Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

Swept Away

Earlier this week, when the latest round of storms passed through Philadelphia, Brent and I both found ourselves stuck at home, with all roads leading out of northwest Philly – and all area highways – shutdown due to flooding, mudslides, or, in one instance, a giant boulder in the middle of the expressway.

So after spending the morning plowing through work, we did what any two adventure racers in our situation would do – we took to the trails to survey the damage.

We knew that Forbidden Drive, the 5.5-mile gravel path that is one of the hottest running spots in Philly, had been covered with water earlier in the day, but we weren’t sure what to expect when we left the solid ground of the high trails and crossed the Wissahickon Creek.

Still, neither of us was quite prepared for what we found.

What had been the day before a smooth gravel path was now a mess of rocks, the dense dirt that used to cover them having been washed clear downstream.

The dogs, generally wary of creeks and rivers, were so fascinated by the scene that they threw themselves into the deep puddles that covered their usual path.

There were fish, stranded on the trail as the waters began to recede…

We threw this guy back in the creek, but a lot of his buddies weren't so lucky.

…and once buried sewage lines, now towering over the rocky remains of the trail.

We ran/walked/hiked/waded for a couple miles toward the paved section of trail, the only part of the road where cars are allowed to pass.  Instead, we found this:


We left the Wissahickon then, and as I took to the treadmill for some speedwork, Brent decided to head further into the city, to check out the famed Kelly Drive loop.

Yep, somewhere under all that water is the Philadelphia Marathon. The city’s got a lot of work to do before November!


14 responses to “Swept Away

  1. Laurie September 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Just think how technical the mountain biking will be now. Just got back from a run mostly on road but I looped onto some trails for a bit. Parts looked untouched but parts, well, creeks have replaced singletrack, boulders have sprouted up… Bill just left for a ride and it will be interesting to hear about what he sees, I am working on a similar post, by the way!

  2. kari w/ Running Ricig September 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I’m glad you saved the fish :)!

    Those pictures are completely ridiculous! I can’t even wrap my head around it. I’m glad you guys are alright (aside from the roof)!

  3. Kara September 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    You guys are nuts, but I loved the pictures. Great job on the fish rescue. 🙂

  4. Jill September 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    WOW!!! I just can’t even imagine, Colorado gets NOTHING like that – ever! In fact, my yard is really toasty right now, will you pipe some of that water to my backyard please?

  5. Sarah S @RunningOnWords September 11, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Woah, that is insane! Is most of the water receding on its own at this point? You took some great pictures!

  6. Denise September 12, 2011 at 10:23 am

    i hate seeing the trail like this!! you’re going to have to keep me updated on when it’s in good enough condition to run on. it’s long run marathon time so i need my forbidden drive back!

  7. Julie (A Case of the Runs) September 12, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Philly is actually a planned race of mine for next year… scary to know that parts of the course could flood like this! When I did Fargo, they cleared out the flood water just days before the start of the race. Talk about a *whew* moment!

  8. adventureisoutthere September 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    The picture of you and dog is beautiful and devastating at the same time.
    Those poor fish 😦

  9. Angela K. September 12, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Those pictures kind of make blizzards seem like a better weather hazard to have to deal with. My dad is up near Binghamton and my grandparents are from Wilkes Barre and it is just terrible. Great pictures.

  10. Black Knight September 13, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Lucky fish: you made a great thing. We must love the animals.
    What a flood! I hope that you relatives are ok. Great pictures.
    Here the only and last flood was in 1982 and I spent all the day in rescue operations.

  11. Samantha @ Bikini Birthday September 13, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Wow, that’s really unfortunate that the area flooded so badly 😦

  12. Coy September 13, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Ohhhh my goodness. I didn’t know that was where the Philly Marathon was. I ran that last year and the year before. You’re right, they do have plenty of work ahead of them! Nice pics!

  13. Pingback: The Comeback Run « Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

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