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 23-24 (Sat-Sun) Big Meadows Weekend Craig (202) 462-0535
Aug 28 (Thu) Fall Woods Planning Meeting Craig (202) 462-0535
Aug 30 (Sat) Overall Run Hike & Splash Craig (202) 462-0535
Sep 01 (Mon) Wilson Bridge & Capital Wheel Hike Craig (202) 462-0535
Sep 06 (Sat) Antietam Battlefield Walking Tour Craig (202) 462-0535
Sep 06 (Sat) Cedar Run-Whiteoak Canyon Loop Hike Jeff; Jay (301) 775-9660; (415) 203-7498
 

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

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.

Fall Woods Planning Meeting
Aug 28 (Thu); Craig(202) 462-0535
This Summer Of Our Content is drawing to a regrettable close, so it's time for Adventuring's Fall Woods Planning Meeting. It will be held on Thursday evening August 28 from 7:30 to roughly 9 p.m. at the home of Woods Coordinator Craig Howell, 1825 T Street NW, Unit 206, a 10-minute walk from the Dupont Circle Metro. Anyone who is interested in leading a hiking, camping or backpacking trip in the next few months is cordially invited to attend. If you've never led such an outing before but would like to learn how it's done, this is your big chance. Bring your own beverages; Craig will provide the munchies.

Overall Run Hike & Splash
Aug 30 (Sat); Craig(202) 462-0535
Kick off your Labor Day Weekend with this very strenuous (but very scenic) 10-mile round trip with about 2500 feet of elevation gain, including some of the steepest trail sections in Shenandoah National Park. We'll start from Hogback Overlook, the highest point on Skyline Drive in the northern section of Shenandoah. We'll descend via the Tuscarora-Overall Run Trail through Bearwallow to the stupendous overlook above Overall Run Falls. Here we'll lunch with incomparable views of both the highest falls in Shenandoah, and the sublimely beautiful mountain ranges stretching out to the west. (This is personally my favorite spot in all of Shenandoah.) After lunch the steepest section of the trail awaits us as we descend rapidly to the Overall Run Valley. Here we'll stroll to what Adventuring has traditionally called "Paradise Pools," a series of pools and cascades where we can slide and splash around and (almost) think we're in Maui. But after this idyllic interlude we have to retrace our steps back to Hogback Overlook, including the very challenging climb from the Valley to the Overall Run Falls Overlook. Bring at least 3 liters of water, lunch, bug spray, sunscreen, swimsuit and towel, and about $20 for fees. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the East Falls Church Metro Kiss & Ride lot. We'll eat and otherwise recuperate in Front Royal on the way back, so don't make any evening plans.

Wilson Bridge & Capital Wheel Hike
Sep 01 (Mon); Craig(202) 462-0535
Make your Labor Day memorable by coming along on Adventuring's sixth annual hiking excursion on the magnificent hiker/biker trail on the upstream side of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Starting from the King Street Metro Station, we'll stroll through Old Town Alexandria before arriving at the Wilson Bridge. We will stop at the brand-new Contraband & Freedmen's Cemetery Memorial across from the Bridge entrance and then detour 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 magnificent views and a number of interesting interpretive displays, especially on the Maryland side. We will end up at the mammoth National Harbor development, where we will have the opportunity to ride their recently-opened Capital Wheel, a super-sized Ferris Wheel which will whisk you 180 feet above the Potomac for some unforgettable views. We will be carried back to Old Virginny 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 one-way hike will not exceed 6 miles. Bring plenty of beverages, lunch, the $2 trip fee, $8 for the water taxi and $15 if you want a ride on the Capital Wheel. (Do try to 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; please note that this is an hour earlier than usual for this popular trip, to give ourselves plenty of time to ride the Wheel. Also note that you really don't need to RSVP for this one; just show up.

Antietam Battlefield Walking Tour
Sep 06 (Sat); Craig(202) 462-0535
Co-sponsored with the Chrysalis arts & culture group, this tour led by Craig Howell will involve several miles of relatively easy walking over gently rolling terrain, punctuated by drives to connect key portions of the battlefield. Highlights will include the bloody but inconclusive actions on the morning of September 17, 1862 at the Cornfield and the West Woods, the fruitless Union breakthrough of Confederate lines at the Sunken Lane in the early afternoon, and the exciting conclusion of the battle around picturesque Burnside Bridge in the late afternoon. Bring beverages, a bag lunch, bug spray, sunscreen, and about $15 for transportation, admission and trip fees. We'll carpool at 9 a.m. from the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station.

Cedar Run-Whiteoak Canyon Loop Hike
Sep 06 (Sat); Jeff; Jay(301) 775-9660; (415) 203-7498
If you’re into waterfalls, this may be the best hike in all of Shenandoah National Park. There are nine in all, ranging from a series of gorgeous cascades to the spectacular Upper and Lower Whiteoak Canyon Falls. But all this beauty comes at a price. For the water to fall so dramatically, the terrain must be steep; we will be ascending and descending next to where the water is falling. We’ll take plenty of stops to savor the views (and catch our breaths), but with its 2200-foot elevation gain along an 8.3-mile circuit route, this hike is rated strenuous. Please do not sign up for it unless you have been doing other strenuous hikes in the recent past. Bring lunch, 3 liters of water, bug spray, sunscreen, good hiking boots and perhaps a bathing suit and towel in case you want to luxuriate in the popular but chilly pool at the base of the lowest Whiteoak Canyon waterfall. Transportation, admission and trip fees should come to about $25. Before heading home, we will stop at Skyland Lodge to enjoy dinner and their infamous blackberry ice cream. 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).


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

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.

Billy Goat Trails Hike (Jeff)
Mother Nature was overly generous in providing lots of heat and humidity during our 11-mile hike over all three Billy Goat trails in Great Falls, MD. Hopefully, next time she'll be a little more stingy.

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.

Blackberry Ice Cream Hike & Splash (Craig)
Once again the Weather Gods smiled benevolently on Adventuring, rewarding our band of five with a better-than-average summer day even though the pros had been predicting storms all week. We headed directly from Skyline Drive down to the historic Corbin Cabin and continued down Nicholson Hollow to our lunch spot where the trail crosses the Hughes River. Certainly a pretty spot to linger at, but our plans to splash around in its inviting pool were dashed when the water proved to be too chilly for wading, much less sitting and/or splashing. We encountered a charming and quite docile rattlesnake near Corbin Cabin as we hiked back uphill. Our return to our cars went more slowly than normal, but we were in no rush. Our deliberate speed provided more time to build up appetites for dinner at Skyland's Mountain Taproom afterwards. Here we ate so much that we barely left room to fit in the blackberry ice cream that was the supposed "raison d'etre" for the day's whole escapade.

Blackberry Ice Cream Hike w/ Waterfalls (Jeff)
Temperature in the 70’s. No humidity. Can this really be August in Virginia? A lucky 13 Adventurers got to enjoy this rare summer phenomenon as we savored the sight of two waterfalls and one spectacular vista on August 16. Early in our hike, we beheld the 81-foot Lewis Falls, the fourth highest in Shenandoah. While most of our group were content to enjoy the falls from an observation deck above, four of us tiptoed down a rocky and steep path to see the falls up close and personal. Once these four climbed back up to rejoin the rest of our group, we all undertook a rocky climb to the Blackrock vista, where we had lunch with a grand view of the Luray Valley below. Most of the group then proceeded to Waterfall No. 2, Dark Hollow Falls. Here we first made our way downhill to the base of the falls and (after looking in vain for the Up escalator) begrudgingly trudged our way back up. But at least this final wave of exertion guaranteed one group of hungry and thirsty Adventurers as we proceeded to Big Meadows Lodge for food, drinks, and most especially blackberry ice cream desserts. A fitting end to a lovely day.


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