The water ran down the trail. It pooled on the trail. It coursed across the trail. It ran down our arms and legs into our gloves and shoes. The water eased up over the banks of Difficult Run to inundate the floodplain. It gushed down every little bank and swale. It burbled along the bridle path that parallels the paved trail. The water pelted our faces when we turned them up. It drummed on our helmets when we looked down. Broad Run was out of control under the new bridge (left). It swirled angrily around the [detestable] golf course that slew the bottomland hardwoods south of the trail last year. A few Virginia Bluebells held their heads above the brown swirls on the remaining floodplain.
Most of the wildflowers were saving themselves for more spectators, but the Bloodroot was in bloom near mile 12.5 (right), and violets were looking cheery on the thin soil of the Reston plateau. Of course the oaks were blooming too, but seeing their dangling yellow-green flowers required close attention, which we found increasingly difficult after we wrung out our gloves at Smith's Switch and turned for home.