are facing the front doors, look to your left. On the left side of the building will probably be a line. This line allows access to the belfry. Your Pass gets you up for free, but you have to climb the 400+ steps. It’s worth it. Make your way up, catch your breath, then balance your way over to the bell tower. Look up the river. Here’s your second photo of the Eiffel, with Siene included.

Nighttime and the Lights Are Bright

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After you’ve walked all day and grabbed a bite to eat, get on over to the Arc de Triomphe. This historic arch commemorating France’s battle wins frames the western end of the Champs-Élysées. It’s big and impressive. If you’re into military history, plan some time here. For me, I just wanted to get to the top. Your Pass gets you there by elevator. Sadly, the elevator was closed, so up the 200+ steps I climbed. On the roof, catch 360 views of the many Parisian neighborhoods. When you’re ready, walk on over to the corner and catch Eiffel all lit up. She has two lighting patterns–one solid, one blinking–and a beam out of her top. Make sure you stay around long enough to catch the beam and the two patterns for your third picture of Eiffel. (Apologies for the blurry pic–my camera battery was dying and this is the best photo I got. Ugh..Note to self: bring extra batteries!)

Be Little, but Think Big

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At some point in your Paris walking, you’ll pass Le Petite Palais on the Champs-Élysées. Although I didn’t go in the Palais, I did take a moment to look down river. There, you get a great closeup of Eiffel without a gazillion people interfering with your picture.  You may even be lucky enough to get a tall ship in your photo.

Go Under and Look Up

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One of the beautiful things about the tower is its amazing architecture. After all, it is what makes the Eiffel Tower relevant. Without having to pay a dime, much more a Euro, enter into the secured area of the Tower’s grounds. Then instead of standing in line to go up the Tower, go underneath it and look up. Take in the arches of its edges or the view up the center of the column. Both views invite incredible photography that even an amateur like me couldn’t screw up.

Five Eiffel Photos by way of Paris’ Best

With 5 unusual places photo Eiffel Tower, you can’t go wrong getting at least one interesting shot. Where did you go? What photo did you take? Post it, email it or tweet it to me! I’d love to see it.

Until next time, au revoir

Chris

5 Denver Walking Books

5 Must-Read Books for Walking in Denver

High Line Canal Segment 10 eatwalklearnIf you walk in Denver, or you’re thinking about walking in Denver, here are five must-read books for Denver walkers. I have read all of these books. Numbers one and four are my favorites, and all of them are very good. Even if you don’t walk, they are all good stories with great info. Enjoy these Denver walking books for yourself or your walking friends.

    1. Thunder Tree by Robert Michael Pyle
        A little-boy’s love affair with the High Line Canal turns into a career of butterflies.
    2. Walking Denver by Mindy Sink
        Great routes with great bites to eat.
    3. Walking the Denver Boulder Region by Darcy Fozenlo and Robert Folzenlogen
        An older book, it’s a great shout-out to some of the best walks in Denver and still mostly current.
    4. A Ditch in Time: The City, the West, and Water by Patricia Limerick
        Although not a book about walking, it is a book about water. If you’ve ever walked a mile in Denver, you’re bound to have crossed a ditch, canal, or creek–all leading up to Denver’s great water story.
    5. The High Line Canal by Denver Water
        The original walking guide. Not fantastic, but enough detail to give you some context.

Bonus!

  1. Twenty-Seven Square Miles: Landscape and History at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge by John Hoffecker
      Again not a book about walking, but one about the Refuge. Reading it will make you feel very grounded about walking in Denver, and besides, the Refuge is a great place to walk. Bison!

    Do you have any recommendations for great walking books about Denver? Where is your favorite place to walk? Hint: These 5 Denver walking books would make great gifts for any of your Denver relatives. 🙂

    Walk on, Chris

High Line Canal Trail–the Whole Story

Connecting the Canal – Walking all 71 miles!

*This post was originally written for the High Line Canal Conservancy.

A Journey Begins

The Journey Begins in Green Valley Rance along the High Line Canal
 Walking 71 miles is no small feat. In order to create an enjoyable experience for anyone willing to take on the task, we broke the High Line Canal Trail’s 71 miles into 11 segments averaging 6 miles a piece. Our shortest was 3 miles; the longest was 11. But it wasn’t the length or the amount of steps that made our journey successful, it was the connections and the friendships we developed as we experienced every foot of the 71 miles of the High Line Canal.

An Infinite Amount of Joy

Originally, our band of adventurers was 26 eager High Liners. By the time we reached the end of the trail, we were 7. Multiply our joy and love for the Canal that developed as we walked, and that number is infinite. What were the best parts? Worst parts? Favorite parts? Those answers are different for everyone, but I’ll do my best to point out a few.

The Beginning Starts at the End

The High Line Canal ends quietly, barely noticeable in Green Valley Ranch, just south of Denver International Airport. A slight rise in the topography out in the plains calls out the High Line Canal, but only a guide would be able to spot it. For its first five miles, it camouflages behind a subdivision while builders grow Denver to the north. In a few years, a trail will appear where the High Line traverses, but for now, white poles mark its subtle disappearance.

From Subtle to Hello!

The Trail starts to get its personality around mile marker 66. It appears as a sidewalk through Green Valley Ranch and meanders through Green Valley Golf Course. Here is where High Line Canal Trail signs start to beckon the adventure. Wide open views of the Rocky Mountains invite High Liners down the Trail, encouraging them to brave Tower Road and the I-70 crossing. Just south of the crossing, the Trail becomes grass and journeys through its first disc golf course behind Dry Dock Brewery and over train tracks.

From Rural Aurora to Urban Aurora

Crossing Colfax, Denver’s longest street of life, love, and loss, the Trail parallels and then crosses Colfax again, making a turn northward over Airport Road and into Norfolk Glen. The Glen surprises with hawks and deer, but then it dumps High Liners back across Colfax for a third time into the Aurora neighborhood. Here begins a long journey through Aurora, where the Canal plays protagonist to Aurora’s history of water and survival.

While ambling south through Aurora, the Canal’s longtime friend, DeLaney Farms, invites High Liners to amazing views of prairie dog habitat, fields, and cottonwoods. At the same time the experience harkens back to the original needs the Canal provided; watering the farms that feed Aurora. Here is where the local community of the Canal starts to show up with walks, rides, and strolls. Passing the Aurora Governmental Center with its fabulous public art only adds to the invite of engaging with this walking treasure.

Denver Weighs In

A Canal Headgate in DenverIn no time, the 58 mile markers shows up and invites you to pass under I-225, past Del Mar Park, Aurora Hills Golf Course and along Windsor Gardens. For the first time, the Trail begins to invite folks to sit in the shade and enjoy the landscaping and place making provided by the Gardens. The Canal drops water into Windsor Reservoir, which Fairmount Cemetery uses to maintain its historical fields, champions trees and roses. Here, High Liners start to see some of the working elements of the Canal, including a pump house and pumps. After Windsor Gardens, the Trail takes on another personality as if it tries to get away from itself. This area on the Trail cries out for some love and care.

The Canal intersects with Cherry Creek

After crossing the ghastly Parker at Mississippi intersection, the Trail parallels the Canal in a long straightaway, offering a chance to adventure in the Canal itself. Many Canal lovers walk and ride through here, passing under the lovely Iliff tunnel. Here, wonderful views of the Cherry Creek Golf Course invite pensive thoughts as the Canal meanders to its undercrossing at Cherry Creek Trail. A major transit area for biking commuters wakes High Liners out of their pace. Dodging the Cherry Creekers to the south, the Trail crosses Cherry Creek and continues its meandering wander over Yale, twice, until it arrives at Bible Park.

Bible Park provides a nice respite of shade and bathrooms before High Liners adventure over Yale again to the major tunnel under I-25. It’s shocking to be so secluded and away on the Trail while at the same time being right in the middle of major traffic and movement. Never more than here do High Liners feel the Trail’s magic as it secludes its High Liners from the hustle and bustle of Denver’s city life.

From Here to the Beginning, Beauty

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Some of the best parts of the Trail lie ahead, and those parts anchor in the history of the Eisenhowers. Mamie, not Dwight, called the Canal home. From Mamie D Eisenhower Park, past Wellshire Golf Course and into the Greenwood Village Neighborhood, the Canal passes wonderful open spaces. Apples, asparagus, plums, pears, and an assortment of berries treat High Liners in bountiful supply. The Marjorie Perry Nature Preserves offers the best views of the Rocky Mountains, especially of sunsets across the Preserve.

Not a quick way to transit in Denver, the Trail takes its best twists and turns out of Greenwood Village into Centennial. The Goodson Rec Center appears just in time for a break and some water before letting High Liners pace themselves to Horseshoe Park. Again, surprises appear with crossings over gulches and places to play tennis or just relax under a tree.

Littleton Beams

High Liners enjoy the beauty of the Canal through Littleton

After leaving Goodson, High Liners tunnel beneath C470 and come upon the surprise of Fly’n B Ranch. Once a truck farm, this respite offers up good fishing for new anglers, restrooms, and community space. Abutted to it, a giant senior facility gets spectacular views of the old farm and the Trail. Soon, High Liners cross over the scary, unmarked Santa Fe Drive crossing and pass quickly through an industrial area. In no time, views of the foothills to the west and sneak peaks of downtown Denver to the north bid High Liners time until they arrive at Mile Marker 10.

Sadly, a break in the Trail occurs here, forcing High Liners to cross the rickety train trestle to the poorly marked trailhead on Santa Fe. The next place to access the High Line is at the North Roxborough Road trailhead. From there, High Liners can backtrack and go east and south for two miles to pick up miles 7-9 and see the break in the trail, or they can go west from the trailhead toward Waterton Canyon.

High Line Canal_Roxborough Park

Walking from Roxborough toward Waterton only builds excitement as the Trail comes to an end. But first, High Liners enjoy longhorn cattle on their way past several riding clubs. The cottonwoods become their biggest in this area and the head gates change from orange to blue. Some of the original users of the Canal’s water still remain here. Keep eyes peeled for an original homestead on the left side of the Canal while walking toward Waterton.

The End is the Beginning

The Canal breaks off to the left behind the Kassler Center through a tunnel to its start at the diversion structure on the Platte River, which is currently under construction. The Trail, on the other hand, veers to the right past the overflow structure, around Kassler Center and up into the Canyon. The Canal and the Trail come together again. Access to this area may be open again in the Spring.

The Kassler Center

Kassler Center at Waterton CanyonAs a special treat, our group of High Liners got a private tour of the Kassler Center. Starting off with a slideshow of historical documents and a narrative of water rights in Denver, we then toured the historic filter fields, the garage and the machine shop. In the machine shop we touched old pumps, a safe, and even stood in a cut-out of the wood piping. Next, we toured the Kassler home and the administrative building. Denver Water has plans to renovate and open these buildings for the public, highlighting the role of water in the growth of Denver.

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Having walked the entire 71 miles, the High Line Canal is a treasure that must be polished. It connects hundreds of thousands of folks in Denver, from rural to suburban. All classes, all incomes, all races have the chance to connect with each other. This mosaic along the Canal represents Colorado, and I can’t imagine a better way to build harmony among neighbors than through walking the High Line Canal Trail.

Will you join me on the next High Line Canal Adventure?

High Line Canal Segment 12

High Line Canal Segment 12–The Search for Mile Marker 0

The End Is the Beginning

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Sometimes the end isn’t the end. When the High Liners, a group of 7 adventure seekers walked into the final parking lot of the High Line Canal, we had scratched our heads. If we were at the end of the trail, why were we only at mile marker 2? Vowing to find an end to this mystery, we decided to re-convene in two weeks to find Mile Marker 1 and Mile Marker 0 of the High Line Canal. Backed by love and hugs from the High Line Canal Conservancy and Walk2Connect, we met once again to tackle High Line Canal Segment 12.

Mile Marker 1 Pops Up

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Parking in the Waterton Canyon parking lot, a few additional ramblers joined us for our jaunt up Waterton Canyon. Passing the sign for the Colorado Trail, 11 thrill seekers headed up the Canyon. First view, mule deer. Second view, mountain sheep. With fall colors all around us and a nippy breeze, we ambled up the maintenance road along Platte River. Soon the breeze stopped and 70 degrees shed our coats. And then, to our wonderful surprise, we see mile marker 1. Check mark!

The High Line Canal Makes Its Final Appearance

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We continued on a slight rise up the canyon, and began to notice a sluice to our left along the canyon. Ah-ha! The High Line Canal’s cemented pathway showed itself, and shortly later we found the tunnel into the mountain where the Canal stole itself away. Sensing our imminent arrival to the beginning of the High Line Canal, we continued quickly of the trail.

The Wizard of the High Line

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And like Dorothy arriving to the Wizard’s castle, the High Line Canal’s diversion dam rose from the water and into our hearts. Never before had any of us been so happy to see hardware! Straddling the Platte River, our eyes beheld the beginning of the Canal and the end of our walk. With water gushing out the open head gate, we continued around to the western side of the dam to witness how the dam worked. When the head gate is closed, the water backs up and diverts to the tunnel on the south side into the head of the High Line Canal.

We Are the Champions of #71miles

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One of the High Liners started signing, “We Are the Champions.” Another pulled out noise makers, and an instant party began. Smiles, high fives, and hugs championed our glee. But sadly, no Mile Marker 0 could be found. So we fashioned our own. Let’s just say blue chalk drew a big zero, and we celebrated our arrival to the makeshift Mile Marker 0. After 73 miles (where Segment 10 required a down-n-back, adding two extra miles), we had arrived at our #71miles goal, the beginning of the High Line Canal.

56 Folks in All Joined the Fun

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So with big thanks and gratitude to the six who walked the entire High Line Canal Trail and the fifty others who joined us on at least one segment along the way, our first iteration of a segmented walk down the High Line Canal had come to an end. Simple joy.

It’s Not Over

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And guess what? We’re going to do it again. Details forthcoming within the week, with a start date in early November. Who wants to join me for a winter’s amble on the High Line? Email me, post here, or tweet me at @eatwalklearn and I’ll send you the details. With special thanks to the High Line Conservancy and Walk2Connect, and the end of High Line Canal Segment 12, this trip is done 🙂

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Rocky Mountain Land Library Review

Where Books, Pie and the Land Come Together

The Rocky Mountain Land Library: The Pie Edition

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My heart exploded last night when I walked into the Rocky Mountain Land Library’s newest location in the Puritan Pie Company building on Champa St, Denver. In an inviting aesthetic of antique library chic, these bibliophile owners welcomed the literate, the curious, and the impassioned into a book world of the terra firma. I almost cried.

Harking Everything Local

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Housed within Neal Cassady’s secret perfumery, the Land Library displayed maybe 1/100th of its stunning collection of books devoted to land, water, nature, and earth. Titles jumped from shelves into my heart. Little did I know that my list of must-reads would grow exponentially before I even got out of the seed library section. To think I’ll be be able to come to The Pie and touch, feel, and read this amazing collection sent happy, gleeful thoughts through my collaborative soul. How will we be able to combine the joy of walking with the joy of reading on top of the joy of land? Oh Father Time, tick me a few more centuries please.

Flowing Headwaters of Collaboration and Creativity

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Soon, the Rocky Mountain Land Library will grace three exquisite locations; here at The Pie, already in South Park at the Platte River’s headwaters, and currently hidden in the Kassler Nature Center at Waterton Canyon. How fitting that the locations bank the Platte River from its headwaters to its downstream. I pray the sharing of info among the Library will flow without the complications of water rights. To imagine the outputs of its users’ imaginations makes my heart simply melt! Land-loving synergy has only just begun.

A Good Pie of Good Reads

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Here are just a few glimpses into the amazing collection that I cannot wait to get my hands on from the Rocky Mountain Land Library. What will you enjoy first?



High Line Canal Segment 11

High Line Canal Segment 11, The Final Miles

high line canal segment 11 eatwalklearnOnce again, the weather arrived to our walk in grand splendor. Nine of us headed out on High Line Canal Segment 11, our final meander of our 71 mile adventure. Feeling the love from the High Line Canal Conservancy and Walk2Connect, seven of us who had completed all ten segments were joined by two more walkers, including one brand new to Walk2Connect, for our last segment of 6 miles. Under 68 degree, mostly sunny skies, we headed west, then southerly with Waterton Canyon within sight.

Beefcake

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Immediately in our first mile between mile markers 6 and 5, we met a herd of longhorn cattle. You’d think we’d never seen cattle before because we couldn’t get enough pictures. To our credit though, this segment was the first time we saw cattle or mounted horses.

Blue Headgate Handles, What?

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While walking the Trail, we got used to many things; the consistency of the mile markers, the lack of benches, and the beautiful cottonwoods along the entire way. It actually got easy to miss things or take them for granted. As we ambled along, we would learn about this history of the Canal and notice how the Canal itself would be shallow and wide, narrow and deep, with and without water. But as if hit by a club, we all stopped in our tracks when the head gate handles turned from orange to blue. Why, we don’t know. But it was such a shocking change, one of our High Liners couldn’t resist a quick pose.

Nothing But Beauty

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The entire walk contained nothing but beauty. Each town offered up its own relationship with the Canal, and walking this last segment continued the tradition. Between mile makers 4 and 5, giant homes on ranchettes provided pastoral views backed by the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Along the way, we enjoyed several horse clubs and riders enjoying the Trail.

The Original Cottonwoods

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Coming into Mile Marker 3, we passed what must be some of the original cottonwoods on the Canal. These old beauties have shared their seeds for almost 71 miles, and each one always provided us shade, beauty, and care. We had sat on many of their stumps, hugged a few of them, and enjoyed their shade at just the right times. Many times we took standing breaks under these giants while eating Trader Joe snacks of dried peaches, ginger, and our favorite, Gorp Crack.

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History Harks

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Right before Mile Marker 2, we passed a giant McMansion and then shortly beyond it, we passed one of the original homesteads along the Canal. Although we’re guessing, the same amount of people probably lived in both homes. We have no idea, but it was a joy to think about life in the original homestead versus life in the larger, custom home. Does the family in the bigger home even know where its water is coming from now?

The Final Mile

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We reached the High Line Canal Parking lot, walked through it to Waterton Canyon Road, and around the overflow structure to the Platte River. Tears of joy started to flow as we all began to realize what we had accomplished. 71 miles, broken into 11 segments, of which many of us never thought we’d be able to do. We jumped over fears, strangers became friends, and seven out of an original twenty-six can now say we’ve done something only a very small percentage of Denver folks can say. We finished High Line Canal Segment 11, meaning we walked the entire High Line Canal. All 71 miles. Grin. Group hug.

But Wait, There’s More!

high line canal segment 11 eatwalklearnHaving now walked the entire High Line Canal, we had many questions about the history of water and Denver Water’s role in all the water rights of western water. We wondered how the Canal was built, where the water came from, and how it was filtered. With a special thank you to Denver Water and the High Line Canal Conservancy, we got a special tour of the Kassler Center. After a slide show walking us through the historical building of the Canal and its original owners, we got to go into the original garage and machine shop, followed by the original Kassler home and administration buildings. In addition, we even toured the original filtering fields and got to see some of the original pumps and joints! I even got to stand in a cross-section of the wooden pipes that create the tunnels from the head waters.high line canal segment 11 eatwalklearn

And Thus, the End

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So after 71 miles of sweat, tears, and joy, we came to our journey’s end. We couldn’t have done this walk without the support of the High Line Canal Conservancy and Walk2Connect. These two great organizations support the Life@3mph movement, and they promote walking all over the front range. Please consider supporting them back if you’ve enjoyed this journey by giving feedback to the Conservancy about the future of the Canal and become a supporting member. In addition, if you love walking and learning about Denver’s great walking movement, become a Champion at Walk2Connect. Join us.

Until next time, I’ll see you on the trail.

 

High Line Canal Segment 10

High Line Canal Segment 10, Up and Back Plum Creek

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Two things were missing on our up-and-back on the Plum Creek: plums and me. I couldn’t make it on this segment, so our High Liners went ahead with the help of my back-up leader Steve, the High Line Canal Conservancy and Walk2Connect. Eight of them saddled up, strapped on their gear and battened down their hatches in the high winds of an early fall day. Unable to park at the end of this segment where mile 9 breaks from mile 11, the High Liners parked at the top of the segment at Roxborough State Park trail head and walked east, then south, and turned back around after finding the end of High Line Canal Segment 10.

No Plums

High Line Canal Segment 10 eatwalklearnDespite the name, Plum Creek, no plums were to be had. Although we had eaten them all along the High Line Canal, expectations were spoiled on this namesake. No plums. None the less, the High Liners paced along, holding on to their hats in gusty winds, feeling the affects of the incoming Fall.

Trains and Prairie Views

High Line Canal Segment 10 eatwalklearnWhereas segment 9 offered up several trains at which to wave, only one scooted by on this route that paralleled our previous tracks. None the less, wide views across the prairie to the south entertained the high liners until they reached the end of the segment, which was also the end of the trail. At mile marker 9, they turned around to head back up to the start.

And, We’re Back!

High Line Canal Segment 10 eatwalklearnAfter a quick four miles and various texts to the missing leader, the High Liners moseyed back to their cars. No carpooling was necessary. But all were excited to think that the next segment will be the last of 71 miles. The High Liners will walk all the way to High Line Canal Mile Marker 0 in Waterton Canyon. As High Line Canal Segment 10 came to its end, they all promised a grand finale on Segment 11. Who will join us? Sign up here.

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Following the #summerofwalking

The SummerOfWalking Tops for Take-aways

summerofwalking eatwalklearnThe beginning of summer brings high expectations for thrills and adventures.  By the time fall rolls around, I’m generally disappointed I didn’t achieve all I dreamt about back in June. So this summer, I decided to take on summer’s expectations so that when the fall came around, I’d have fond memories of an unforgettable summer. I even developed a special tag in my social media so that I would be able to search my digital memories better. I created #SummerOfWalking.

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Now that fall is upon us, it’s time to search #SummerOfWalking and see if my summer expectations played out. Oh my gosh, what a fantastic summer I had. Although technically, summer started on June 20, I started early by leading my first segment of the High Line Canal. This 71 mile adventure began on June 4 when 26 people followed me through Green Valley Ranch in search of the High Line Canal. I knew none of these folks, and by the time we reached segment 9 at mile marker 10 on September 18, ten of them had become my tribe.

So, first take-away from #SummerOfWalking. Made over 40 new friends, built a tribe of 10.

Walking Denver Brings Surprises

summerofwalking eatwalklearnIn between leading the segments along the High Line Canal, I took off on my own urban hiking adventure in Denver, which I called the 9 Creeks Loop. Over 8 days, I walked, documented, and discovered 41 miles of Denver via its regional trail system. From a lady in Aurora who thought I was crazy to be walking alone, to a family that loved the free Wallaroo hats I gave them, I shot footage of the entire loop (thanks Forest City for the GoPro!) What did I discover?

Take-away two from #SummerOfWalking. Denver contains fabulous people who are kind and caring.

The Summer of Love

summerofwalking eatwalklearnDue to the #SummerOfWalking goal, my husband got to benefit too. Although he had been to Niagara and Toronto, I hadn’t. Thus, we loaded up our back packs, got off the plane in Buffalo, and scooted our way across the border. With the help of busses for the longer sections, we walked our adventurous selves to Toronto via the Bruce Trail. Having no agenda, no cell phones, and no time schedule, we got the chance to just hang with each other and enjoy our own company.

Take-away three from #SummerOfWalking. I married a great guy.

Steps Don’t Really Count, But They Are Fun

summerofwalking eatwalklearnI am not much of a fan of counting steps; walking is about connecting and discovery. It’s the platform for life. But I do use an app called Walksome that runs in the background and only counts true walks, not ambient walking (like around the house and other steps.) Occasionally I would check into the app and discover big, giant numbers that I never thought I’d walk on a consistent basis. I’d have days and days in a row of 22,000+ steps.

Take-away four from #SummerOfWalking. When you’re connecting as you walk, the step counts add up to giant numbers.

Walking is the Platform for Life

summerofwalking eatwalklearnMy feet took me through wonderful art work scenes, along paths and trails in Denver that I never would have discovered, across the Canadian border 4 times, and into areas of my own neighborhood I’ve previously ignored. By bringing forward the simple act of walking into my summer expectations, I won.

Take-away five from #SummerOfWalking. Winning comes from small steps that add up to big steps, and in between each step is a friend, a story, and an experience. It’s not the amount of steps on the shoes, it’s the experiences had while in them.

Now that fall is upon us, I’m wondering what follows the #summerofwalking. What types of expectations do you have for fall?

High Line Canal Segment 9

High Line Canal Segment 9 Highlands Ranch

high line canal segment 9 eatwalklearnWe had a short way to go and short time to get there. Fortunately, the 88 degree sun began to set as the eight of us headed west into its sunset through Highlands Ranch along the High Line Canal Segment 9. Feeling the support of the High Line Canal Conservancy and Walk2Connect, we High Liners knew that we had 2 hours of walking but only 1 1/2 hours of daylight, so off we went.

Fly N By Ranch

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We picked up the trail just west of mile marker 15, walked west just a bit, and made a quick rest stop at Fly N By Ranch. A few folks were fishing. We nibbled off an apple tree and reviewed the 110 years of history on this wonderful treasure now managed by South Metro. Here, the Trail turned southerly and we picked up some well-needed shade.

Is Everyone Walking?

high line canal segment 9 eatwalklearnOriginally the Fly N by expanded beyond c470, but now a large senior citizen complex owns its southern section. We marveled at how big and how many buildings made up the complex including a giant skyway that crossed over the Canal and the Trail. A gorgeous tunnel goes under an intersection within the complex. We hope the residents of this facility are out using the Trail. Sadly, we only saw one other person on the Trail here this evening.

A Break Up or a Romance?

high line canal segment 9 eatwalklearnWe continued along the Trail and meandered through the Highlands Ranch Golf Course. Two fathers were out with their teenage daughters playing golf enjoying some family time. We started to catch some scrumptious front range views as the foothills came closer. At one point, we decided to take a break at a bench. At the bench, we weren’t sure if we had found a very romantic moment or a broken-hearted moment. Surrounding the bench were hundreds of dried rose petals of various colors. We settled on the romantic side and made up stories of proposals and commitments.

Industrial Design

high line canal segment 9 eatwalklearnAfter being in some of the prettiest parts of the Trail for a good 20 miles, starting in Cherry Hills, we emerged out of the visual love of vast landscapes, barns, and places. Crossing Santa Fe, which was sheer terror where no crossing exists, the industrial impact of Denver abutted the Trail. With train tracks on our left and right and concrete and gravel plants sandwiched in between, we still found interest in the area. The sun began to set, casting our beloved pinks all over Denver. We could even see the Denver skyline to the north.

high line canal segment 9 eatwalklearn

Trains, Bridges, and the Dark of Night

high line canal segment 9 eatwalklearnTrains began to pass on to our right, carrying coal. With darkness just about to descend, we continued our journey, picking up our pace just a bit. By mile marker 11, it was dark. We had another mile to go, and a few of us pulled out head lamps. Finally, we arrived at mile marker 10. Just south of the mile marker is a foot bridge sorely in need of some loving care. Lit by our cell phones and flashlights, we crossed the bridge single file on its north side–where the best footings could be found–then crossed the train tracks, then arrived at our cars.

high line canal segment 9 eatwalklearnIn the dark, we raised the number nine on our fingers and took our parting shot. Now in the single digits of mile markers, we are getting very excited for the end of this 71 mile journey. With High Line Canal Segment 9 in the books, next up we’ll be walking along Plum Creek. It should be a pretty walk; join us next Friday. Sign up here.

High Line Canal Segment 8

High Line Canal Segment 8, An Amble through Littleton

High Line Canal Segment 8 eatwalklearnIf 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

High Line Canal Segment 8 eatwalklearnThe 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

High Line Canal Segment 8 eatwalklearnIf 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!

High Line Canal Segment 8 eatwalklearn
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

High Line Canal Segment 8 eatwalklearnAt 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

High Line Canal Segment 8 eatwalklearnBy 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.

Come adventure with me.