P.O. Box 23655, Washington, D.C. 20026 www.adventuring.org

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*Events and Announcements listed below are subject to change and/or cancellation. Check the web site or contact the trip leader for a trip to determine if it has been cancelled or rescheduled.

Adventuring is a not-for-profit, all-volunteer organization serving the gay and lesbian community in the Washington area. Its purpose is to encourage and publicize group outdoor activities. If you are a trip leader, please update your trip descriptions and announcements in the Adventuring web database for the upcoming month no later than the 20th of the previous month.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Date(s) Trip Title Leader Phone
Aug 03 (Sun) Blackberry Ice Cream Hike & Splash Craig (202) 462-0535
Aug 23-24 (Sat-Sun) Big Meadows Weekend Craig (202) 462-0535
 

Important Information: Liability: Adventuring is a not-for-profit organization operated entirely by volunteers. The activities sponsored by Adventuring are cooperative in nature; individuals participate at their own risk and with the understanding that trip leaders are not experts. The Adventuring organization and its individual volunteers take no responsibility and disclaim any liability for accident or injury associated with its activities. Trip Fees: In order to support the operation of its program, Adventuring assesses a trip fee of $2 per participant for day trips and $4 for trips longer than a day. Trip fees are payable to the trip leader on or by the date of the activity. Transportation Fees: Trip leaders may assess a transportation fee to reimburse drivers for the expense of group carpools. This fee is calculated at the rate of 30 cents per mile per vehicle and is divided among the carpooling participants.


TRIP DETAILS

Blackberry Ice Cream Hike & Splash
Aug 03 (Sun); Craig(202) 462-0535
Here's another variation on our popular summertime series of treks that are focused not just on the hiking but also on the treats we'll indulge in afterwards. Today's itinerary will begin with a descent from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park just north of Stony Man Mountain down to the historic (and still much used) Corbin Cabin, where we'll lunch next to the Hughes River. Then we'll follow the Nicholson Hollow Trail until we reach the point where the trail crosses the Hughes. Here we shall Lollygag Dynamically (TM) no little time in a pool more than suitable for sitting, wading, splashing, and maybe even swimming (but don't count on that). We'll use different trails to get back to our cars. Then it's on to Skyland Lodge Taproom for their better-than-ever blackberry ice cream or whatever. Total length of our moderate-to-strenuous semi-circuit will be about 7.7 miles, with 1600 feet of elevation gain on the return leg, none of it especially steep or rocky. Bring plenty of beverages, lunch, bug spray, sunscreen, swimsuit and towel, about $20 for transportation, admission and trip fees, and whatever you want to spend at Skyland Lodge. We'll carpool at 9 a.m. from the East Falls Church Metro Kiss & Ride lot (to your right as you walk out of the station) and might not be back before dark.

Big Meadows Weekend
Aug 23-24 (Sat-Sun); Craig(202) 462-0535
Adventuring's traditional weekend at Big Meadows Lodge in the heart of Shenandoah National Park will be held this year on the weekend of August 23-24. Our major hike on Saturday the 23rd will be the Moorman's River Loop, the southernmost circuit hike you can do inside the Park. If conditions are favorable, we'll detour from the loop to venture beyond the Park boundary to a small but delightful swimming hole noted for its high scenic quality. (It's known locally as the Blue Hole; here's a link to a photo: http://www.swimmingholes.org/VASUGA51.jpg). Total length of this strenuous hike should be about 9 miles, with about 2100 feet of elevation gain. Before heading home Sunday, we'll do the short circuit hike to beautiful South River Falls, with a wonderful splash pool at its base suitable for wading; this will be an easy 4.4-mile loop, with 800 feet of elevation gain. In between these two hikes, we will delight in the pleasures of Big Meadows, where we have reserved 4 comfortable rooms for up to 8 Adventurers (not in the Main Lodge, alas, but just across the parking lot). To show we will really be roughing it, we can enjoy live entertainment Saturday evening in the incomparable New Market Taproom, where yummy “Prohibition drinks” and other concoctions await us. The only way to reserve your spot for this excursion is to make out a check for $75 payable to Craig Howell, and mail it to him at 1825 T Street NW, Unit 206, WDC 20009. This deposit covers only your lodging costs; estimated transportation, meals and other costs should come to another $100 or so. Full refund (minus the Lodge's $15 service charge) if you cancel with Craig by Monday August 18. Remember to bring plenty of beverages, Saturday's lunch, bug spray, sunscreen, and swimsuit and towel. We'll carpool at 8:30 Saturday morning from the East Falls Church Metro Kiss & Ride lot.


ANNOUNCEMENTS

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 keithbennettsmail@gmail.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!

Gay Games IX Cleveland + Akron
The 2014 Gay Games presented by the Cleveland Foundation is one of the biggest sports & cultural festivals in the world and comes to Cleveland and Akron August 9-16.

The Games are open to all adults - regardless of sexual orientation or athletic ability. With more than 35 sports (from darts to triathlon, bowling to softball) and 2 cultural events (band and chorus), there's something for everybody.

Team DC, the Washington area's LGBT sports connection, is promoting participation in or attendance at the Games and is offering registration and accommodation discounts. You can register for the Games, obtain discounts, and find out more about the Games at this Team DC web page: http://www.teamdc.org/gg9/. You can also find out more about the Games at the Gay Games 2014 website: http://www.gg9cle.com/.

Update: Purchase a Team DC Gay Games IX uniform to show your esprit de corps at the opening and closing ceremonies for the Games: http://www.teamdc.org/ggix-uniform-order/. Deadline to place an order is June 9.


PREVIOUS TRIP REPORTS

Kennedy Peak-Massanutten Trail Hike (Craig)
An outstanding day in so many respects for our ten Adventurers, with pluperfect weather, a not-overly taxing itinerary, a stunning 270-degree vista atop Kennedy Peak with crystal-clear viewing conditions, and a wonderful dinner at Jalisco in Front Royal afterwards. Plus, we had the trails practically to ourselves all day; hard to understand why more people weren't out there enjoying it all with us. The biggest downside was the area's lack of signage. We lost half an hour searching for the parking lot for our shuttle next to the Shenandoah River because there was no sign at the entrance. Then we nearly missed a critical trail junction because it too was unmarked. But with all that, we still managed to get back home ahead of schedule. And oh, yes; the ticks had a field day with our party. There are snakes in every garden.

Whitewater Rafting on the Cheat River (Bob)
(Trip Report by Jeff Hughes.) Storm clouds were threatening all morning but by the time our five Adventurers were about to start our journey down the Youghiogheny River, the clouds had parted and we had sun to light our way. (For the record, we were unable to do our originally planned trip on the Cheat River, so we switched to the Yough.) Drama prevailed from the start when, as we hit our first major rapid, two of our company went briefly overboard but were rapidly retrieved. When we hit calm water, our very patient river guide provided remedial instruction on how to maneuver through a rapid. We proved to be excellent students since at the end of the trip, we were the only raft to maneuver through what the river guide claimed was a Class 5 rapid rather than follow the wimp course around it. In between the first and last rapid, we encountered about a dozen other hydraulic obstacles, as well as long stretches where the water was calm and we could relax and enjoy the gorgeous scenery. Special thanks to Bob Taylor for organizing this trip and allowing us to stay in his lovely condo at Deep Creek Lake.

Gambrill State Park Hike (John D.)
Eleven Adventurers celebrated National Trails Day in Gambrill State Park, starting at High Knob where there are many overlooks and buildings constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s. The weather was splendid and we enjoyed refreshing breezes as we trekked the 7-mile loop hike and its 3-mile extension. Because of the cool and fairly wet spring, the mountain laurel was in full bloom, which made for wonderful white and blush pink passageways and archways. Because of the amount of rain this area has had recently, the foliage was quite full and provided us with breathtaking stands of ferns and various other flowers next to the green moss-lined trails. Our route took us along both the west and the east sides of the ridgeline of the Catoctin Mountains and provided wonderful views of Frederick and Middletown, as well as Sugarloaf and South Mountain.

C&O Canal @ Snyders Landing Hike (David)
Eighteen Adventurers and one trail-ready canine converged on the C&O Canal at Snyders Landing in Washington County on one of those fleeting early summer days when pleasant temperatures and low humidity make for perfect hiking conditions. This part of the Canal was well shaded from the strong sun and ventilated with a cool breeze ideal for hiking. Despite recent heavy rains in the area, the towpath was not a total mud march, as we had feared. However, we did encounter our fair share of mud puddles to jump and slog through. ‘What a glorious day!’ seemed to be the catch phrase of the day.

Swarms of attack mosquitoes circled as we explored the Killiansburg Cave with several other park visitors. We did not linger long but instead hastily took off down the towpath, leaving the noxious mosquitoes behind. We lunched at Lock 39, where little remains other than the lock walls. It provided a sui generis picnic lunch experience.

After lunch, we strolled another couple of miles down the Canal to Lock 38 and the relatively new Shepherdstown highway bridge, which we later found out was located at the base of Ferry Hill. (A different type of fairy, apparently.) At the water's edge we had an expansive view of the Potomac, which was very muddy and swollen from all the rain. We had the Canal to ourselves while we hiked back to Synders Landing, where equestrians were just mounting up as we arrived.

Once we were done with hiking for the day, we motored over the top of Ferry Hill to Shepherdstown, WV and walked to Murphy’s Snack Shop, where we were greeted with first-rate customer service and a rainbow of ice cream flavors. As the sun sunk lower in the sky and the ice cream filled our bellies, we departed Shepherdstown. One carload of Adventurers decided to stay behind to soak up some more of the local flavor by browsing the local art scene and antique shops before returning home.

Blackberry Ice Cream Hike Part I (Jeff)
Sixteen Adventurers braved the heights to scale the two highest peaks in Shenandoah National Park, with a trek along the Appalachian Trail in between. As we were huffing and puffing our way to the Hawksbill summit, nobody complained that the temperature was about 10 degrees cooler than usual for this time of the year or that the humidity was way less than oppressive. Our main challenges were due to rains that had blanketed the area before we came. One downward stretch of the AT looked more like a waterfall than a hiking trail. And many rocks we encountered were very wet, resulting in a number of slips and falls (including two by the Trip Leader). After our invigorating 9.5-mile trek, we retired to Skyland Lodge to indulge in food, spirits and scoops upon scoops of the trip’s eponymous blackberry ice cream.

Great Falls (MD) Holiday Hike (Damon)
Gorgeous weather rewarded 18 Adventurers who turned out for this annual expedition along the trails of the C & O National Historical Park at Great Falls, MD. The muggy heat of previous days was swept away by a refreshing breeze and ideal low-80s temperatures, bringing out plenty of crowds. Several great blue herons vied for our camera-toting entertainment. The only glitch in the morning was when we reached the turnaround point at Old Angler's Inn, and found that the port-a-potties which had been there for years had suddenly disappeared from their usual clearing! While most of us winced and headed back toward the starting point, a scouting party went forward in the opposite direction and discovered a brand new indoor facility at the opposite end of the parking lot, unfortunately becoming separated from the main group in the process. But we all reconvened at the Falls overlook to watch several world-class kayakers put on their usual amazing show. We concluded our traditional Independence Day outing with a convivial picnic lunch. A good day was had by all.

Halfmoon Lookout Hike & Swim (Craig)
Today's weather would have been sensational any time of year, but having such a day of comfortable temperatures, low humidity and clear skies in July was a rare treat indeed. Our pace both going up and coming down Halfmoon Mountain was slower than usual for the ten of us, however, reflecting an abundance of very steep and rocky sections, poor trail maintenance, and the eight interesting stream crossings of Pond Run we negotiated on the return leg of our loop. Our travails were justified by the stunning views we enjoyed, first looking south over the incredible Trout Run Valley at our lunch spot by the Halfmoon Lookout firetower site and shortly thereafter looking west into the Appalachian ridges. After our five-hour trek was done, we adjourned to the nearby Trout Pond Recreation Area for an exhilarating swim in Rockcliff Lake, where we jostled to find the elusive warm convective currents. Our day ended with another scrumptious Mexican banquet at Jalisco. An unusually long day for all of us, but totally worth it.

Doyles River Falls Circuit Hike (Craig)
Another outstanding excursion that went even better than expected for our 10 Adventurers. We headed down from Browns Gap via the historic road (couldn't find the grave of that Confederate veteran, though) to the Upper Doyles River Falls, where we lunched in tight quarters. We continued downriver to the confluence with Jones Run, where we encountered two lively young men who cheerfully reported that crossing Jones Run would not be any great deal for us. So we were able to get across Jones Run without any trouble and complete the fabled loop as we had originally hoped after all, though we had feared the crossing would be impassable. Oddly, water levels in Jones Run seemed to be far below those of Doyles River. Eventually we reached the day's scenic masterpiece, the Jones Run Falls, where we lollygagged dynamically (TM) no little time. Despite the day's relatively mild temperatures and humidity, we still glistened profusely all the way up to the Appalachian Trail. After catching our breath we strolled the AT to Browns Gap, discovering en route that the old Dundo Group Campground, closed several years ago, has been born again as the Dundo Picnic Grounds. A delicious, ridiculously affordable dinner at Giovannas ended our great day.

C&O Canal Above Little Orleans Hike (Craig)
Ho, hum. Just another typical Mid-Atlantic summer day of sensational weather from wire to wire for our 13 Adventurers. Promises of an unusually scenic itinerary were fully met, as we were just slightly above the lovely Potomac most of the way. Throughout the day we saw more people on the water in a wide variety of rivercraft (paddleboats, tubes, canoes, kayacks, etc.) than on the dry land of the towpath. Near an abandoned railroad bridge across the river (eventually to be incorporated into a hiker/biker trail, we hope), we were able to get down to the Potomac itself for a group photo and general frolicking. After lunch at Lock 58, we continued upstream to our turnaround point near the top of one of the numerous loops the river makes as it cuts through the Appalachian ridges. On our return leg we lollygagged dynamically (TM) at one of the Canal's hiker/biker camps with direct access to the river. Here we found some abandoned Ruby Slippers (or Ruby Sandals) that we repurposed to aid a couple of our party wade through the warm Potomac waters. Upon finishing our 9-mile round trip, we adjourned for an hour or so to Bill's Place in Little Orleans (greatly beloved by some of us, not so much by others) before finishing our fantastic day with a very filling meal at Weaver's in Hancock.


ADVENTURING COMMITTEE CONTACTS
President Jeff Hughes (301) 775-9660
Secretary Brett Ferber (703) 914-1439
Treasurer John Cybulski (703) 914-1439
Membership Karen McGinn (703) 395-3962
Publicity Keith Bennett (703) 859-0268
 
ADVENTURING PROGRAM COORDINATORS
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.
     
Events Coordinator:
Hy Ludmer (703) 642-0820        
Water Coordinator: Wheels Coordinator: Woods Coordinator:
Vacant   Keith Bennett (703) 859-0268 Craig Howell (202) 462-0535