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Old 04-15-2004   #11
mvhyde's Avatar
Technology Partner, Littleton, Colorado
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2-cents & Allied Chemical

I don't know how many of you remember all the chemical plants along side the Platte from years gone by, but I sure do. Allied Chemical was a major player along the river...and they had several accidents where things, stuff, got spilled directly into the river or was washed into the river either deliberately or by natural means.

This area from roughly Evans Ave on down into Commerce City had its share of chemical processing plants, smelters, crusher mills, retort plants, etc. So that should be something to think about. I guess we all have to die eventually, but it would be mindful of one to think about what you may be exposing yourself to.

I still have this lurid visual image in my mind from when I was a kid. Dead fish, chemical encrusted, floating in the river, the stench was awful.


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Old 04-15-2004   #12
Join Date: Nov 2003
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"Meets or exceeds all federal water quality standards"
Who are you to question the government?

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Old 04-15-2004   #13
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 120
Originally Posted by benrodda
From a practical angle.....(maybe a bit off topic) I work with teenagers (I am a youth pastor) so confluence was a pretty decent place for them to learn some basics. Short, fairly easy swim, and straight forward rapid. I dont want them to get sick. So where is a good place to take them. Golden can make for a long swim. Boulder might be good?


Ben - At lower water levels I think Golden is better for teaching than Boulder Cr, and Boulder Cr often has some serious low low flow issues. But both are good. Lyons added several new drops to their whitewater park (the city park it's in is really pretty) and they look great for beginners - very straightforward drops with eddies for peelouts etc. (it's chilly in there behind the rock wall though,not much sun). If you can arrange a shuttle the Deckers section above Waterton (what is that the south fork of the South Platte?) is a great place for 1st or 2nd timers - really a good teaching section I thought. For a whole day trip, Pumphouse on the Colorado is also great for beginners. Cool that you take the kids out, sounds pretty fun.


(ps, watch out for the section below the Lyons park, I hear Mike Paris took a swim there during last year's festival race )
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Old 04-17-2004   #14
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 316

Hey thanks so much for the information. Yeah it can be really fun to take the kids out, stressful when swims get really long and cold for them. Even still the expereinces are great and often teaches them more than I ever could in a classroom.

Maybe I have the cart before the horse though.... Do I need to get that Mike Paris guy to give the kids in my youth group swiming lessons before we head out? (I paddled with you guys down at Golden a good bit last year (Red G-Force) I wish I had his skills.)

thanks again,

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Old 04-17-2004   #15
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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Hey Ben,

Another place to take beginners if you're thinking of heading up to the Upper C would be the reach just above Dotsero. Depending on where you put in, either Cottonwood Island or Lyons Gulch, its either about 6 or 4 miles, respectively, to the takeout at the Dotsero bridge. The run has open, sunny Class II rapids interspersed with flatwater. I've seen intro kayaking classes out there before often. Not quite as challanging (or as crowded) as Pumphouse but still interesting and likely to be a good confidence booster for a beginner.

Easy access just off I-70, drive up along the river and scout from the road.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 04-20-2004   #16
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 14

This is a funny story and speaks to your question. My husband and a friend were playing in the hole at Confluence a couple of years ago when a spectator held out his arms as if he were holding a box and began to yell. The guys thought that the person was yelling "raft, raft", and they kept looking up river confused. Finally they realized that the person was yelling "RAT, RAT!" and motioning the size of the thing.

So, I don't know the exact toxicity of the Platte but I'd rather not boat with rats. Just a personal preference.
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Old 04-20-2004   #17
Join Date: Apr 2004
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as far as kayaking is concerned - blah blah, just dont drink it!, keep it out of your eyes close the ears and nose. If your worried rinse eyes with a saline rinse when done.

Have fun

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