This is the Canadian River where it crosses US Highway 125 just north of Walden, CO. Its headwaters lie just to the north in Wyoming.
Continue driving south on 125 and within five miles you will cross the Arkansas River, another small stream within 20 miles of its source. Both rivers flow from North to South, growing in size.
Both empty into the Mississippi and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. Twenty miles to the northeast of where I took this picture is the source of the Platte River, a west to east flowing tributary of the Missouri whose waters flow into the Mississippi before finally, like the Canadian and the Arkansas, empty into the Gulf of Mexico.
All three were destined to become major sources of water and transport in 19th century America, critical to our growth as a nation. Three “creeks” within a 20 miles radius of each other in the isolated San Juan Mountains of Colorado and Wyoming.
So non-descript as you pass over at 65 miles an hour, but so significant to our heritage when you make the time to stop and look. This is why I don’t drive the interstates and often are a day late upon arrival.