Mountain Laurel Hike
(Sat); Jeff(301) 775-9660
Time for Adventuring’s annual Mountain Laurel hike, where we will explore Gambrill State Park when it is bursting with colorful mountain laurel blossoms. Gambrill is located on Catoctin Mountain, 6 miles northwest of Frederick, MD. Most of the hike will be along of the ridge of the mountain so, along with the blossoms, we will see some excellent views from on high. At about 10 miles, this is a moderately difficult hike with a few ascents that are steep and rocky. Cumulative elevation gain should be about 1000 feet. Bring lunch, beverages, sunscreen, bug spray, sturdy hiking boots and about $12 for transportation and trip fees. Meet at the Grovesnor-Strathmore Metro station at 9 a.m. to form carpools.
Hiking Dolly Sods (WV) Extended Weekend
(Fri-Tue); Harris(443) 415-7856
Let’s take this opportunity to rent a no-smoking lux vacation home in West Virginia's beautiful Canaan Valley, just a short walk away from a main trail in the magnificent Dolly Sods Wilderness, for an extended weekend at the very beginning of summer. This Adventuring field trip begins as early as Friday afternoon June 17 and can extend over four nights through Tuesday morning June 21, though drivers and passengers may coordinate a shorter outing. I will be leading hikes in Dolly Sods on the 18th and 19th. What I need now are ten of you to sign up, give me a $76 deposit check for lodging by May 16th, and indicate if you are willing to drive. I will refund everyone’s deposit in full if we don’t have sufficient interest. I estimate the total cost for lodging, transportation, and Adventuring fee for our extended weekend to be (respectively) $76 + $35 + $4 = $115. There will be at least one potluck dinner/cookout. Please make your $76 deposit check payable to "Harris Turk" and mail it to: 1214 William Street, Baltimore, MD 21230.
Here's the description of our lodging: A fabulous, multi-level home directly on the mountainside, with picture windows highlighting the mountain cliff views of the entire Canaan Valley. "The Pinnacle" is a spacious 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home with extra loft, large decks on each level and secluded indoor hot tub with full window views off the back deck. Ideally located beside the famous and high panoramic trails of Dolly Sods, it has 2 queens, 1 double, 2 twins, 1 bunkbed, 1 twin day bed in loft and queen sleep sofa. Also includes wet bar including mini-fridge, sink, blender and game room area. There's a wood-burning fireplace with wood stove insert in main living room and a wood-burning stove (wood provided) in basement, with DISHTV, DVD, WiFi, W/D. Nonsmoking. Sleeps up to 13.
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 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.
Signal Knob Circuit Hike (Rescheduled) (Jerry C.)
The weather was close to perfect. The high winds that had started the night before had diminished by the time we began the hike. Views of the Shenandoah Valley and Fort Valley were great since the trees hadn't leafed out yet. The trip leader (yours truly) hiked at a decidedly leisurely pace (especially after the trip leader's elbow had an unfortunate encounter with his walking stick), while the three others patiently waited for their "leader" at every trail junction. This 10.7 mile hike is both scenic and a very respectable workout.
South River Falls Hike in Shenadoah NP (Jireh A. & Bill H.)
Eight Adventurers braved a surreal spring day, peppered not only with record-breaking lows due to the last gasp of the polar vortex, but also with early blooming wildflowers, snow showers, sunshine and wind chill. But it was all worth it. Bundled up with hats and gloves, we were warmed by the intermittent sun and protected most of the time from wind by ridges.
Our 10.5-mile hike covered areas in both Shenandoah National Park and the Rapidan Wildlife Management Area near Stanardsville, Virginia. We began at the South River Picnic Area just north of Swift Run Gap. After a steep descent and a couple of rain drainage crossings, we arrived at the South River Falls overlook (83'-high falls, 3rd largest in the Shenandoah National Park) for an impressive view of the falls. Then we proceeded down to the base of the falls and its gorgeous pool and ate our lunches there. We were surprised to see the beautiful trillium wildflowers in bloom at the base. Next we followed the Pocosin Horse Trail, passing the South River Cemetery, the Upper Pocosin Mission ruins and PATC's Pocosin Cabin. After some breath-catching switchbacks, we reached the summit of Bald Face Mountain with a vista view of the west. A group of migrating scarlet tanagers had just arrived a few weeks early for breeding season and were foraging for insects on the forest floor under some oak trees. We finished the hike via the Appalachian Trail for two miles back to the South River Picnic Area. Half our party stopped for dinner at our favorite Warrenton-area restaurant, the Northside 29 Diner, for cocktails and good eats before returning to the East Falls Church Metro.
Catoctin Mountain Hike (Jeff)
You couldn’t have asked for a better day (no rain for the first time in a week!) or a friendlier group of hikers to explore the many wonders of Catoctin Mountain and Cunningham Falls Parks. 21 hikers trekked 8 up-and-down miles to explore the varied spectacles of Cunningham Falls, Hog Rock, Wolf Rock and Chimney Rock. For some, the jagged geological formations of Wolf Rock and Chimney Rock became their natural jungle gyms. One hiker in particular climbed to new heights that a couple of us tried to imitate but no one else could equal. He will henceforth be known as Adventuring’s true Adventurer, the Monkey Man. After descending from Chimney Rock, 10 of our number decided they had enjoyed enough nature for the day and returned to the awaiting cars. However, the rest of us had not yet had enough and made an additional trek up the steep ascent to Cat Rock, where we savored the views in the late afternoon sun. After an exhausting 11.5 miles, those 11 Adventurers also returned to the awaiting cars. A great day was had by all 21 of us, though it was likely followed by a stiff and sore morning after.
Hoover Camp Hike (Craig)
Tropical Storm Bonnie or no Bonnie, eight Adventurers gathered at Milam Gap on Skyline Drive determined to complete the 9.6-mile Hoover Camp loop hike as advertised. We reached Hoover Camp in about an hour, negotiating the trickier-than-usual crossing of Mill Prong without too much drama. We lunched by the Brown House before getting a superb tour of its interior by the resident Park Ranger, who emphasized Herbert Hoover's inspiring contributions throughout his life as a humanitarian who refused to accept any compensation, even as President, for his services once he had become wealthy. Our crossing of Laurel Prong at the foot of the Fork Mountain Trail was relatively hazardous in the wake of May's unrelenting rains, but the only damage suffered was a few waterlogged boots. Our real adventures began once we reached the crest at The Sag. After initially missing the Jones Mountain Trail we wanted, we wound up traversing the same section of it three times as we floundered around in search of the elusive Cat Knob Trail, which we feared might have been eliminated. We were only saved from having to retrace our steps back to Hoover Camp by the timely appearance of another hiker, whom I dubbed "Clarence," who had just come off the Cat Knob Trail and assured us it does still indeed exist. Once we discovered the (Cheshire) Cat Knob Trail, we immediately had to work our way carefully down a very steep and treacherous slope to Laurel Gap. The rest of our loop was relatively uneventful, except that Bonnie finally made her presence known, albeit with just light showers. The total length of our circuit proved to be 11.5 miles, 2 miles longer than planned. Afterwards we dined at the New Market Taproom in Big Meadows Lodge, where for reasons that escape us they've cut down the menu drastically: Worst of all, no more blackberry ice cream! But at least they make great pizzas.
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.