I Heart a Creek

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I love Campbell Creek.  Yes, I just threw the “L Word” at a body of water … big jump if you ask me.  But I really do love Campbell Creek.  I’ll tell you why, but let me start with the “blah blah blah always ‘splaining things” part.

Campbell Creek has one of those great Anchorage gems, a waterway cutting through the city bringing a strip of the wilderness to the metro area. Campbell Creek, along with Chester Creek and Ship Creek, is one of the three largest waterways that cut across Anchorage.  Okay, waterways probably isn’t the most appropriate word, because none of them are all that big, maybe one of them has a bridge over it big enough for a name (and that’s only because the valley Ship Creek sits in is deep).   Campbell Creek is the longest, at about 15 miles.  It’s not too wide, just about 10 feet in most places, except for Campbell Lake where it gets to be wide enough to land a float plane, but that doesn’t seem that wide there either.  Campbell Creek winds through Southeast and South Anchorage.  By wind, I don’t mean it turns and twists in all directions through town, but that 10 foot wide stream twists and turns in a small wetland stretch so that it probably goes about 30 miles to do that 15 miles to the coast.The green zone is full with trees, fast growing and thin evergreens typical for the swampy ground near the creek.  The vegetation is perfect moose habitat, giving flourishing food for the summer and enough to chomp on during the winter, if it wasn’t for all the people there would be more than the 6 or 7 that make it their home on the western portion.  Oh yeah, there is a lot of people there too.  The Campbell Creek Trail is a paved trail that runs along the creek for 7-1/2 miles.  The trail is currently interrupted right in the middle due to construction but that doesn’t stop folks from being on it near constantly, and I do mean constantly.  There’s a fair bit of foot traffic, including tons of dog walkers and hikers.  The pavement makes it a great bike trail, with pretty easy gradients and well maintained bridges – great for a family ride.  During the winter, they maintain the trail with lights and everything to allow for cross country skiers.

I guess you could say that I have a place in my heart to Campbell Creek because it seems to play in some of my favorite places.  I like to spend time at the World Famous Peanut Farm, which has one of the more picturesque portions of Campbell Creek running behind it.  When I spotted my first bear, I was a couple of feet from the creek, my first moose was sitting right in it.

Truthfully, its like home to me.  The trail is a just a 1/2 mile away from the house and while I prefer to drive to a spot a couple miles away it runs through my neighborhood.  I hiked it in the fall.  I took the pup on his first walk there.  I wandered along the snow covered path through the winter, even laughing with another lady how beautiful one night was (when it was snowing and below freezing … and we were serious, it was a great night).  Now that the breakup is done, I walked that path nearly every night for the last two weeks.

I think part of what I love about the creek is that it is so close to the easy life of a nice house and big screen TV, that in a minute I can get up and get into the woods or run for home for a nice beer.  It maybe the closest this wussy outdoorsman gets to getting off the grid.

But really, I just love the simplicity of loving that trail.  The rumble of the quick moving water.  The smell of  the evergreens.  The possibility of seeing a moose, a beaver, a muskrat.   The effortless way the creek reminds me how great a walk through the woods is.

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