The Big Thaw

Ice on the Potomac River at Big Slackwater

Ice on the Potomac River at Big Slackwater

After a bone-chilling February and a couple of late winter snows in the area, something had to give.  Along the Potomac at Big Slackwater, a warming trend led to the accumulation of river-wide shards of ice and debris flowing at a fairly rapid rate toward Dam 4.  Snow melted and ice cracked, leading to high water that freed up the clearing of the Potomac and its tributaries.  The accompanying soundtrack consisted of the usual grinding, sloshing, and cracking that comes with the changing of the seasons.  It may not have been as sensational as spring coming to the Yukon, but it got my attention.

River-wide flowing ice!

River-wide flowing ice!

Ice gathering along the Big Slackwater towpath

Ice gathering along the Big Slackwater towpath

Looking upstream

Looking upstream

Final shot

Final shot

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jamie on March 10, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Looking at those pictures it isn’t hard to imagine ice building up to the point where it covers the walkway at Big Slackwater.

    I haven’t hiked that stretch yet in my quest, but from the looks of the Potomac I missed an extraordinary opportunity to see something unusual.

    Reply

    • Posted by LevelWalker on March 10, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      The next day the river was up higher and the area was/is? closed. The towpath was buried in ice.

      Reply

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