Hoover Camp-Dark Hollow Falls Hike
(Sun); Craig(202) 462-0535
Believe it or don't, I've found a brand new route to follow on our annual May expedition to Hoover Camp in the heart of Shenandoah National Park, one that incorporates a stop at one of Shenandoah's most spectacular waterfalls. Beginning from Milam Gap on Skyline Drive, we'll proceed directly downhill to the Brown House, built as a comfy rural retreat for President Herbert Hoover and his equally-outdoorsy First Lady, Lou. We'll lunch on the Brown House porch and hopefully get a tour of the premises. Then we'll start heading back uphill, first via the historic Rapidan Road and then via the little-used Stony Mountain Trail. This will deposit us on the Rose River Fire Road, which in turn will channel us towards a narrow and dramatic ravine leading up to Dark Hollow Falls. We'll Lollygag Dynamically (TM) here no little time before heading back up to Skyline Drive. Afterwards we'll have refreshments (including blackberry ice cream, of course) at the nearby Big Meadows Lodge. Total length of our strenuous one-way hike will be about 8 miles, with roughly 1500 feet of cumulative elevation gain spread over two stretches. Bring plenty of beverages, lunch, bug spray, sunscreen and about $15 for fees, plus whatever you care to spend on refreshments at Big Meadows. We'll carpool at 8:30 a.m. (note the early meeting time) from the East Falls Church Metro Station Kiss & Ride lot on this Sunday morning in the middle of the Memorial Day Weekend, when traffic should be lighter than on either Saturday or Monday.
Old Town Alexandria-National Harbor Hike
(Mon); Theresa(252) 876-1469
Come join us on this hike to make your Memorial Day memorable. We will start from the King Street Metro Station and take a leisurely stroll through Old Town Alexandria before arriving at Alexandria National Cemetery. From there we will head toward the Alexandria waterfront via the Wilkes Street tunnel. We will enjoy spectacular views underneath the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and then head to nearby Jones Point Park for lunch before crossing the bridge. Our 1.1-mile crossing of the Potomac should be a delightful experience, as we enjoy more magnificent views before arriving at the National Harbor development. We will be carried back to Virginia by water taxi to the Alexandria docks, close to the free trolley that heads back to the King Street Metro. Total length of this easy-to-moderate one-way hike will be approximately 7 miles. Bring plenty of beverages, lunch, the $2 trip fee, and $8 for the water taxi. (Do bring your own lunch, since it eats up too much time if everybody tries to buy lunches en route.) Meet at 10 a.m. at the station attendant's kiosk at the King Street Metro.
Gambrill State Park Hike (MD)
(Sat); John D.(301) 524-9369
Gambrill State Park, overlooking Frederick, MD along the ridge of Catoctin Mountain, features a torrent of dogwood blooms at the end of May, quickly followed by an explosion of mountain laurel blossoms at the beginning of June. With luck, we might catch both in full glory on this Yellow Poplar Trail circuit hike. At about 10 miles, it is the longest of the six trails in the Park, yet it is only moderately difficult. Cumulative elevation gain should be about 1000 feet. Gambrill State Park offers visitors dramatic views of farmland and forest from stone overlooks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. Our trail's best overlook offers a birds-eye view of Frederick and Sugarloaf Mountain. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, bug spray, and a bag lunch. Transportation and trip fees should be under $10. We'll meet at 9 a.m. inside the Shady Grove Metro Station by the station attendant's kiosk. Please park in the station's East Kiss & Ride lot by using the I-370 East exit off of I-270 and going all the way to its end.
Blackberry Ice Cream Hike Part I
(Sat); Jeff(301) 775-9660
This is the first in a series of summer hikes where Adventuring demonstrates our two-part plan for beating the DC heat: First, we hike in the highest elevations in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park; and second, we then indulge our sweet tooth with generous quantities of Shenandoah’s notorious blackberry ice cream. This week’s adventure will be to hike between (and to the top of) the only two peaks above 4000 feet in SNP. Temperatures at such exalted heights should be 10-15 degrees cooler than down in the sweltering flatlands. Plus, we'll enjoy one spectacular overlook after another along the way. We'll begin by marching from Skyline Drive to the lofty summit of Stony Man (4010 feet), with a breathtaking view across the Shenandoah Valley. Then, we’ll bump along the Appalachian Trail a few miles south to Hawksbill (4050 feet), where we’ll enjoy unobstructed views in almost every direction. Once we’ve burned up all those calories, we’ll instantly put them back on with dinner, followed by blackberry ice cream. Total length of this moderate-to-strenuous hike is 9.5 miles, with about 1400 feet of cumulative elevation gain. Bring plenty of beverages, lunch, bug spray, sunscreen, about $20 for admission, transportation and trip fees, and as much as you'd like to splurge for dinner and dessert afterwards. Sorry, no pets are allowed on the Stony Man Nature Trail. Meet at 9 a.m. in the East Falls Church Metro Kiss & Ride lot.
Lower Yough Whitewater Trip
(Sat-Mon); Bob T.703-271-4190
This whitewater raft trip will be on the Lower Yough which is rated class 3 (class 1 being easy and class 5 being expert). Most will probably choose to do either 1- or 2-person rubber duckies at a cost of $64. The outfitter recommends that you have some type of whitewater experience if you choose a rubber duckie. I would rate a class 3 in a rubber duckie to be equivalent to a class 5 in a raft. If some people would prefer the raft option add another $25 for a guided raft. We will raft the river on Monday, June 8, when the river is less crowded.
Plan to drive or carpool to Deep Creek Lake on Saturday. On Sunday we will do a morning hike to Swallow Falls . The afternoon is free to bike, try a stand-up paddle board on Deep Creek Lake, kayak on the lake or try possibly the only man-made whitewater course (class 3-4) in the world at Wisp, the local ski resort. Some may choose to just relax before the whitewater trip on Monday.
Logistics: The group will stay in the trip leader's condo on Deep Creek Lake. The only cost will be the $30 per person clean-up fee charged by the rental company. Deep Creek Lake is a 3¼ hour drive from D.C. I can try to organize carpooling if needed. Our launch time will be 11:30. Participants will stay Saturday and Sunday night at Deep Creek Lake and Monday night if they wish. We can eat out at local restaurants for supper and cook breakfasts at the condo.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 with Rock Jocks
Adventuring announces its partnership with the RainbowClimbingDC group better 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!
Greenbelt Park Hike-NEW DATE (David)
It started out as an overcast day, with sprinkles that arrived prior to the group meeting at the Metro station for carpooling. Prepared for all types of weather, the threat of sprinkles was not enough to intimidate eighteen ambitious Adventurers and two canines from an early spring outing. The brisk winds quickly whisked away the clouds and the day transformed into a brilliantly sunny and warm spring day. The previous night’s rain quickly evaporated, which kept the usually muddy trails to a minimum. The dry trails were much appreciated because our trip that was planned in March was completely washed out by a deluge of rain. Yet another sign of a slow and late to appear spring this year, the Park only revealed a few small glimmers of spring greenery. Near the end of the hike, one very minor outburst of spring runoff was no match for the Adventurers who leaped the aqueous flow in one bound. Copious amounts of chat cascaded as we made our figure-8 loop around the park. An impromptu lunch and post-hike chat bloomed atop the park’s picnic tables in the bright sun.
Sugar Knob Cabin-Big Schloss Hike (Jay)
Nine Adventurers climbed their way along an unusually muddy trail next to Little Stoney Creek, forged across the high ridgeline of Great North Mountain, and stormed the "castle" of Big Schloss. The actual length of the trip was debated, with multiple guidebooks and GPS devices suggesting we had walked different amounts of miles, but it appears that we did exceed the ~11 miles listed in the trip description. It was one of the first sunny days of this spring, and as we climbed out of the valley we got to enjoy some great rays of sunshine, as well as some nice spring breezes. Our hardy group rarely stopped for a break during our initial climb from the parking area up to Signal Knob Cabin. Here we stopped for lunch before briefly following the Tuscarora Trail to the Mill Mountain Trail along the Great North Mountain crest. The views from Big Schloss were tremendous, under a nice, clear blue sky. The steep descent of the final leg of our trek was a bit hard on some ankles and/or knees. Most of us stopped off at Jalisco's in Front Royal for a Mexican bite on the way home.
Croydon Creek Nature Center Hike (MD) (David)
Following a string of damp and cloudy weather days, today’s weather came as a delight to 17 Adventurers as they sauntered through the streets of Rockville. While most of the area’s citizens and visitors were Tidal-Basin-bound to photograph the blooming cherry blossoms, we made our way for a more distant location to witness spring’s arrival. We visited F. Scott Fitzgerald’s gravesite, where his twisting story of fame and obscurity led to his second burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery. We then made our way to the Nature Center, passing homes where residents were busy preparing for spring. The sun was at its full intensity, the sky cerulean, the grass deep green, and the trees and flowers were ready to burst with springtime elation. Even the pollen was ramping up its vernal appearance, as several Adventurers could ruefully attest. Ah, springtime! Working up an appetite for good food, a few Adventurers diverted to Rockville Town Center afterwards to feast upon delicious Thai food at Tara Asia.
Bull Run Bluebell Hike (VA) (Theresa)
Eleven enthusiastic Adventurers enjoyed a colorful hike along the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail starting from Bull Run Regional Park. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect: unny and warm after a most brutal winter. The bluebells were very abundant and in full bloom along with several other wildflowers. About halfway through our excursion, we ate a peaceful lunch on the top of a large hill. Shortly thereafter, we resumed the hike reversing our direction on the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail. For the last section of our trip, we crossed over to the Bluebell Trail where once again, Mother Nature did not disappoint. Approximately eight miles and three and a half hours later, we returned to the Bluebell parking lot where we began our journey. Thanks to everyone for coming and for making it into an enjoyable day!
Arboretum Azaleas Ramble (Damon)
Spectacular weather and a gorgeous flower display greeted 32 Adventurers at our annual "ramble" around the National Arboretum. After a few glitches due to parking issues (a perennial problem), we got underway a little after 10 and headed directly for the azaleas, which helpfully produced their peak bloom on this very weekend. As an unexpected bonus, we were able to view one of DC's 3 bald eagle's nests, through a telescope helpfully set up by the inner-city Earth Conservation Corps, which provides observers daily. One eagle was clearly seen defending the nest, as if sitting for a portrait, after another flew off, presumably for forage. We then trekked to the eastern edge of the park to view dogwood, camellias, and Asian flora. We returned by way of the famous Capitol Columns, which once held up the east front of the Capitol during the Lincoln Inauguration and many others until their removal in the 1950s. A picnic lunch on the Visitor Center patio capped a perfect day.
Trillium Hike (Jerry C.)
I'm pleased to report that the trilliums put on a wonderful display for our band of 20 hikers. Mayapples and wild geraniums were also in abundance. We encountered a few birders, wildflower enthusiasts and AT thru-hikers but, surprisingly, mostly had the trails to ourselves. Craig, our esteemed woods coordinator, showed us the very spot where his head had an unfortunate encounter with a rock on a prior hike. Happily, he recovered fully from that trauma. At our lunch stop at the shelter John of Berkeley delighted us when he offered us an assortment of chocolate bars. We gave the leftovers to two guys, AT thru-hikers calling themselves "Roadside" and "Heat Pack," who appeared as we were finishing up our lunch. I asked Heat Pack how he got that trail name after Roadside encouraged me to do just that. I think they expected we would be embarrassed by the answer, but far from it! Interestingly, neither knew what LGBT stands for.
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.