CHAIN BRIDGE: A Winter Reflection
ONE OF MY MOST FAVORITE places to hike in the District is below Chain Bridge in the ecologically fascinating Potomac Gorge, not too far from where I used to live in the Palisades, at least how the crow flies. (It generally takes a good half hour to hoof it down from my old haunts on Potomac Avenue down to the trail off the C&O Canal towpath.) On the Virginia side of the river is Pimmit Run, the site of an former mill where the Declaration of Independence and other key government documents were stashed away during the 1814 British invasion of Washington ... before they could be taken to Leesburg for safe keeping.
The Potomac Gorge runs approximately for 15 miles from the Key Bridge near Georgetown in the District and upriver past the Capital Beltway's American Legion Bridge to Great Falls. The marshy area between the Potomac River channel and the C&O Canal, one of the most biodiverse areas on the East Coast, floods periodically, creating an ever-changing environment that is criss-crossed by rivulets and small ponds and marked with boulders, tree limbs and other material washed down from points upriver.
I photograph the this section of the gorge a couple times a year to chart the changing nature of the ecosystem.