After a cold and wet clean-up at Turkey Run earlier in the month, the K9TB clean-up team was treated to a perfect spring day for our "reward" hike. Our hike at Theodore Roosevelt Island was a special "Thank You" hike for those hearty folks who came out for the K9TB Potomac Watershed Clean-up event at Turkey Run Park. Not all of our clean-up crew could make it, but Nancy showed up with Tester, Cheryl with Oliver and Jess, Jeff and Cindy with Katy and Belle, Jeanne with Tanka, Bruce and Gail with Roscoe, Sara and Mark with Toby, and Mark, Barbara and Grant with Claire. In addition, Dan and Diane were able to come with Kea and Mesa. After orientation at the far end of the bridge to the island, we met up with Ranger Dana, who led us across the Potomac and on to historic Theodore Roosevelt Island.
As we started along the trail, Dana pointed out some of the many spring flowers and other plants that lined the path. We spotted Spring Beauty, Spring Cress, Golden Ragwort, Phlox and even some Jack-in-the-Pulpit. Our hike took us down past the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge and to some of the tidal wetlands of the Potomac. We followed the boardwalk through the marsh, observing the flora and fauna of that unique ecosystem. Some painted turtles enjoyed a nice sunning session on a log with the dogs and hikers safely in the distance. Ranger Dana talked about how the character of the wetlands change as the tide comes in and out. We noticed many cypress "knees" poking up through the reeds and other marsh grasses.
Our observations of natural history were mixed with discussions on the history of humans on the island from native Americans through the recognition of the island as a fitting monument to Theodore Roosevelt, die hard outdoorsman, and founder of the National Parks system. Ranger Dana showed us pictures of the now long gone Mason Mansion, that once graced the island while across the river we could see more modern structures of the Kennedy Center and Watergate Hotel.
Our final stop on the hike was the plaza with the stone and
bronze monument to President Roosevelt, a fitting end to a tour of the island.
After a lunch we thanked our guide, Dana, and headed out to enjoy the rest
of the beautiful spring day.
(click on images for larger pictures)