Whiteoak Canyon-Robertson Mountain Hike
(Sat); Jackson(410) 422-9257
Distance: 13 miles
Elevation gain: 3600 ft
Difficulty: **Very strenuous**
This is a custom-tailored hike combining beautiful Whiteoak Canyon with challenging Robertson Mountain in the heart of Shenandoah National Park. Beginning at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, we will first climb up Whiteoak Canyon amidst multiple splendid waterfalls, then head down a valley through the narrow Corbin Hollow Trail and finally charge up the Robertson Mountain Trail for a hearty workout and a spellbinding view of the valley.
Be warned: Robertson Mountain is an infamously nasty beast to conquer, with a steep and sustained ascent that will test your limits! If you are unsure whether this hike is suitable for you, please feel free to contact the trip leader to discuss. There is a possible shortcut up Robertson Mountain.
We'll carpool at 8:30 a.m. from the East Falls Church Metro Kiss & Ride lot. Bring sufficient water, lunch, sturdy footwear, bug spray, sunscreen and about $20 for transportation and trip fees. A post-hike change of shirt is optional but usually recommended for your own comfort. The regular Sheetz stop en route to our trailhead will provide the opportunity to purchase your favorite snack or sandwich. On the way home, we may stop for dinner. Because of the duration of the hike, it is likely we will return to East Falls Church Metro Station after dark.
Blackberry Ice Cream Hike Part III
(Sun); Craig(202) 462-0535
This moderately strenuous circuit hike will focus on one of the grandest waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park, the Upper Whiteoak Canyon Falls. At the exalted altitudes where we'll spend the day, temperatures should be 10-15 degrees cooler than what those in DC will have to endure. Starting from Skyline Drive across from the southern entrance to Skyland Resort, we'll head directly for the Falls Overlook, where we'll lunch with a spectacular view (and no doubt plenty of company). Most of our return route will be along the Skyland-Big Meadows Horse Trail up to the Stony Man Parking Lot, where we'll catch the AT for a short walk back down to our starting point. Total length of this hike should be about 7 miles, with about 1200 feet of elevation gain. Afterwards we'll head across Skyline Drive to the Skyland Mountain Taproom for refreshments, mainly their traditional blackberry ice cream, celebrated in song & story. Bring plenty of beverages, lunch, bug spray, sunscreen, sturdy boots and about $20 for fees, plus whatever you'd like to spend at Skyland. We'll carpool at 9:30 this morning from the East Falls Church Metro Kiss & Ride lot.
Tubing Harpers Ferry
(Sat); Jeff(301) 775-9660
Tubing .. it's great fun on a hot August Day! Join the group for tubing on the Potomac River at historic Harpers Ferry, where the Shenandoah meets the Potomac. Easy rapids make this an ideal trip to float down the river, towing coolers with food, drinks, etc.. This is more of a relaxing trip, although you must know how to swim if you join the trip. You can hang out on rocks in the middle of river near swimming holes, or float the river as many times as you want. A straight through "run" will take about 1 hour, but you can take the shuttle back to the starting point for added runs if desired. Plan on 5 hours on the river, hanging out, etc..
The rental cost is about $35 for a tube and shuttle, and you should make your own reservations at the Harpers Ferry Adventure Center website . Please also RSVP on our Meetup site so we can arrange for rides and to organize the group. We will meet at the Forest Glen Metro Station Kiss & Ride lot at 8am on Saturday, August 5. Or let us know if you want to meet at the Adventuring Center near Harpers Ferry at 10am.
Here is the company website:
Saturday, August 5, 10am tour (but the company is flexible if we're delayed, etc..)
1. Reserve at minimum 1 tube for yourself; and other items as desired.
2. Company website has good instructions for what you should bring, how to prepare, but here are a few key points:
* You must wear water shoes/sandals that strap on while on the river, loose flip flops are not good enough.
* Absolutely bring plenty of sunscreen, intense rays for hours on river.
* Anything you take on the river will get wet, so no cel phones, etc.. Tour company has key storage area for cars.
* You must know how to swim; see the website for more info.
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: email@example.com.
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.
Purple Line Hike
(Sun); David; Craig(202) 550-7262; (202) 462-0535
If you've been looking for an easy summer hike, this is it! In case the Purple Line construction soon begins (doubtful at this point), come explore this "Inside-The-Beltway" trail between Bethesda and Silver Spring. To beat the afternoon heat, we'll gather at 10 a.m. at street level at the top of the escalators at the Bethesda Metro Station, at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Old Georgetown Road. We'll then stroll east along the Georgetown Branch Trail to Silver Spring, featuring a dramatic view above the Rock Creek Valley on an old railroad trestle. Survivors will have an optional lunch in Silver Spring (location by consensus; perhaps a healthy Tastee Diner?). You can return to Bethesda via the J2 bus, a group Uber, or hop on the Red Line Metro to your destination. This easy virtually level one-way hike of about 4 miles shouldn't take more than 2-3 hours. Bring beverages, a snack, sunscreen, bug spray, the $2 trip fee and lunch money.
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.
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.
Blackberry Ice Cream Hike Part Deux (Craig)
We 14 Adventurers enjoyed a fantastic day of hiking in Shenandoah, with nearly wall-to-wall sunshine, comfortably warm temperatures, low humidity, great visibility, refreshing breezes, and hardly a raindrop in sight. Meanwhile, the DC area was getting pelted with massive thunderstorms! No idea how we managed to avoid such tribulations in the Blue Ridge. Anyway, the blackberry ice cream at Skyland afterwards was as scrumptious as ever. One odd note: We unexpectedly encountered quite a few Appalachian Trail thru-hikers, who seem to be several weeks behind schedule if they intend to reach Mount Katahdin in Maine before the snows fly. Peak season for AT thru-hikers in Shenandoah is late May-early June.
Independence Day Hike @ Great Falls (MD) (Jeff)
Normally our 4th of July hikes are insufferably hot and/or accompanied by a tropical deluge. This year Mother Nature was kind and gave us a glorious day for our little stroll. The Great Falls park though was not as accommodating as it barred entry to view the Great Falls themselves – always a highlight of the trip. No matter. 34 friendly Adventurers enjoyed the abundant beauties of the park minus the falls. There were many first-time Adventurers in the mix who we hope will join us for future sojourns in nature.
Billy Goat Trail Hike (Jeff and Matt)
A sunny day with blue skies made this hike along the Billy Goat Trail a most pleasant one. 19 Adventurers hiked several sections along the main C&O Canal towpath, interspersed with some fun but challenging rock scrambles. We enjoyed a brief lunch break by the Potomac, set to the gentle sound of nearby rapids. The group included both seasoned Adventurers and new friends. All in all, it was a lovely Saturday.
Bear Church Rock Hike (Peter)
Eight Adventurers set out for the central section of Shenandoah National Park on a sunny, dry (low humidity) and relatively cool day in mid-July. Our out-and-back hike followed first the Rapidan River (but that only briefly), and then tracked the Staunton River for a much longer time, before climbing steeply up the side of Jones Mountain to the Bear Church Rock overlook. After enjoying a long lunch break with a view looking into the heart of Shenandoah NP, the group retraced its 2200 foot climb back down the mountain, adding an extra jaunt to visit the Jone Mountain Cabin. All in all, it was a wonderful day in the park.
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.