Wednesday, May 7, 2008

River Trail in Dolores

The River Trail at Dolores, CO is about a one mile gravel trail that runs mostly along the river bank in the Town of Dolores, giving a close up view of the mountain stream just as it enters the McPhee Reservoir in southwest Colorado.

I started at the south end of the trail where the Dolores River passes under the Highway 145 bridge and the water is starting to back up from the reservoir.
The trail at the south end runs on top of the berm that provides flood protection. At this end or the trail you are in the Joe Rowell town park with softball and soccer fields, playgrounds and picnic areas just off the trail.
As the trail moves north there are fishing spots along the way with views of the ponderosa pines on the opposite side of the valley. The trail continues with a short section cutting through the neighborhood and ending near the library.

You can return along the same route or follow the main street back, visiting some of the small shops along the way. One highlights in town is the Galloping Goose, the old rail car that provided transportation in the area until the 1950s.

There is some interpretive information near the railroad museum also mentioning the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition, the first European explorers in the area. It took me about an hour to walk the full length and back, with a stop by the Goose.

Dolores River Story Walk  In June 2011, the pioneering idea of hiking exercise and family reading was put in place along a segment of the River Trail at Joe Rowell Park.  A series 13 small artistic signs were installed telling of how a young girl knows that the river lovers her. The Story Walk was developed by the San Juan Mountains Association.

I am here to visit one of my best friends in the world-the river. I know she loves me.

I know the river loves me because I can hear her calling me as soon as I am close.

She jumps and sings when she sees me.

I run to her side and she cools me down.

I know the river loves me because when I look into her face, she’s happy to see me.

When I jump on her back, she holds me up. When I leap into her arms she takes me in.

She tugs on my hair and arms and we flow together.

I watch her change like me. In the winter she is low and quiet. In the summer she is full and loud.

The river takes care of me, and I take care of the river. I only leave behind what already belongs to her.

I know the river loves me. The next time I come she will be here waiting for me, singing my name.

I know the river loves me, and I love the river.

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