Blackberry Ice Cream Hike Part Deux
(Sat); Craig(202) 462-0535
Here is yet another chance to indulge in Shenandoah’s natural charms as well as its delicious blackberry ice cream while beating the Mid-Atlantic's infamous summer heat. We’ll celebrate the start of the long 4th of July Weekend with this moderate one-way trek of about 6.5 miles with 1000 feet of elevation gain, mostly on the Appalachian Trail in central Shenandoah National Park. We'll start at Jewell Hollow Overlook on Skyline Drive and head up to the majestic overlook on Stony Man Summit. At an elevation of just over 4000 feet, this ranks as the second highest point in the entire Park, where temperatures should be 10-15 degrees cooler than what others will be sweltering in down here. (For those who attend the first Blackberry Ice Cream hike on June 25, this time we will do the entire Stony Man circuit.) Afterwards, we'll stop for dinner and that yummy blackberry ice cream at the Park's nearby Skyland Resort. Bring plenty of water, a bag lunch, bug spray, sunscreen, and about $20 for transportation, admission and trip fees (plus whatever you'd care to spend at Skyland). Sorry, no pets allowed on the Stony Man Nature Trail. Meet at 9 a.m. in the Kiss & Ride lot at East Falls Church Metro.
Independence Day Hike @ Great Falls (MD)
(Tue); Jeff(301) 775-9660
Join us for the 8th annual Independence Day Hike at Great Falls, MD. We will carpool to historic Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center for an easy 5-mile hike along some of the scenic trails in the area, including a portion of the C & O Canal towpath. We will also conduct our annual Adventuring wildlife tally, seeing how many deer, geese, turtles, snakes, great blue heron and other species we can spy. Bring water, bug spray, sunscreen, lunch (we’ll eat at picnic tables after our hike) and about $4 for transportation and trip fees (one dollar bills appreciated). Meet at 11 a.m. at the top of the east escalator at Tenleytown Metro (in front of Panera Bread), or at 11:45 a.m. in front of the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center at the end of MacArthur Boulevard (address is 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, MD 20854). We should return to Tenleytown mid-afternoon (in plenty of time for those who want to get downtown to see the fireworks). Beginners and newcomers are especially welcome; drivers also needed!
Billy Goat Trail Hike
(Sat); Jeff and Matt(301) 775-9660
Here’s a chance to burn up some calories in anticipation of the Adventuring picnic on Sunday the 9th. The Billy Goat Trail at Great Falls, MD is one of Adventuring’s most popular hikes, and with good reason. Where else can you get so much of Mother Nature’s bounty so close to DC? There are rock climbs, spectacular vistas, and views of the raging Potomac beneath. Our route will be a combination of the Billy Goat Trail Section A with its two oft-neglected but lovely cousins, Sections B and C. Each section is approximately 1.5 miles long, and each is of moderate difficulty, with Billy Goat A being the most difficult of the three. The total length of this hike, including the C&O Canal portion from the Carderock Recreational Area, is approximately 11 miles. Expect to see magnificent views of the rushing waters of the Potomac and a waterfall or two. Expect crowds and rock scrambles on Section A and a more relaxed Zen experience on Sections B & C (we’ll do A first to avoid the worst of the crowds). Hikers will have the option of only doing Section A or Sections A and B, but hopefully you’ll decide to do all three. Please meet either at 8:00 a.m. at the Tenleytown Metro near the exit on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue by the Panera, or else at 8:45 a.m. at the third and final parking lot of the Carderock Recreation Area (GPS Coordinates: 38°58’34.5”N 77°12’19.9"W; just cut and past into Google Maps). Bring water, lunch, bug spray, sturdy boots, and $2 for the trip fee, with an additional $2 to reimburse your driver if you’re carpooling from Tenleytown. Fido is not welcome on this hike under National Park Service rules for Section A.
Adventuring Summer Picnic
Come to Adventuring’s annual summer picnic! Enjoy food and fun among fellow Adventurers. Share stories of past trips and your ideas for new ones! A great place for newcomers to meet. Adventuring provides grilled hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, and all the standard fixin’s - plus water, soft drinks, and ice. *You* bring a side dish to share and a $5 Adventuring fee to offset expenses.
Location: Once again we’re right in the heart of Rock Creek Park at Picnic Grove #1, just off of Beach Drive and across the road from Peirce Mill.
Schedule of Events:
• 11:30-12:00 Arrive with your dish
• 12:00 Grilling begins!
More activities are being planned so check back here for updates.
Directions, driving/biking: Google Maps finds Grove 1 if you enter ‘Rock Creek Park Site 001’ as the destination. For those who prefer narrative directions:
· From Connecticut Avenue / Tilden Street: As soon as Tilden changes from a divided to an undivided road, take a right into the parking lot.
· From Mt. Pleasant / Park Road: After crossing the bridge over Rock Creek, pass Peirce Mill on your right, then turn left into the parking lot.
· Via the Red Line: SafeTrack work on the Red Line is not due to start until 8/1, but Metro-ers should check wmata.com religiously and make a plan to be on time. Once at either Van Ness or Cleveland Park station, it is about a 20-minute hike to the grove using either Tilden Street or the Melvin Hazen Trail.
Please RSVP by Friday, July 7th so that we know how many burgers & dogs to bring. We’ll see you there!
Bear Church Rock Hike
(Sat); Peter(202) 302-9606
This moderately strenuous hike in the central section of Shenandoah National Park is mostly a walk in the woods, but it does feature good views from the summit of Bear Church Rock. The 8.8-mile up-and-back hike with approximately 2200 feet of elevation gain is not recommended for first-time hikers. Most of the elevation gain comes during the steep ascent toward Bear Church Rock. Bring plenty of water (at least 3 liters), lunch, bug spray, sunscreen and about $20 for transportation and trip fees. We will stop at a Sheetz on our way to the trailhead, where you can buy made-to-order sandwiches for lunch.
The drive to the trailhead will take about 2.5 hours and the hike itself should take about 4.5 hours. We likely will get back to the East Falls Church Metro station between 6:00 and 6:30 p.m. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the East Falls Church Metro Kiss & Ride lot.
Big Meadows/Meteor Shower Weekend
Adventuring's annual two hike weekend and joint stay at the Big Meadows Lodge and Campground in Shenandoah National Park along with the Capital Climbers is scheduled.
ADVENTURING HAS RESERVED 10 LODGE ROOM SPACES AT THE BIG MEADOWS LODGE FOR THE NIGHT OF SATURDAY, AUGUST 12TH. Each room is a Preferred Room with 2 Queen Beds. The charge for each space/bed is $105. Your RSVP here on Meetup is not a guarantee. Please send a deposit check for $105 (Lodge requires first night payment upfront) Contact Bill ASAP for information about how to write and check and where to mail. Once payments are received for all ten spaces, you will have to make your own reservations.
Two other lodging options: 1) After that, others can make their own reservations and still be welcome on our expeditions - book directly at: http://www.goshenandoah.com/lodging/big-meadows-lodge WARNING - THERE ARE NOT MANY AVAILABLE ROOMS LEFT AS OF JUNE 10th.
and 2) You can join the Capital Climbers who are camping near the Lodge on Friday and Saturday night. FOR CAMPING INFORMATION, contact Aron Hinson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will carpool from the East Falls Church Metro Station Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m.; note the early time. Bring plenty of beverages and Saturday's lunch, bug spray, sunscreen, a swimsuit and towel, an estimated $75-$100 for expenses beyond your room deposit (e.g., transportation/meals/trip fees), plus as much as you'd like to squander in the Tap Room.
Jeff is busy planning the routes for our hikes this year so stay tuned here for more details.
In between these two glorious days of hiking, we can delight in the pleasures of the Big Meadows Lodge, where we will rendezvous with our very own Aron Hinson and some of his rock climbing friends of Capital Climbers. They will climb nearby Stony Man on Saturday and camp on the campground adjacent to the Lodge. We will have dinner together, close the Tap Room at ten, and then enjoy a late night walk to the Meadows to view the annual Perseid Meteor Showers (weather permitting). What a sky show we have had in the past!!!
For those who have reserved a lodge room through Adventuring, you can only get a refund of your deposit (minus the Lodge's $15 cancellation fee) if you tell us to cancel your reservation before Monday August 7th.
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 any one on our Program Coordinators (either Woods Coordinator or Other Coordinator) 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!
New Partnership with REI
Adventuring – LGBT Outdoors Club announced their decision to partner with recreational retailer REI for some joint special activities throughout 2016. Adventuring and REI kicked 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 was held on Wednesday, June 15th and the DC Monuments Sunset Kayak Tour was held on Friday, June 17th. More details and photos can be found on the Adventuring.org website or our Meetup and Facebook pages. Adventuring also held a Summer Happy Hour at the REI Community Space at Wunder Garden on Thursday, August 18th. We look forward to holding more of these co-promoted events in the future.
Adventuring continues it's partnership with the Capital Climbers (LGBT rock climbing group) http://www.capitalclimbers.com/ that began in 2015. One of the highlights of this partnership is the annual Big Meadows/Meteor Shower Weekend held in Shenandoah National Park in early August. The Capital Climbers reserve campground spaces while Adventuring reserves a block of rooms at Big Meadows Lodge which members from each group are welcome to stay at either location. Adventuring plans two days of hiking along the SNP trails while the Capital Climbers set out to scramble the face of Stony Man summit. In the evening they come together at the lodge for drinks at the Tap Room, dinner in the dining room and a late night hike to the meadows to view the annual Perseid meteor shower.
Trillium Hike (Jerry C.)
Well, we knew rain was in the forecast, but we were hoping it would pass us by. No such luck. That said, it wasn't a total washout, and our group of nine had come prepared with raingear. On the plus side, there were plenty of trilliums to see, though they looked a little bedraggled because of the rain. There was also an abundance of mayapple and wild geranium. Check out our photo album on Meetup or Facebook. We ate our lunch in the dry comfort of an AT trail shelter. The last part of our 8+ mile hike was undoutedly the most difficult. We had a rather long descent on a slick, muddy trail, and then had to wade across a rushing, knee-high stream. At least that washed all the mud from our boots. We stopped at a bakery in Marshall on the way home, and then one of our two cars decided that a stop at Spa World in Centreville would warm us and soothe our weary bodies. Thanks to Sherry for that great idea and to Thang for finding us a Groupon discount for Spa World!
DC to Baltimore Bike Ride (Jerry C.)
Strictly speaking, I was the only Adventurer on this bike ride. The other five riders came to me by way of OutRiders. We had a mix of veteran and first-time DC-to-Baltimore riders. Larry, Paul, James, and I departed from Columbia Island Marina and zipped through downtown thanks to all the road closures for Rolling Thunder. At 1st & M Sts. NE we picked up Kenneth, and later Tom caught up with us just as we were turning onto Edmonston Rd. in Greenbelt. At the halfway point I was able to practice my bike mechanic skills learned at VeloCity when James experienced a problem with his front derailleur. Luckily my provisional fix was able to get him to Baltimore. As for the weather, it was almost perfect except for that little downpour we encountered in downtown Baltimore. No matter. We watched the rain fall as we ate a great lunch at Joe Squared. The rain had just about stopped by the time we finished lunch, and in a few blocks we were at the train station. My riding companions were great company. If you haven't experienced this ride yet make a point to try it in the future. I like it and I lead it a lot!
Hoover Camp via Lower Rapidan Road Hike (Craig)
Our six Adventurers had thrills and chills galore today, but mostly before we took our first step. We encountered a major downpour on the drive to the trailhead, so long-lasting and severe that we detoured at the last minute to Graves Mountain Lodge to see if these conditions were going to last. Fortunately, the office manager there checked the radar screens on her computer and saw that the finally-departing storm was a rogue, with nothing bad behind it. Then the last mile of mountain road was not just unpaved but deeply eroded, with gaping canyons everywhere. Somehow our two cars (non-4WD) negotiated this perilous stretch to our parking area. We maintained a very fast pace to Hoover Camp, with just a little occasional light rain to contend with. We got a delightful tour of the Brown House from the volunteer rangers (husband & wife) stationed there for the summer. We were back at our lot on schedule. We ended our day with a leisurely dinner at the Northside 29 in New Baltimore.
Austin Mt./Furnance Mt. Loop (Peter)
Seven Adventurers headed out to the southern section of Shenandoah National Park to hike one of the most scenic trials in the Park on what turned out to be one of the loveliest days of the year. Mother Nature favored us with bright blue skies, moderate temperatures (low 70s), no humidity and many unobstructed views. It was Northern California weather but with intense greenery. The mountain laurel, which graced nearly the entire length of the trail, were in full bloom. After a strenuous 13-mile hike with nearly 3000 feet of elevation gain, about half of the party stopped in for dinner at Giovanna’s Italian Eatery in Madison, an Adventuring tradition.
Little Devils Stairs Hike (Peter)
Four Adventurers braved dire forecasts of all-day rain to hike the steep and scenic Little Devil Stairs Trail in Shenandoah National Park. Although there was rain on the drive out, there was nary a drop on the trail. Our group enjoyed cool, cloudy weather (it never topped 70 degrees F) while hiking through the lush green temperate rain forest that grows in the side canyons and hollows of the Park. We finished the hike at 2:30 p.m., at which time the clouds cleared and we drove back to Washington in brilliant sunshine. It was a strenuous but satisfying way to spend a Saturday.
Blackberry Ice Cream Hike Part I (Jeff)
You couldn’t have asked for a better day: sunny, breezy, with temps in the 70’s. A friendly group of 15 Adventurers took full advantage of this perfect weather as we hiked a particularly beautiful stretch of Shenandoah National Park. We began with the rugged climb to the summit of Hawksbill, SNP’s highest peak, where we enjoyed the views and the inviting wind. Then, we followed the Appalachian Trail to Stony Man, Shenandoah’s second highest peak, where we again were met with spectacular views and cooling breezes. After a vigorous day, the group retired to Skyland Lodge where we indulged in a variety of SNP’s signature blackberry ice cream treats. This was Adventuring’s first hike after the Summer Solstice, hopefully representing a harbinger of many exciting adventures in the warmer months to come.
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.