Overall Run Falls Hike
(Sat); Craig(202) 462-0535
(This trip replaces the Fridley Gap hike originally scheduled for October 10, which will be postponed to a date in November TBA.) Our recent Noachian deluges (Big Meadows in the heart of Shenandoah National Park recorded 8.8 inches of rain in just one day) have recharged Shenandoah's waterfalls after a long summer's slumber. Our hike today features the highest (and to my mind the most scenic) waterfall in the entire Park, Overall Run Falls. We'll approach the falls from Hogback, the highest peak in the northern section of Shenandoah, and lunch at a spectacular overlook next to the falls, with a stunning view of Massanutten and other mountain ranges to the west. Then we'll use a series of trails, including the beautiful but seldom-seen Weddlewood Trail, to circle Mathews Arm Campground and return to our Hogback parking lot. Total length of this strenuous semi-circuit hike will be about 9 miles, with 2000 feet of elevation gain. Bring beverages, lunch, bug spray, sturdy boots and about $20 for transportation, trip and admission fees. We'll carpool at 8:30 this morning from the East Falls Church Metro station; park in either lot, then come inside to gather by the station attendant's kiosk.
Fridley Gap Hike-POSTPONED
(Sat); Craig(202) 462-0535
(This hike will be postponed to a date in November TBA; it is being replaced by the Overall Run Falls hike.) This trip will have special meaning for me, since it's basically a reenactment of the very first hike I ever did with Adventuring in April 1985 in the Fridley Gap area of the Massanutten Mountains between New Market and Harrisonburg, VA. Segments of the trails we'll use in this 6-mile loop are quite steep, and we'll have to climb about 1800 feet all told, so this outing must be rated strenuous. Bring beverages, lunch, bug spray, and about $18 for transportation and trip fees. Meet at 9 a.m. at the East Falls Church Metro Station. Park in either the torn-up Kiss & Ride lot or the main lot and then come inside to meet by the station attendant's kiosk.
Southern Rock Creek Park Hike
(Mon); Randy; Bill(619) 757-0640; (443) 244-5495
On this Columbus Day 2015, we’ll return to one of our most popular urban hikes, 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; look for the co-trip leader’s maroon Barcelona cap). 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, Pierce Mill (restored back to its initial beauty), the Rock Creek fish ladders, the iconic Boulder Bridge, Pulpit Rock, and the Jusserand Memorial. We’ll also hear bits of background from our co-trip leader, an employee in the Park’s maintenance yard, highlighting its history as native hunting grounds and the 1890s test case for federal preservation of land and resources. All that and much more! Bring bug spray, water, a mid-day snack or lunch, and the $2 Adventuring trip fee. We expect to return to Cleveland Park Metro around 1 p.m.
Fall Color Hike @ Maryland Heights
(Sat); Jeff(301) 775-9660
Last year’s Fall Color hike on Maryland Heights overlooking Harpers Ferry, WV was one of the high points on Adventuring’s schedule, and we’re hoping to repeat the excitement for 2015. Even without the fall colors, Maryland Heights is one of our most popular hikes. It’s no wonder, as it provides spectacular views all along the way. However, be forewarned that this scenic and historic hike is also physically challenging. Some previous Adventuring excursions to Maryland Heights have had to be aborted before we got to the summit because several of our hikers were just not ready for all the exertion they needed to put out. But for those able to make it, the rewards will be stupendous. After a lovely walk through the Lower Town of Harpers Ferry and then along the Potomac on the C&O Canal, we’ll begin the steep upward trek to the summit, where we will lunch among the remnants of the Civil War Stone Fort . We’ll then descend to the magnificent Harpers Ferry Overlook. Once we return to Harpers Ferry, those so inclined can tour around town for a couple of hours before we reconvene for drinks and an early dinner. Total length of this strenuous outing should be about 7.5 miles, with 1700 feet of often-steep elevation gain. Bring plenty of beverages, lunch, bug spray, sunscreen, sturdy boots and about $15 for transportation, admission and trip fees. Meet at 9 a.m. at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station.
Rose River Fire Road Hike
(Sun); Bill (443) 244-5495
This moderate hike along the Rose River Fire Road will begin by walking into the Shenandoah National Park from the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We will explore the route of the Gordonsville-New Market Turnpike, completed in 1853 by the Blue Ridge Turnpike Company. This winding historic road, lined with fall foliage hopefully near its peak, follows the Rose River, with beautiful sections of falls and rapids. Dogs are very welcome, but a leash is required inside the Park.
We will park at the gorgeously situated Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, VA around noon and first grab a quick lunch at their Apple Harvest Festival. Then we will shuttle a few cars three miles down the road to the entrance to the Rose River Fire Road. We will stroll along this gently sloping road for as long as we want, as long as we return to Graves Mountain Lodge by 4:30 p.m. Everyone should bring beverages, lunch (or buy one at the Apple Harvest Festival), bug spray and about $15 for transportation and trip fees. For those who wish, please stay and join me for their famous Sunday buffet dinner with fried chicken and country ham inside the Lodge; bring an additional $21.95 for this feast. While waiting for dinner to be served at 6 p.m., we can visit their orchard (bring home some fresh-picked fruit), warm up by the fire inside the Lodge, play with your dog out on the acres of grassy fields (the Lodge is dog-friendly), buy some old-fashioned homemade preserves at the Gift Shop or relax sitting on their porch with spectacular mountain views. Come and see nature’s way of blanketing the mountains with stunning color during October. You will feel like you are eating at Grandma’s house. PLEASE NOTE: Those who plan to stay for the buffet dinner need to RSVP by Friday October 9 and answer the question about the dinner below. http://www.gravesmountain.com/
Question #1 Can you be one of our carpool drivers or will you need to ride with somebody else??
Question #2. Will you be staying for the old-fashioned Fried Chicken and Country Ham buffet dinner served promptly at 6 p.m.? A commitment is needed for reservations by Friday October 9, so make your commitment by answering yes or no here. Bring an additional $21.95 for the dinner plus extra for drinks.
Question #3. Please list your cell phone number.
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!
Team DC Night of Champions Awards Dinner
Team DC will hold its annual Night of Champions Awards Dinner on Saturday, November 7, 2015. This is the one time of the year when all of the clubs in the LGBT sports community gather to honor our local leaders who help make the DC region such a diverse and welcoming place for recreational sports.
Team DC will also recognize the recipients of the 2015 Team DC College Scholarship Program. Nine young men and women were recently named and we'll hear from some of them that evening. Proceeds from this event help to support the Scholarship Program.
Tickets are only $100 per person and include a Cocktail Reception, Silent Auction and seated three course dinner followed by the Awards program. Tickets and additional information are available at this website: http://www.teamdc.org/champions/. Those wishing to be a Table Captain or Sponsor should contact Randy Meck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big Meadows Hiking Weekend (Jeff; Joe)
You couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather as a spirited group of seven Adventurers traveled to Shenandoah National Park for our annual Big Meadows hiking weekend. Saturday’s adventure was the Riprap Hollow Circuit in southern SNP, where we had numerous opportunities to check out the magnificent vistas and also plunge into the chilly waters of a swimming hole (though only two of our group indulged in that eye-opening experience). On Sunday, there were more vistas as we hiked up and around Stony Man, the second highest peak in Shenandoah. In between the two hikes, we spent a delightful evening and morning at Big Meadows Lodge, where we had our fill of delicious food, potent “Prohibition” drinks, and a father-son singing duo that would have been visually improved if the father had stayed home. We also got to raise a few glasses with our buddies in the Capital Climbers. Saturday evening was capped with astronomical wonder as we ventured outside on a clear, moonless night to marvel at the magnificent abundance of stars (and some shooting stars) that are normally hidden from us by the bright lights of DC. Definitely a Big Meadows weekend to remember!
Skyland to Big Meadows Hike (Jay)
Ten Adventurers met up at 11 at the Skyland Lodge for a morning cup of joe and a hike down the Appalachian Trail on a day of beautiful weather. We spent about an hour getting cars shuttled to our endpoint (inspiring me to start any future shuttle hikes at an earlier time so we get out on the trails earlier). Our climb to the top of Hawksbill led to stunning views in almost every direction. We grabbed a quick lunch on the summit before heading back down to the AT. We finished our hike at Big Meadows, with a casual dinner and blackberry ice cream in its New Market Taproom. By the time we headed home, it was dark out. With a supermoon predicted for the next day, the view of the near-supermoon out of our car windows during the drive home was truly stunning.
Crabtree Falls (VA) Hike (Craig)
Nine Adventurers gathered at noon in the large but still overflowing parking lot at Crabtree Falls after a long, long drive from East Falls Church. We immediately ate lunch on a bench at the base of the falls before starting up the well-engineered trail. As we had feared in light of the on-going drought, there wasn't much water falling at the falls, but even a trickle looks pretty impressive when it drops hundreds of feet at a time. The trail was quite crowded, mostly with families with small children if not papooses; not too many UVA students, alas. We reached the top of the falls in less than an hour and Lollygagged Dynamically (TM) while soaking in the wonderful panorama. We retraced our steps to the bottom and then, with time and energy on our hands, drove down the mountain a ways so we could hike a few miles on the Appalachian Trail. The AT's impressive suspension footbridge over the Tye River was the scenic star of this part of our outing. We ended the day with a feast at the Bavarian Chef on Route 29 just south of the Madison Sheetz. Everything was outstanding, especially the bell pepper soup and the array of ten German-style vegetables we were served family-style. We hadn't dined here in years, an oversight which hopefully we won't repeat.
Labor Day Weekend at Seneca Rocks, WV (Craig)
Seven Adventurers were able to participate at least to some extent during our wonderful holiday weekend excursion. Joined by both John of Berkeley and William of West Virginia, we maxed out our attendance on Saturday for our first event, a circuit hike at the northern end of the North Fork Mountain Trail. We went up towards Chimney Top the very steep hard way, and muggy conditions just made it more challenging. Everybody else that day seemed to prefer going uphill the easy way via the Landis Trail; but hey, that's the Adventuring spirit! After this hike we checked into our cabins at Yokum's, which frankly could have used some upgrades; still, our breakfasts in their restaurant were outstanding. Weather was practically ideal on Sunday, a day marked by a whirlwind of activities; many thanks to John, BTW, for offering his services as one of our drivers before heading off on his own adventures. We started with a relatively easy up-and-back hike along the crest of North Fork Mountain at the southern end of its eponymous trail. Then we drove a few miles over to Spruce Knob, highest point in WV, where we drank in spectacular views in every direction. After a quick spin through the beautiful Germany Valley, we ended our day with a quick thousand-foot ascent of Seneca Rocks for yet more views; lots of company on this trail. That evening we witnessed a great fireball streaking across the sky, even brighter and longer-lasting than anything we had seen at Big Meadows during the recent Perseids. On Labor Day our final three Adventurers hiked a relocated section of the Tuscarora Trail along the VA/WV line for one last vast panorama at Eagle Rock. En route we had a delightful conversation with a young gentleman who was running up and down the rocky trail bare-footed; he provided excellent advice on where we should lunch atop Eagle Rock. On our return leg we chatted with some friendly equestrians; what they and their horses were doing on our footpath in the first place, however, was not clear. We ended our fantastic weekend with ice cream at our old favorite, Pickle Bob's.
Jeremys Run-Neighbor Mountain Hike (Craig)
The ever-fickle Weather Gods must have decided to have some fun with the seven veteran hikers who started the long trail down Jeremys Run and its 14 crossings on a prematurely autumnal September day. They had set the stage the day before with the first respectable rain in weeks, putting a respectable but hardly intimidating amount of water into the stream. But just as we completed crossing #5, the Weather Gods unleashed a steady and unpredicted dousing upon us that lasted for more than an hour. They punctuated their mischief with one single loud thunderclap, unaccompanied by any lightning, that raised fears of a sudden downpour and a rare flash flood. But we soldiered on regardless, and mastered each crossing with many a helping hand for the unsteady in our midst. Just as we completed the final crossing, the Weather Gods got tired of toying with us and the rain finally relented. After a leisurely lunch, we proceeded up (and up, and up) Neighbor Mountain, which looked more attractive in the emerging sun than the Jeremys Run valley had in the rain. As we neared the end of our trek, we encountered a couple of brothers who were speed-hiking the AT in the Shenandoah area; 60 miles a day were as nothing to them. That put the trials of our mere 10.7-mile stroll into proper perspective.
King Street to Arlington Cemetery Hike (Theresa)
The weather expectations were grim and with Metro single-tracking, our numbers were slightly reduced. Today, however, turned out to be an almost perfect fall day. The temperatures were in the high 60s to low 70s, and we actually saw some sunshine. Sixteen Adventurers left the King Street Metro Station around 9:20 a.m. and strolled through Old Town Alexandria on our way to the Mount Vernon Trail. Once there, we enjoyed beautiful views of the Potomac and encountered numerous other outdoor enthusiasts. We stopped for lunch at Gravelly Point Park around 11:30, a little more than halfway through our journey. After lunch we stopped twice for group photos, first at the Navy and (Merchant) Marine Memorial and then at "The Hiker" statue (how fitting) outside of Arlington National Cemetery. Thank you to all that came out today for what turned out to be a wonderful hike!
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.