Sunday, October 30, 2011

Finding Out From Whence The Trinity River Flows

In the picture you are standing on an overlook in the now defunct Heritage Park in Downtown Fort Worth looking at the convergence of the West and Clear Forks of the Trinity River.

This convergence is where the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle holds its Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats.

Heritage Park is also the location where I first learned that Gar the Texan Nerd had huge gaps in his education.

I learned this when I said this was the location of the original Fort Worth.

"Fort Worth was actually a fort?" asked the incredulous Gar the Texan Nerd. "Well, it was more of a camp," I replied, equally incredulous that Gar the Texan Nerd did not know this.

Gar the Texan Nerd explained this lack of historical knowledge with the fact that in Texas the football coaches teach history. That explanation sort of made sense at the time.

When I first moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex zone I was perplexed regarding how garbage was disposed of. As in what was the waste management methodology? I was curious about this because I came from a small valley in Washington, with a population of around 100,000, where waste management was a HUGE issue. And now I was in a metro zone with a population about the size of the entire state of Washington and I heard nary a peep about waste management.

During my first year in Texas I asked many locals about local waste management. Their answers were usually a variation of a garbage truck picks up the garbage. Where the garbage went in those trucks seemed to be a universal mystery. I soon gave up my quest for an answer to this question.

Switching the subject from garbage to the Trinity River. Just realized, typing that, that this is not a very big subject switch, since during my years in Texas I have learned that the Trinity River is part of the local waste management method, particular when in flood mode, when it becomes a fast flowing ribbon of litter.

A few weeks ago I asked Elsie Hotpepper from whence the Trinity River flowed. With no mountain ranges within 100s of miles, no snow capped mountains melting and leaking water into a valley, one day it occurred to me to wonder where the Trinity River came from.

And then yesterday I remembered to just Google for the information to find out....

The Trinity River is 710 miles long, flowing only in the state of Texas. The Trinity River's headwaters are in far North Texas, just a few miles south of the Red River, beginning to flow from bluffs that separate the Trinity's headwaters from the Red River.

The Trinity River has 5 branches that make up the Trinity tree, the Clear Fork, West Fork, Elm Fork, East Fork and the North Wedge.

I've never heard of a river wedge before.

The West Fork starts flowing in Archer County, flowing southeast through the Lake Bridgeport and Lake Eagle Mountain reservoirs, then entering Fort Worth through Lake Worth to meet up with the Clear Fork at the location in the picture above.

The Clear Fork starts flowing north of Weatherford, flowing southeastward through the Lake Weatherford and Benbrook Lake reservoirs before it joins up with the West Fork.

The Elm Fork flows south from the Gainesville zone, meeting up with the combined forces of the West and Clear Forks in Dallas.

The East Fork starts flowing near McKinney, joining up with the Trinity River a bit southeast of Dallas.

I have not been able to find out where the North Wedge starts flowing or where it joins the rest of the joined forks.

After all the forks and wedges join forces the Trinity River flows southeast from Dallas across a floodplain before flowing into the Piney Woods Region of Texas, flowing south til it eventually empties into Trinity Bay, which is part of Galveston Bay in the Gulf of Mexico.

So, now I know where the Trinity Rivers starts. And where it ends.


Anonymous said...

There's a liquor store in northwest Fort Worth near the west fork of the Trinity River. The store's name is Clear Fork Liquors.

Keep Calm

And Carry On

Steve A said...

Out of curiosity, I did a quick look to see WHERE Fort Worth trash goes. While I could find nothing to suggest they don't simply dump it in White Rock Lake at night, I DID find at that cell phones go TO Fort Worth, as does toxic waste for people living in Keller. Giving "green with envy" a whole new meaning.

In Seattle, the parking lot near the UW still has methane gas burners after 50 years. Perhaps that is the REAL source of the Barnett gas. Old dumps...

Steve A said...

IESI has landfills in Kennedale, Weatherford, and near Wichita Falls, but none next to White Rock Lake.