Hunt for the Silver Spring
Sligo-Dennis to Sligo Golf Course
Clear, Humid, 92 degrees (real DC summer!)
5 Kids, 2 Adults, Lots of Mica!
On this adventure, five brave kids followed Sligo Creek downstream 1.5 miles from Sligo-Dennis Rec Center to Sligo Creek Golf Course. We found lots of mica, caught a water bug, learned about pools and riffles, ventured in the wild hollow underneath the beltway, and discovered a fabulous surprise. Whoever took the initiative to mount an IKEA swing on the underbelly of the Forest Glen footbridge, I salute you. My personal hilights (other than the discovery of the swing) were the traverse of the beltway tunnel (dark, thrilling, lots of shrieking), the extended interaction with one curious duck at the end of the hike, and the enthusiasm for the collection of mica that persisted for the extent of the hike.
However, we also got a lot wetter than was intended. Although I test the water prior to every creek hike, I still feel that, given the quality issues that persist even on good days, it is safer for kids to stay dry above the waist. I very somberly explained this to the kids in our pre-hike circle, and they very somberly listened - for about an hour and a half. After that, the deep sparkling pools and the hot day won their little hearts. There's no need to get wet higher than the knees on the Sligo downstream hike - but there certainly is the opportunity. Which kids will find many a loophole in order to pursue (But, Miss Keely, I fell in....). Unfortunately, my next creek hike will probably need to be along a shallower route. I don't feel good about that. It's a sad state of affairs when adults have to be worried about our kids enjoying a creek on a hot summer day - and I hate to let that bridge swing go after only just discovering it. I don't know what it would take to control the water quality in such a densely populated area to the point where it would become safe for prolonged swimming - but whatever measures it would take, I'm voting for them.
Check out some of the best shots from the afternoon: