Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Ramble

On my ride home from church today, I felt the urge to ramble through Fort Wayne after service. The weather this past week has been very warm and sunny, which has melted all of our snow. It rained all day Saturday, which in combination with the snow melt has raised the three rivers. The Fort Wayne Rivergreenway is a beloved trail, but is absolutely no good when the rivers flood, since much of the trail is built in floodplains along the river. I should have taken my canoe.

Central Fort Wayne has many old cool-looking houses. This one was converted to a clinic where violent offenders who are on parole can get counseling to help them avoid jail time, but mostly to help them understand what makes them violent. My dad worked part-time here for many, many years.

This is Joseph Pierre de Bonnecamps, a Jesuit priest who traveled here in the mid-1700's on a scientific expedition. He is pointing to the junction of the St. Mary's and the St. Joseph Rivers where the Maumee River is born. The Maumee flows northeast to Toledo, Ohio, where it empties into Lake Erie. Much like the hypoxic zone (area with no life) where the Mississippi River dumps into the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Erie has its own hypoxic zone where the Maumee empties into the lake.

The building behind the good reverend is the Three Rivers Filtration Plant, Fort Wayne's water treatment facility that takes St. Joseph River water and turns it into tap water for 200,000 people. I've toured the plant a couple of times and it is impressive how those folks take brown water and turn it into clear, good, drinkable water.

Here is Fort Wayne's condensed history. There is a lot that has been left out.

Also at the junction of the three rivers is mile 0.0 for the three trails that comprise the Rivergreenway.

High water along the St. Joseph River.

Happy riding!


jeff said...

Some of the trails I like here in KS are prone to flooding too, but what's worse is that even if the water recedes quickly the trails are left covered with mud and twigs.

rlove2bike said...

Another ride to church service and more...that's great. It's nice that you have a trail to ride. WI and MN have an extensive trail system, but none near where we live, although we do travel to ride those. It is nice for us to read about the Fort Wayne area. I once spent a week there for work, but haven't been back since.

Big Oak said...

Jeff - same here - depending on how long the flood lasts, there can be a lot of silt and fine sand deposited after the water recedes. It is very slippery while it is still wet.

rlove2bike - if you ever find your way in this neck of the woods, er corn, let me know.

Apertome said...

Looks like another enjoyable ride! I'm jealous. Getting cabin fever here, but things are looking up.