Labor Day feature: The long flowing life of the Arkansas River

first_img Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (4) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +18 Vote up Vote down ftwriter 58p · 101 weeks ago Very interesting article! Enjoyed the photographs, too!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 101 weeks ago +11 Vote up Vote down Sumner · 101 weeks ago Great article. Sure is nice to read something on the Newscow that doesn’t contain the word “football” in the story. Report Reply 1 reply · active 101 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down southsideresident · 101 weeks ago Ha, Ha funny remark. Report Reply +1 Vote up Vote down Knights Fan · 101 weeks ago Enjoyed this story! Some of our family live in Buena Vista, just south of Leadville, and along the Arkansas River. It is a beautiful area to visit! The river rafting is a huge part of the economy/jobs there, as well. Report Reply 0 replies · active 101 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments The Arkansas River, east of Oxford, is a river of significance in four states. (Photo by https://www.zillow.com/oxford-ks/)By Miss Fedelm, special to Sumner Newscow — The Arkansas River, on the eastern edge of Oxford in Sumner County, is a serious river in this area. Wide and deep and — according to my relatives when I was a child — quite dangerous. During visits to Oxford, we children were always warned to stay away from it.My earliest memories of the river are from when my cousin and I would sneak down to the river bank from the farm we stayed at just South of Oxford. We used to sneak down with a huge bag of pop bottles and a single shot 22. We would pack the end of the bottles with mud, toss them in the fast flowing river and then shoot them with the 22. Great fun and our parents would have skinned us alive had they known what we were doing.My great dream in those days was to build a raft and float down the river to New Orleans, i.e. Huck Finn style.The path of the Arkansas River starts in Colorado and travels through three more states like Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas before eventually flowing into the Mississippi River. The Arkansas River has had quite a history and has held more than my young mind’s fascination. The first mention of the river is found in the accounts of the Coronado Expedition of 1540 to 1541. The Expedition named the river “Saint Peter’s and Saint Paul’s River.” Next, came Father Marquette and Louis Jolliet, the first Europeans to explore and map the upper portion of the Mississippi River. And the name “Saint Peter’s and Saint Paul’s River” still appears on the map of the upper Mississippi that Father Marquette produced in 1673.But the name of the river was still in flux, and the Mexicans re-named it “Rio Napete”. And the the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819 designated the river as part of the border between the United States and Spanish Mexico. But this changed with the annexation of Texas and the Mexican American War of 1846.It appears that the final name of the river, “The Arkansas,” (pronounced Ark-kan-saw everywhere except here in Kansas where it is called the Ar-Kansas) arose when when a group of French explorers, sometime in the early 19th Century, named the mouth of the river “Arkansa” after a tribe of Dakota or Osage Indians that lived nearby.Later, in the mid to late 19th Century, the Sante Fe Trail followed the banks of the Arkansas River through much of Kansas.In the 19th Century, river boats of any consequence could usually not navigate the river beyond Fort Smith, Ark. But light flat boats would come as far as Fort Mann near Dodge City — at least in the spring when the river ran high. Today, the extensive locks and dams of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System now allows barge traffic from the mouth of the Mississippi to Muskogee, Okla.The river begins a few miles west of Leadville, Colo., near Highway 91, about a thousand yards down the top of the Continental Divide at Fremont Pass.  Here are pictures of the long and winding river from the height of Colorado to the Mississippi River below.It starts here at the Freemont Pass which is near the Colorado communities of Breckenridge and Leadville.There are a series of bogs at the base of the valley formed by Mount Arkansas and Mount Democrat. Depending on the snow melt, these bogs feed a stream about one foot wide that flows about a half a mile to a pond on the Climax Mine property. This pond is the year round source of the river.As it flows in a south-eastern direction, it is still a small stream about two feet wide.About 4 miles down from the divide, the Arkansas River picks up, still a little more than a stream. Then it merges with English Creek. Past Leadville, the stream is now ten to fifteen feet wide and it becomes difficult to wade. The stream gets its first big blast of growth about 15 miles further on at Twin Lakes, where the Lake Creek, a significant mountain stream that feeds the two lakes, joins with the Arkansas. That makes the Arkansas an actual river. River rafting is done on the Arkansas at this point.By the time it cuts its swath south through the Royal Gorge near Canon City, the Arkansas is a significant river.But the Arkansas River takes on many forms as it ventures east into the flatlands and becomes important for agriculture purposes. The river becomes a smaller stream due to irrigation. It then picks up again where precipitation rates in Kansas pick up. States like Colorado and Kansas for generations have fought over water rights for the river. The Arkansas River looks much differently as it flows through cities like Tulsa, Okla. from its humble beginning at the Continental Divide.Eventually, the river flows through the state of Arkansas that bears the same name and eventually joins the Mississippi River as do all major rivers east of the Continental Divide. This is the Yanchopin Bridge in Arkansas, the last structure crossing the river before it becomes part of the Mississippi.Follow us on Facebook.Follow us on Twitter.last_img

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