The Counterpart to the Urban Everyday is the Urban Waterway
Adding to my post about urban parks in Anchorage, I'd like to highlight another use: the urban lake, pond, creek, lagoon within the urban every day. We have a myriad of such waterways that serve a parallel to the urban park. The beauty of these waterways becomes apparent when mother nature takes over season to season changing the physical aspects of these elements.
Two specifically identifiable bodies are the Campbell Creek and the Chester Creek and each have their own namesake trails winding along as mentioned in my previous post. Along these creeks, similar to the trails leading to parks, are little lakes, ponds, and lagoons. Activities such as fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, row boating, swimming (brrrr), ice skating, and hockey happen year round on these waterways.
There is a unique relationship between the creeks and their trails because some water entities' best accessibility is by trails. Ever tried to visit Hillstrand Pond? It's a lovely, quiet pond where people occasionally fish or picnic. Quiet is the key word because it is not accessible by car. One must access by trails only. My partner and I were joking the other day about how we should have biked our boat over to Westchester Lagoon because it might have been easier than driving.
This winter my partner decided to build a boat and thus by default I became associate boat builder. (only some of my architectural skills came into play). This endeavor started in January and we completed in early summer. Just in time to enjoy a summer of rowing on different ponds and lagoons throughout Anchorage. First adventure included pushing our boat on a dolly along the trails to get to Cheney Lake. Needless to say this activity was not high on my everyday priority list. After finally acquiring a trailer we took our boat out to Westchester Lagoon and had a successful row about. We even ducked into a tunnel under Minnesota Drive into a subsidiary lagoon that the Chester Creek flows directly into.
My joy of being on the waterways of Anchorage is equal to that of being on the trails. They are freeing from the everyday life of cars and traffic and buildings. It is a wonder that Anchoragites are not the happiest people in the world. Even the pups love it!