Saturday, August 5, 2017

Highline Canal

I now live on a high ridge overlooking the South Platte River valley (Well, it would be "overlooking" it if it were not for so many trees in my neighborhood - not that I'm complaining - I like trees.) On east-west streets in my area, I can look out and see Mount Morrison and, behind it, Mount Evans, still snow capped in August.

Denver is a rather disorienting place. I can look out and, it seems, down on Loretto Heights, which stood above where I used to live, yet, Loretto Heights is one of the highest places in Denver. Looking from Loretto Heights eastward toward where I now live, everything looks like lowlands, and, of course, they are. Loretto Heights is a full hundred feet higher in elevation than where I now live.

So, there is a highline canal, and there is the Highline Canal.

A highline canal is an artificial waterway that follows the natural contours of the land. In other words, you design a highline canal by throwing water on the ground and see which way it flows - maybe trench out a channel for it.

The Highline Canal in Denver begins in Waterton Canyon where it is drawn out of the South Platte River as it flows from the Rockies onto the plains. Here's the very place where it  begins.

So what in Sam hill is it doing over here on my ridge just down the street from me on a high ridge across the South Platte River valley from where it originates?

But, then, there's a 500+ foot drop in elevation from the foothills to the South Platte River, and about 400 feet difference between the elevation at Waterton Canyon and here. So the Highline Canal actually flows downhill from it's headwaters to this high ridge overlooking the South Platte River. Let me tell you - Denver is disorienting.....

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