This Memorial Day weekend Old Town Ellicott City suffered it’s second devastating flood in two years. Each time a “freak” rainstorm destroyed business, damaged homes and local roads, and parklands in a horrific reply of the flood of 2016. That one, we were assured was a “1000 year” storm — an event that we’d never see again in our lifetimes.
That prediction turned out to be way off.
Trolley Trail #9
Our 1.5 Trolley Trail #9 is a favorite among hikers and bikers. This paved, 1.5 mile trail connects Catonsville to Old Town Ellicott City. Along it is a local bakery (perfect place for a break on a leisurely day), Benjamin Banneker Park (a local gem), and what is normally a small, burbling creek.
A few weeks after the flood, it. was passable but with the flood’s ravages evident. A wooden bridge, replaced after the 2016 storm, is tilted, as if giant hands grabbed it and twisted hard.
Exiting the bridge (if you’ve been riding uphill from Westchester Road) there’s a pothole that’s eaten most of the trail, requiring cyclists to dismount and walk around it.
Mud, uprooted trees, and an intense, sunglass-fogging humidity bear witness to what happened a few weeks ago.
It will take a time and help for it to recover – and it may never be quite what it was.
My Personal Storm
I felt a kinship with this damaged-but-still-vital path as I rode along. I endured my own, personal storm during the past year and a half. It’s an experience I’m still recovering from. It began in the fall of 2016 with an ultrasound and mammogram that established I had breast cancer. A 3-phase treatment process that came next left me, too, damaged-but-still-vital.
“We’re resilient, the trail silently told me as I rode along. We might look different, and feel different. But we’re still here. The birds still sing, the flowers still scent the air.
We have been through a lot, you and I. Even so, we continue on. We persist; our energy renews. We quietly thrive and celebrate what is.”