Dan and I went for a bike ride around the reservoir, but ran into the flooding at the south end and had to walk our bikes through. I was riding my old one, so I just walked it in the freezing cold water, but Dan’s bike is a little more precious, so he carried it through the water. Only a serious biker does that!
I had tried to ride all the way around the reservoir earlier in the week, but the current in this spot was so strong, it was taking me to the left, which is the actual deeper lake, and as I was alone, I really didn’t want to go swimming unexpectedly. I couldn’t believe how strong the current was and how numb my feet got half was across, so I turned around and waited for another day.
The Denver area had its wettest May on record – and we’ve been here for all of it. Expecting to do a ton of hiking, instead we dashed in and out of the car, rig or library to explore while it was sunny, and run back in when the floodgates opened. The rain comes down with such force that if you get caught in it, it actually hurts.
So our bike ride was great around the reservoir, and there were tons of other people out enjoying the sun, too. Chatfield was built to protect Denver, and it does its job well. There was room for more rain and snow runoff, but the road was closed at the south end for flooding and many other areas of the park were closed as well. The first night we went out walking and couldn’t figure out what the little roofs were on the water way across the lake – when the water went down later we saw that they were the park bathrooms – totally immersed. Just amazing. The park ranger said it had never happened before. Lucky us to get to experience it!