I left Marshall early on Sunday to get down to Bladensburg Park outside DC where I was meeting Margie for a paddle. Emily and Jon were coming on the river too but in a canoe. It was overcast yet warm as I got Big Red ready and chatted with a gentleman who was rail fanning while I waited for Margie. She was renting a kayak, the rates are really cheap here. We set out late without Emily and Jon, who hadn't arrived, but had said they'd catch up with us.
I didn't bother with many photos on this trip for 2 reasons, 1) I didn't want to get my camera wet and so I only took some snaps with my iPhone, and 2) we were paddling quite seriously, this was more of a work out than a leisurely paddle and we wanted to reach our destination before we came back upstream. We were paddling against the tide.
We'd only gone about another 10 minutes or so and the rain started again but this time we had no shelter and it came down harder. Within a few moments we were thoroughly soaked.
Once we'd passed the built up areas on the way back and were back to trees hanging over the banks, we made a detour past Kingman Lake and went the back way through the wetlands. Initially I was delighted to see water lily plants and other foliage that I see on the lakes and rivers out my way but then I spotted all the plastic bottles and cans nestling among the stalks. We even passed an upturned sofa....
This area is a 45 acre restoration project and does seem to have a large wildlife population, we saw herons, egrets, grackles and turtles. There were also fish darting back and forth under the murky surface of the water.
The river entrance to the Kenilworth Gardens was now accessible since it was high tide. We paddled in and I located the bench that the park ranger had pointed out to me last weekend.
We paddled up the last stretch of the Anacostia to Bladensburg and I shook my head as I watched a tourist boat chug by leaving at least 8 plastic bottles bobbing in its wake. As I pulled big Red up the ramp I spotted my German trainspotter friend standing on the quay. He'd gone home for breakfast and then returned. We chatted for a while but then I spotted more ominous clouds hanging overhead. I got the kayak on top of the car but didn't get all the straps tied before the rain came down. I was once again thoroughly soaked by the time I left the park. The downpour got heavier and heavier, accompanied by thunder and lightning, and not letting up until I had passed Fairfax. Yet arriving in Marshall I could see there had been no rain at all.
3 weeks ago