Last week I explored a slag heap I have been walking past for years, and crossed over Indian Creek to get to the top of it. That got me thinking about Indian Creek.
There is some really interesting information about this little creek, and maybe I’ll post some links some other time, but today I just wanted to look at the confluence where it empties into the Calumet River. Indian Creek starts at the outlet of Wolf Lake, where it flows over a small, partly submerged dam. It winds through an industrial area, then empties into the Calumet River a mile or so away to the west.
Some of Chicago’s rivers have been reversed. The Chicago River is one of them; the technology learned on the project was applied to the building of the Panama Canal. Another reversed river is the Calumet; Indian Creek empties into it. Has Indian Creek been reversed? I haven’t found the answer to that yet. A better question might be whether Indian Creek is natural or made by human intervention. Wolf Lake used to empty directly into Lake Michigan to the east; now its outlet is Indian Creek to the west.
Today I start out at the bridge just south of Carondolet Ave and E 126th Street.
The color of the water by the slag heap upstream is an odd whitish green color–you can see the color change even in the satellite view. View Larger Map Here it’s not so obvious, even though the water looks far from clean. I see several guys fishing, but no one catching anything. One guy tells me he just saw a muskrat. I ask if he’s fishing for crappie, which are supposed to run in the spring, but he says this time of year they catch Coho salmon, at least in Wolf Lake.
The creek passes under another bridge at 126th Street, then fans out into a sort of wildlife area. The large white bins in the background are on the opposite shore of the Calumet River.
This is odd: stakes with chicken wire, apparently marking some sort of channels. I suspect it’s for the salmon.
The mouth of the creek is blocked with stones, except at the far end. Again, I suspect the salmon have something to do with this.
My curiosity satisfied, I return, and see an almost full moon over the 126th Street bridge.
A nearby truck loading area is guarded by dogs, which eventually remember to bark at me. I understand why people breed and keep this sort of creature, but I hate to see animals treated like this.
It’s a cold, cold day. The wind is around 30 mph and out of the north–“blustery” the forecast says. Not pleasant at all , especially near the water, but at least the sun came out late in the day.