Today was a little disappointing because most of Crutcho Creek was inaccessible. That is, we are the point where the creek runs across a lot of flat terrain, wandering tortuously in tight bends and loops through government controlled land. Our first image is Crutcho Creek running under NE 10th just outside of that housing development where we ended the previous part. The second image is the creek running off northward from NE 10th. It runs across some industrial property on both sides after that. The area is a notorious flood zone from here on out. The problem is that just a little ways downstream from here is a pitiful short levy that can’t protect a rather large mobile home park up a ways from the north bank.
Then the creek flows under Air Depot Boulevard (image right. This latest bridge was built well above the creek bed, but I’ve seen the water standing on both approaches to the bridge on either, so I’m not sure what was accomplished with that. On the east side of Air Depot is where the creek flows across undeveloped private property. However, most of the area fronting out on Air Depot is maintained by Midwest City like it’s some kind of park. Somewhere in the background across the sunlit field (image left) is where Soldier Creek joins the flow of Crutcho Creek.
From there it runs under NE 23rd (image right). However, we have reached an interesting point in the course of the creek. Back across Air Depot on the west side is Crutcho.The school is easily the defining landmark of the place (image left). It runs quite some ways back from NE 23rd (Highway 62), opposite a rather large National Guard site. All the way back up to the end of Air Depot is a dead end. You can see where the creek is by the tightly packed trees along the banks, but the area is fully controlled by oil companies and various government agencies. It’s the edge of the landfill, for example. But across the highway from the school to the south is the community of Crutcho (image right). Behind all those ratty businesses you will find a few square blocks of houses, and farther back is the trailer park that floods so often.
Just east of this community rises a rather high ridge. Since there is no access at all westward from the creek for at least a mile or more, I headed up the hill and took these two images looking back down from the ridge into Crutcho Creek Valley. The first (left) is from the south side of the highway. This is the other side of that spot where Soldier Creek runs down into Crutcho (far left background). The second image (right) is on the north side of the highway from the yard in front of a county maintenance depot.
The signs here warn folks to stay out. This is on the north side of that area where Crutcho Creek wanders so wildly all over the place, running at least two miles of curves in less than a mile of land space. The sign also warns that nearby is a water treatment facility run by Midwest City, which stands off-screen to the left over the creek. The next image shows the creek ducking under NE 36th. We are in the home stretch from here.
Back up on the ridge past the water treatment facility is a pair of cemeteries. If you turn north into the very old Kolb Cemetery (rather famous with historians) you can view northward down toward the Crutcho Creek Valley as it turns toward its final destination, the North Canadian River. But before it gets there, we can approach it where it passed under the railroad line (image right). Where I perched on the bank to get that shot, Midwest Boulevard was just a few yards behind me. This is a popular fishing spot with ad hoc concrete steps down to the water’s edge and under the rail bridge. The next shot (above left) was taken from the rail bridge where it spills into a pool, then makes a hard right under the road.
I took this long telephoto shot (image right) where the river turns hard left, and that’s where Crutcho Creek joins the flow, but not until after making yet another long loop you’d have to see on a map to believe. It’s almost as if the creek is delaying giving up its waters until the last moment.
Finally, since I was right there where the river runs under Midwest Boulevard, I poked around awhile. I spotted a couple of turtles (image left) swimming in deep pool where the river turns under the bridge. On the south bank where the construction crews have done some much work erecting that high levy to prevent the river undercutting the bridge, it’s possible to come around on either side and find a rough trail running under the bridge. It’s another fishing spot, but it’s been used for camping and perhaps other things more nefarious (I found a discarded bikini on the ground). So I found a place to stand where I could look back upstream and catch this view (above right) of the bridge and the levy coming out. You can see we are in a low water period prior to the fall storms that bring floods.
Thanks for coming along on this survey of Crutcho Creek.