Checked that Box

For years, I’ve either run or cycled through the parking lot that serves Teddy Roosevelt Island. At the north end of the parking lot, there’s an inconspicuous sign that’s always intrigued me.IMG_3103.jpeg

As today’s ride in Europe would have been a rugged ride, 79.2 miles with 8090 feet of climbing, much along rivers and one scenic waterfall along the way, I chose this rugged hike as my lemonade activity. I was confident it would fill the bill for rugged but I wasn’t trying for a waterfall. The Virginia shore of the Potomac near Washington DC is basically a tall leaky bluff punctuated by several runs to the river, of which I crossed five today – Pimmit Run, Gulf Branch, Donaldson Run, Windy Run, and Spout Run.

Gulf Branch sorely tested my love of adventure. I tried three different ways to get down the steep rock face, channeling my rock-climbing son, without the certainty of finding a continuation of the trail at the bottom. IMG_3083

It was there. However, it seemed to disappear from time to time, or was overgrown, or sloped badly toward the river, or was littered with enormous fallen trees. 

Each time I saw the blue blaze, I felt a flood of relief.

Two miles into the hike, I heard what sounded like a shower running and looked up. Straight up a rock cliff, there was a waterfall!

I mostly had to keep my eyes on my feet as every single step required attention, but occasionally, I stopped for a pristine view.IMG_3088.jpeg

Footbridge to Teddy Roosevelt Island

Here’s the Strava track and the Relive video of the hike.

Boxes checked: 1) the Potomac Heritage Trail, 2) a waterfall.


©2020 Lynnea C Salvo

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