“D.C. really is a ski town,” exclaimed a woman cross-country skiing near the Washington Monument on Sunday morning. She laughed at her comment as she glided away toward the Capitol. About 10 inches of snow blanketed the Washington area Sunday, providing excellent cross-country skiing and sledding conditions in the city.
Judging by other scenes Sunday, Washington is also a snowman town. Dozens of snowmen appeared on the Mall, particularly plentiful and clustered near the Capitol. The snow was rather powdery, so many of the snowmen were small, but a few achieved good size.
I made the trip to Washington on Sunday morning to photograph the year’s first snowstorm, and I walked my usual loop, from the Tidal Basin to the Capitol, photographing various scenes along the way. The Mall was bustling with activity, with lots of people sledding, building snowmen, playing football and running — and I even saw a few people biking. It was a fun snow day for many.
There was a challenge on the Mall for many, however, and it wasn’t from the cold weather or poor road conditions. The public restrooms on the Mall were closed because of the government shutdown. Ouch! I saw a few concerned looks from individuals who encountered the locked doors. Thank goodness for the portable toilets near the Capitol.
Regarding the weather during my photo trip, heavy snow showers alternated with lulls in the precipitation, and for about 10 minutes, very small sleet pellets stung my face. But for the most part, the storm produced a beautiful, long-duration snow for Washington.
And this will be a snowstorm that many of us remember well. Double-digit snowfalls don’t happen often in Washington.