Thursday, July 15, 2010
PLATTE RIVER BLUES: DENVER, CO
My first steps in Denver off the bus at Market St. station gave me chills, for a cold front had just come through, and wind and rain were moving in. I was to meet my friend at a cafe called Paris on the Platte, just across the South Platte River via the 16th St. Pedestrian Mall. The mall has this amazing free shuttle bus, running every few moments the mall's length from the river to the Broadway/Colfax intersection. At this part of the river, where it meets Cherry Creek, the city has preserved a long series of parks, with walking trails and historical markers, stone patios, and a rocky shoal (presumably not natural). This continues to be my favorite spot in the city, I'll sit here regardless of the wind and rain, for I like the freshwater smell here and I feel peace. A woman and a girl toss stones behind me into the still-polluted river and see shells on the shore. Birds of all kinds fly around me.
This was once the home of Southern Arapahoe peace chief Little Raven (Young Crow), who once welcomed the west-bound white settlers with gold in their eyes: “Take the gold! Just don't stay long.” His story is told at the park, on the Platte's south bank. Take the young crow by his song, I'll sit here in the rain but I can't stay long.