Paw Paw Tunnel Hike (New Date)
(Sat); Craig(202) 462-0535
(Postponed from September 18 because of rain.) Dynamic Lollygagging™ at its best, as Adventuring goes Back To The Future for an old favorite! The 3/5-mile-long Paw Paw Tunnel near Cumberland is the most impressive construction feature on Maryland's C&O Canal, and it's time to revive Adventuring's once-annual pilgrimage. After hiking through the tunnel, we'll continue downstream to our lunch spot on the banks of the Potomac. Another two miles further will bring us to our traditional turnaround spot, the Old Sycamore Swimming Hole, still suitable for swimming (weather & water temperatures permitting). On our return route, you can either go up and over Tunnel Hill (the ridge the tunnel tunnels through) or else head back through the tunnel. Total length of this easy-to-moderate hike is about 8 miles, with a few hundred feet of elevation gain, some of it a bit steep, for those going over Tunnel Hill. Meet at 9 a.m. at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station. Bring plenty of beverages, a bag lunch, a towel and swimwear (if you're intrepid), and a flashlight. Transportation and trip fees should be around $25. We'll dine in Hancock on the way back.
Big Schloss Hike
(Sat); Jackson; Jeff(410) 422-9257; (301) 775-9660
Distance: 12.7 miles
Elevation gain: 2,300 feet
Difficulty: Very strenuous
To hike in October to Big Schloss (a dramatic rock outcrop atop Great North Mountain, so-named by early German settlers because it reminded them of castles on the Rhine) is to walk through a tunnel of autumnal gold towards a peak with unbridled views. Located in George Washington National Forest on the stateline between VA & WV, Big Schloss offers a 360° view, encompassing both the beautiful Trout Run Valley in West Virginia and Little Schloss Mountain in Virginia. We will begin with the challenge of a steady ascent along Little Stony Creek Trail amidst the first burst of fall colors. After that, our route will be a comparatively pleasant stroll along the ridgeline all the way to Big Schloss, where we will inhale the views as long as possible. A steep return will lead us back down the mountain to our starting point.
This is a very strenuous hike, in part because of the distance and elevation gain, and in part because of the brisk pace we'll have to maintain so that we can end before dark. We'll carpool at 8:30 a.m. on the Saturday of the Columbus Day Weekend from the East Falls Church Metro Station Kiss & Ride lot. Bring plenty of water, lunch, bug spray, sunscreen, sturdy footwear, and about $20 for transportation and trip fees, plus money for dinner on the way home. A post-hike change of shirt is recommended for your own comfort. Our regular Sheetz stop will provide the opportunity to buy your lunch en route. Because of the duration of the hike, we will return to East Falls Church Metro station after dark.
Southern Rock Creek Park Hike
(Mon); Peter(202) 352-4796
On this Columbus Day, we’ll return to one of our most popular urban hikes in southern Rock Creek Park. This will be an easy-to-moderate hike of 4 to 5 miles, through a scenic part of one of the world’s largest urban parks, hopefully with a little fall color thrown in. We’ll meet at 10 a.m. at Cleveland Park Metro, at the top of the escalators on the east side of Connecticut Avenue (the side opposite the Uptown Theater). We'll walk a little way up Connecticut and descend into the Park via the Melvin Hazen Trail. Once in the Park, we’ll visit an old stone quarry, Peirce Mill (renovated into a working mill again), the Rock Creek fish ladders, the iconic Boulder Bridge, Pulpit Rock, and the Jusserand Memorial. Bring bug spray, water, lunch, and the $2 Adventuring trip fee. We should return to the Cleveland Park Metro in the early afternoon.
DC to Baltimore Bike Ride
(Sat); Jerry C.(703) 920-6871
Some of you are now familiar with this ride, but for those of you who aren't be assured that there really is a decent way to bike from Washington DC to Baltimore without taking your life into your hands! I have done this one-way ride of approximately 49 miles many times now and I continue to enjoy its novelty and stretches of pleasant scenery. We'll use the MARC Penn Line's Bike Car service to get back to DC. The ride's terrain ranges from flat to moderately hilly. Although we will have some traffic to contend with along some segments of our route, many other parts are downright pleasant. You can email me to request a copy of this ride's cue sheet or TCX file (for GPS devices). I encourage everyone to do this unless you don't mind keeping me in sight throughout the ride. I'll be your "leader" in name, but I won't necessarily be out front since I favor a more leisurely pace (meaning an average moving speed of 10-12 MPH in bike-speak). Plan on a mid-afternoon lunch in downtown Baltimore upon completion of the ride. Bring a water bottle, something to snack on along the way and some money for our meal in Baltimore. Cost of train ticket for you and your bike to return to DC is $8.00. Be aware that you may need lights for your bike if the sun has set by the time we get back to DC. For those of you who need to get back to Columbia Island Marina I will lead the way from Union Station.
Meet by 8:30 AM at the south end of the Columbia Island Marina parking lot (near the marina building). Drivers can only access the parking lot from the southbound lanes of the GW Parkway. The closest Metro station, Pentagon, is about 1.5 miles away.
Team DC Promotes LGBT Sports in DC Area
Team DC is a charitable organization providing information on the many LGBT sports and recreation groups in the Washington DC area, educating the LGBT community on the benefits of individual and team sports participation, and working within the broader community to dispel discrimination against LGBT people participating in sports. You can subscribe to their Sportsgram or find out more about LGBT sports and recreation in the DC area by visiting the Team DC website: teamdc.org
Pick the Place—Set the Pace—Be the Face
Have you ever wanted to be the one who decides where Adventuring goes? Have you ever thought, “I would like to set the pace?” Have you thought, “More people like me should be on this trip.” Become a Trip Leader, and you can pick the place, set the pace AND be the new face of Adventuring!
Adventuring’s volunteer Trip Leaders hone leadership skills while having fun with friends. Trip Leaders share practical tips with each other while serving Adventuring’s unique mission—opening up the Great Outdoors to the LGBT community!
Becoming a Trip Leader is easy and free. Contact the Program Coordinator in your area of interest listed at http://www.adventuring.org/about.htm , or simply contact Keith Bennett at email@example.com. You can also contact any one on our Operations Committee listed at http://www.adventuring.org/about.htm.
Adventuring will pair you with a current Trip Leader with similar interests, and the two of you will plan and conduct your first Adventure together. Once you are comfortable with the process—then you get to pick the place, set the pace and be the new face of Adventuring!
Adventuring Joining w/ Capital Climbers
Adventuring announces its partnership with the Capital Climbers (formerly known as the DC Rock Jocks). At a recent Team DC Holiday party, leaders of both Adventuring and the Rock Jocks agreed to work together in 2015 on ways that would mutually benefit both groups. The idea is during the winter months (and beyond) Adventuring would encourage its members who are interested in learning and/or getting in shape for rock climbing to join their frequently scheduled "Open Climbs" or take an "Intro to Rock Climbing" course with their members at two of the DC area rock climbing gyms. The Rock Jocks have planned some of their own outdoor rock climbing trips in the past but were excited at the idea of joining future Adventuring trips benefiting from our carpool coordination experience. In the spring, Adventuring will begin offering outdoor rock climbing trips planned by our very own Dale Stevick who is also a member of the DC Rock Jocks. Both groups have committed to promote each others activities through their websites and social media.
Adventuring recommends that those Adventurers who have expressed interest in our upcoming trips, get in touch with the DC Rock Jocks to learn and practice with them indoors and obtain the proper equipment needed for our future outdoor climbs. Please contact Dale with Adventuring or Bryan Yamasaki with the DC Jocks for more information.
Information on the weekly Open Climbs at Earth Treks climbing center (www.earthtreks.com) in Rockville, Maryland.
DC Rock Jocks climb every Monday and Wednesday from 6:00pm-9:00pm. Bryan says that as long as people can metro out to the gym (one county block from the Rockville Metro Station), then there is a high possibility that one of our climbers that drives and lives in DC will be able to carpool 1-4 people back with them. Also their is a Sunday Open Climb from 2:00pm-5:00pm....maybe until 6:00pm followed by grabbing food, usually Chipotle or cheap Chinese food.
$22.00 - Day Pass
$05.00 - Harness Rental
$05.00 - Shoe Rental
To reduce costs, Livingsocial has this:
The Sportrock group of DC Rock Jocks (at the rock climbing center in Alexandria, VA) has selected Wednesday evenings as their meet up time for Open Climbing with majority of the members arriving between 6:30 and 7:00 PM. J Aron Hinson, Jonathan Plante, Ben Smith are regular attendees and good people to get to know.
The DC Rock Jocks are hoping to plan two intro rock climbing classes for Adventuring soon. The cost of the one at Earth Treks climbing center in Rockville would be $39 per person but there could be a discount if 10 – 15 people sign up. The cost of the one at Sportrock climbing center in Alexandria would be $35 per person which covers the total cost of the $18 entrance/$10 shoes and harness rental, plus a free pass to come back to climb and take your belay certification test. For more information about Earth Treks in Rockville contact Bryan Yamasaki at 240-603-2215 or more information at Sportrock in Alexandria contact Aron Hinson at 504-704-7091. Adventurers who are interested should link to the following Rock Jocks survey and submit so they can measure your interest level:
Make ROCK CLIMBING of your New Year's Resolutions. Use these winter months to prepare along with our friends at the DC Rock Jocks!
New Partnership with REI
Adventuring – LGBT Outdoors Club is excited to announce their decision to partner with recreational retailer REI for some joint special activities throughout the year. Adventuring and REI will kick off their new partnership during the week after Capital Pride 2016 in Washington, DC with two great adventures right here in our Nation’s Capital. The DC BYOBike Tour will be held on Wednesday, June 15th and the DC Monuments Sunset Kayak Tour will be held on Friday, June 17th. More details can be found on the Adventuring.org website or our Meetup and Facebook pages, with a link to REI’s registration website where the required prepayment can be made. Adventuring will also be holding a Summer Happy Hour at the REI Community Space at Wunder Garden on Thursday, August 18th. Attendance to these events requires payment in advance online – no additional Adventuring trip fees are needed for these special activities since REI will be donating the proceeds of each activity to Adventuring. For descriptions, costs, locations, and link to register, please check on www.adventuring.org or join our Adventuring – LGBT Outdoors Group on Meetup or Facebook.
Humpback Rocks Hike (Craig)
This was a long, long day for our 10 Adventurers; it was a 3-hour+ ride each way, and we didn't get home until close to midnight. Many thanks to our long-suffering drivers! But it was a rewarding day as well. We enjoyed a great view from Humpback Rocks, and then possibly an even better view of Wintergreen Ski Resort halfway through our trek. We took the long way back to our cars from this vista, and wound up with some interesting experiences as a result. First was the PO'd rattler next to our trail, all coiled and ready to strike and not about to go anywhere. Right after that, the heavens opened up and we got a good soaking. But we dried off in time to enjoy a fine dinner at Wintergreen, looking back at the mountain where we had just been. I sense a Wintergreen Weekend in 2017.
Hot-Short Mountain Hike (New Date) (Craig)
This hike could really be split into two distinct pieces. One part consisted of an easy leisurely stroll up and down the beautiful Nicholson Hollow Trail to the point where it crosses the Hughes River. The other part was a much more challenging climb up the seldom-seen Hot-Short Mountain Trail into the edge of Hazel Country. This part gave us more than we had bargained for, as the vanguard of our 13 Adventurers had a much-too-close encounter with a nest of wasps at the base of a tree along the trail, resulting in multiple stings. The victims thankfully warned the laggards in our party about the wasps' clear and present danger, so we were able to bushwhack our way around the trouble spot. At lunch we debated taking other trails back to Nicholson Hollow, but we nixed that Plan B once we realized such a detour would add 4 miles and 2 hours to our route. So instead we bravely retraced our steps down the Hot-Short Mountain Trail; this time all of us were able to avoid the wasps. We soaked our feet in the chilly but relaxing waters of the Hughes River before ending our 10-mile trek. The day ended with another outstanding dinner at the Northside 29 near Warrenton, where we taxed the wait staff's patience but not the quality of their service.
Alexandria-Wilson Bridge Hike (Craig)
21 Adventurers took part in this year's Labor Day hike on a very warm but not too oppressive late summer day. We took a new route through Old Town via Duke Street, with many opportunities to talk about Alexandria's inspiring Black History. We then walked on Union Street next to the Potomac to Jones Point Park, where we lunched and heard about Benjamin Banneker's indispensable role in surveying the original boundary of the District of Columbia. There seemed to be fewer cyclists and others sharing the Wilson Bridge with us this year as we ambled across. We debated the source of the vegetation which is now choking a large chunk of the Potomac near the Maryland end of the bridge; if it's not hydrilla, it's probably something very close to it. Many of us could not linger as long as we might have wished at National Harbor at the end of our hike, because one of the normally scheduled water taxi trips back to Old Town had been pre-empted by a charter voyage to Nats Park for a late afternoon ballgame.
Rocky Mountain-Brown Mountain Loop Hike (Jackson; Jeff)
There was not a rainbow in sight, but that did not stop us from having fabulous luck on this hike as many things turned out better than expected. The weather was not as hot as forecast, the trail was not as bare as anticipated, and the relatively clear skies left the beauty of southern Shenandoah exposed in all her glory. The only downside was the harmless but annoying harassment we had to endure from swarms of gnats during the second half of the hike. Regardless—or perhaps because of that—the compact group of 7 Adventurers traversed the 10.1 miles in exceptional time.
On our way out of Shenandoah, some of us were guided by our curiosity and stopped by a pyramid-shaped monument just across the road from the Swift Run Gap entrance. In what is a surreal moment of serendipity, we found that it was exactly 300 years ago on this day that Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood and his Knights of the Golden Horseshoe returned from an expedition across the Blue Ridge Mountains. This remarkable discovery was shared around the dinner table when we converged onto Giovanna's, which proved to be an excellent alternative to the usual Northside 29.
Hiking Canaan Valley (WV) Weekend (Craig)
Our eight Adventurers have so many highlights to talk about. We could start with Friday's drive on the new Route 48, the Robert Byrd Memorial Road to Nowhere through the Potomac Highlands and up the Allegheny Front, a super-highway as beautiful as it is useless. Saturday's circuit hike through the confusing web of trails in Blackwater Falls State Park was even more circuitous than expected, with unplanned loops within loops. But the weather was ideal, and a lot more comfortable than what DC had to suffer through. On Sunday we successfully bagged the highest peak in MD on Backbone Mountain via a WV trail that included a ginormous mudhole. We lunched at the historic Fairfax Stone, where the "furthest fountain" of the Potomac was totally dried up. Some of us stayed on to stroll for an hour through nearby Canaan Valley State Park before heading home. Special thanks to Patrick and Joe for fixing us such fantastic meals and saving everybody a heap of money in the process.
Deep Creek Lake Bike Weekend (Jerry C./Bob T.)
“It was an adventure.” Only he who said it knows whether the statement was praise for our weekend of cycling in western Maryland and West Virginia or an effort to avoid it. It's undeniable, though, that our 42-mile ride on a Friday of perfect weather offered impressive vistas of forested mountains and farmland as we pedaled our way through the northern reaches of the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. We “paid” for our long, almost effortless descent on a practically car-free road into the Cheat River Valley with a 4.5-mile climb up Lead Mine Mountain Road later in the ride. As we neared the top we could see a row of massive wind turbines, their blades slowly turning in the wind, an auspicious sight in a state formerly dominated by coal. After that long, slow climb we had one more nice descent before completing our ride with a series of shorter ups and downs. On Saturday, with rain threatening, the trip leaders devised a short bike ride to Swallow Falls State Park where we hiked through a stand of virgin hemlock to Maryland's highest waterfall, Muddy Creek Falls. It started to rain as we completed our hike so we retreated to the Park store where we attempted to wait out the rain. At the store we met a bride dressed in her wedding gown who had come to the Park for her wedding. She was a cyclist and was thrilled to meet other cyclists on her wedding day so she asked us to pose for photos with her and the groom and our bicycles. Special thanks to Bob Taylor for hosting us at his comfy condo on Deep Creek Lake. There's lots of good cycling in the Deep Creek Lake area so with any luck we'll get to do more of it in the future.
Cedar Run-Hawksbill-Whiteoak Canyon Hike (Julio; Jackson)
We started the hike with a bang! Cedar Run was very challenging, but the group proved their mettle and with short breaks we were able to go all the way to Hawksbill summit. After a short break for lunch, we took the Salamander Trail which connected to the Appalachian Trail. We were rewarded with some of the most amazing views that Shenandoah National Park has to offer us. Once we reached the horse stable, we started our way to Whiteoak Canyon. As always, the Whiteoak Canyon Trail was challenging, but the views made the trail quite endearing. We even saw a bear, this time from a safe distance. We were able to complete the hike thirty minutes before sunset. Fourteen miles of amazing views and a great team of nine hikers, sharing stories, laughter and good energies. It was awesome!
ADVENTURING COMMITTEE CONTACTS
These are the people who are chosen by the Trip
Leaders to make Adventuring's activities tick. Please
call them if you have any ideas, questions about our
events, hikes, rides and splashes, or if you want to
volunteer your skills.