The DC area sees more than its share of violent storms. Unfortunately, the bad weather takes its toll on the beautiful old trees along the Mount Vernon Trail. Three years ago a storm took out a tree that stood directly alongside the trail just south of Dyke Marsh. The tree was uprooted and fell away from the trail but its root ball ripped up a big chunk of the trail. This sort of thing isn't the end of the world. Most trail users could get around the wreckage without too much trouble most of the time. Little Nellie had no trouble posing for this picture.
Usually the National Park Service gets this kind of damage cleaned up and repaired in a matter of days. This area of the trail is especially scenic. (One of the two bald eagle nests is located about a quarter mile south of this point. It is all but impossible to see in the summer when the trees are full of leaves.) For some reason the Park Service didn't bother fixing this. They put up and orange traffic cone and forgot about it. Until last week when Big Nellie and I came through the area and were surprised to see the trail repaired.
Better late than never, I suppose. Thanks to the folks at the National Park Service for maintaining the trail. Without it, my ride to work wouldn't be nearly as fun.