Sand Creek Ice Jam

(Content Modified / Edited on 03-20-08 @ 2356 hours)

Today, I took #2, and #3 of 5 (and myself) for a haircut. As we drove to a local hair cuttery, I happened a glance (as I usually do) at Sand Creek, as we passed over the bridge. Some times it is low, sometimes it is high, sometimes it is frozen, but today was the first time I had ever seen it like I did today. As I drove over the bridge, and took my peek at Sand Creek I noticed a pretty significant Ice Jam.

Since we did not have appointments for our haircuts, I contemplated pulling over and taking a peek at the sight, but since I did not have my camera and I had several other errands to run, I decided to pass. I thought to myself that we can peek again after our haircuts - on the return trip back home. Expecting to see that the Ice Jam had cleared itself up, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Ice Jam was still in place.

Before going home, I took a small detour to the park that Sand Creek cuts through (and where the Ice Jam just happened to be). The boys and I got out, and went down the the banks of the creek. There was about 1 / 4 of a mile of Sheets of ice (just under a foot thick) all bunched up, caught in what looked like some rocks, and some overhanging vegitation. I decided that this was too unique an opportunity to pass up, so we went home (to fetch my camera, and my hiking boots).

Once we arrived home, #2 of 5 was too interested in playing with the neighbor and their Lego's. He did not have an intrest in returning to the Ice Jam. Intrigued, and hearing that her brother did not want to go back, our #4 of 5 said she wanted to come along too. So, after packing up the camera, donning my hiking boots, and getting #3 and #4 of 5 ready to go - we headed out!

We walked some of the Ice Jam, and discovered the end of the jam. It was pretty surreal. It all looked as if it were all made from plastic. And don’t forget… From the road, the "icebergs" seemed much smaller, but in person - some of them were HUGE!

I took a few photos of the Ice Jam. The photo on the left is a photo taken while looking out past the end of the Ice Jam. The photo on the right was taken looking back up the creek INTO the Ice Jam.

Well, if you have not been able to figure it out from the photos above, I'll let ya in on a little secret….

You see... Not only did we go out and get photographs of the Ice Jam... I decided I could get the best photos from out ON the Ice Jam! So, in my best imitation of Laura Croft and Tomb Raider - I made my way over the jumble of ice blocks until I reached a unusually large, and steady / stable block of ice. I had #3 of 5 take a few photos of me (out in the ice jam) from the bank of the creek.

He became so excited, he all but started "squealing". I decided to take a chance. (OK folks, here is where I beseech you all NOT to contact the local Child Protection Authorities.... I USED TO BE a pretty outdoorsy kind of guy, I am unusually careful, and NOT really much o a risk taker. So, you'll have to trust me when I say we were all relatively safe.) I had #3 and #4 of 5 jump out from the bank onto one of the Ice Bergs I was standing on and together we all worked out way out to that large and steady Ice Berg!

Since the police never showed up to take custody of the kids from me, and no one fell in, or even got wet, I decided that I had already beaten the odds so we headed back to the bank. We made it back to safety without incident, and walked the entire length of the Ice Jam.

You have to trust me, when I say these photos do not do justice to the Ice Jam. There were some sheets of ice that were sticking straight up into the air... Almost as tall as me (and I shop at the "Big & Tall" departments... Because... Well, because I am both Big and Tall!) Some of these sheets of ice stuck six feet above the surface of the creek... All wedged together... Some of these sheets had to weigh into the "tonnage" scale. It was truly an amazing sight!

And after a long winter, it felt really good to get out into the outdoors!It was a gorgeous day outside, and a chance to get out with the kids a little bit, and to take them (and me) out of our comfort zone.

It was an afternoon that memories are made of!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

P.S. Ed, if you are reading this post... Yes, this is the same Sand Creek that your ATV "fell" into. Remember that long (and wet) hike back to my house to talk me into helping you "raise the Titanic" and get that ATV of yours back??? Yup... It's that very same creek... About a mile up river... Only this time - I stayed dry!


  1. That is some thick ice. Watching those big icebergs go down the river is hypnotizing.
    You were lucky. Usually those ice floes only last a day or two before they are gone.
    Think Spring.

  2. Is an Iced Jam aomrhing like putting jelly on a glazed donut?

    Seriously, that is cool looking.

  3. aomrhing= something.

    Sorry, typing in the back yard, smoking a Rocky Patel and sitting by the fire.

  4. Kids are fine out on the ice.... now, if you would have had your dog on the ice... watch out! PETA would have been knocking on your door.
    Cool ice photos!

  5. DadStuff - That is exactly why we HAD to take advantage of this unique opportunity. The ice was not flowing, it was all hung up on some rocks and vegetation along the riverbanks. I imagine between the temps, and the velocity of the creek, the ice jam will be gone tomorrow. I just could not see passing up the opportunity to play in and around the ice jam!

    Mike... Mike... Mike... How DARE you brag about sitting by a fire with a RP (wink)....

    Man oh Man... I still have between a month or two before I'm able to... Plus, we are supposed to get between 6-12 inches of snow again tonight...

    Be sure to smoke one for me!!

    If you were really not sure what an Ice Jam is, it is where large icebergs break off (from creeks and rivers). They are large and flat sheets. They float down the creek or river until they lodged on something (usually a bridge) and then more and more build up upon each other until you have a full fledge Jam of ice... The pieces are all crammed together in all sorts of directions, pushed up against each other, partially floating over (or under) other sheets... It's a very surreal site (especially up close and in person!)

  6. Delightful D...

    Oh, how I aggree... But yet, you'd be amazed how many people think that kids should NOT be "out on the ice" or "swimming in the pond" or "playing by the creek".

    Where I work, we have many ponds, a lake and a creek. We get 911 calls frequently about kids playing, swimming, or skating..

    It's sad..

    I grew up playing in the ponds, trying to catch tadpoles, wading out to "submurged" islands when the water was down, pretending to have discovered a new land, etc, etc, etc...

    That is EXACTLY why I decided to take the kids out on the ice jam... To experience LIFE! They watched me being very careful.. finding "just the right place" and if the jam can hold my ginormous frame, then it should be ok for them.... #4 of 5 (my daughter) loved watching all the little waterfalls, and currents between the ice blocks.. She thought it was SO neat!

  7. Oh my goodness! That's awesome! And don't worry. I probalby would have done the same thing with my kids

  8. Great pics! I would have gotten out there on the ice as well.


  9. I would have been more upset with you and the treatment of your children had you NOT crawled out there and allowed them to experience one of our nature's wonders. You're the best, this is a GREAT post!

  10. Thanks for the explanation. I only knew a little about them from watching a discovery channel show on some idea to bridge the Bering Strait.

    But I had never actually seen photos of anything like that.

  11. I'ver never seen anything like that.

    The only large ice we get out here in L.A. is in our margarita's.


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