Manassas Battlefield Hike
(Sun); Craig(202) 462-0535
Early winter should be a fine time to explore some of the 42 miles of trails within Manassas National Battlefield Park just off I-66. Our walk will concentrate on areas connected with the First Battle of Manassas (July 21, 1861), mostly east of the historic Sudley Road, today's Route 234. Total length of our meanderings should not exceed 8 miles over gently rolling terrain, much of it forested and all of it prone to mucky mudiness this time of year, so wear mud-worthy boots. We will not be making a pitstop en route to the battlefield, so please be sure to bring your own lunch and beverages, plus a few bucks for admission, transportation and trip fees. We will carpool at the leisurely hour of 10 a.m. from the East Falls Church Metro Station; park in either lot and then come to the station entrance near the attendant's kiosk. We should leave the Park roughly around 4 p.m.
Catoctin Mountain Hike
(Sat); Jeff(301) 775-9660
Forests, vistas, rocks, and waterfalls! Join us for a magnificent hike at the beautiful Catoctin Mountain Park, close to Camp David in Thurmont, MD. This moderate-to-strenuous 8.4-mile loop, with 1370 feet of elevation gain, includes some great views and attractions, with plenty of rocky hills to develop your hiking legs. Some of the interesting sights we’ll enjoy along the way include Cunningham Falls (highest in Maryland), Hog Rock overlook, Blue Ridge vista, Thurmont vista, the Wolf Rock formation, and Chimney Rock overlook. Depending on how we feel near the end of this loop (and how much light is left as we near the shortest day of the year), we can add in the Cat Rock extension; this would add an extra 2.4 miles and 800 feet of elevation gain (and spectacular views!) to what would thereby morph into a strenuous journey.
Bring lunch, beverages, sturdy hiking boots and about $12 for transportation and trip fees. Meet at the Grovesnor-Strathmore Metro station at 8:30 a.m.
Winter Solstice Poetry Hike
(Sun); Craig; Chris(202) 462-0535; (304) 433-1260
Celebrate the passing of the seasons and the return of the sun on Adventuring's Eighteenth Annual Sugarloaf Solstice/Poetry Hike. This moderate circuit hike of about 7 miles and 1700 feet of elevation gain will take us to a series of peaks on top of Maryland's Sugarloaf Mountain near Frederick, MD, on the day before the actual winter solstice. Along the way, we will stop at the scenic White Rocks overlook to enjoy the view, have lunch, and share favorite poems in honor of the passing of another year. Meet at 10 a.m. at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station. Contact Craig if you're meeting at Grosvenor-Strathmore and/or if you can be a carpool driver. Those wishing to drive directly to Sugarloaf should contact Chris Craig for directions and time; you can email him directly at email@example.com. Bring a bag lunch, water, sturdy shoes, a few dollars for transportation and trip fees, and a poem to share (your own or someone else's).
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!
Team DC Night of Champions Awards Dinner
Team DC will hold its annual Night of Champions Awards Dinner on Saturday, November 7, 2015. This is the one time of the year when all of the clubs in the LGBT sports community gather to honor our local leaders who help make the DC region such a diverse and welcoming place for recreational sports.
Team DC will also recognize the recipients of the 2015 Team DC College Scholarship Program. Nine young men and women were recently named and we'll hear from some of them that evening. Proceeds from this event help to support the Scholarship Program.
Tickets are only $100 per person and include a Cocktail Reception, Silent Auction and seated three course dinner followed by the Awards program. Tickets and additional information are available at this website: http://www.teamdc.org/champions/. Those wishing to be a Table Captain or Sponsor should contact Randy Meck at email@example.com.
Overall Run Falls Hike (Craig)
Things started out rather dark and dismal for our nine Adventurers as we arrived at Hogback parking lot to begin our trek under grey skies, with chilly temperatures and very soggy ground from recent rains. Conditions had improved considerably by the time we reached our overlook above Overall Run Falls. Here we lunched amidst a small mob as eager as we were to enjoy a spectacular view of both the falls (as full as I've ever seen them) and the mountains and valleys stretching out to the western horizons. One of our party discovered a trail to the lip of the falls, which he insisted was both easy and safe. Portions of our return leg were rather challenging, especially the steep sections, but at least the crossing of rain-swollen Overall Run was easily accomplished. We particularly enjoyed our stroll along the Weddlewood Trail, a scenic gem of a woodland path little used by hikers, though obviously it is quite popular with the resident bear population, judging by the signs they deposited. We maintained a strong pace of better than 2 mph throughout our hike, so we returned to Hogback comfortably ahead of schedule. From there one carload headed north for a Mexican dinner in Front Royal, while the other headed east to New Baltimore for some all-American comfort food.
Southern Rock Creek Park Hike (Randy; Bill)
26 hikers and three dogs turned out to renew our annual Columbus Day traditional hike in Rock Creek Park, and the weather was sunny and glorious. There were a number of first-time Adventurers, including two who learned about our club at the Northern Virginia Pride Festival earlier this month. Randy, our very own National Park Service employee, led the group north from the Cleveland Park Metro and descended into Rock Creek Park along the Melvin C. Hazel trail. The group climbed the hill leading up to the Klingle Mansion, an 1823 home for the land's original namesakes (the Peirce and Klingle families). Then we headed south on the Western Ridge Trail, where we saw the tunnel and a few majestic bridges. Because of heavy car traffic, we decided to forgo walking through the tunnel and did not visit the Edgewater Stables as planned. We took an alternative route through the woods that led to the Woodley Park neighborhood and the National Zoo entrance, and then we walked a few blocks up Connecticut Avenue to Cleveland Park. Thanks to Bill and Randy for continuing the tradition, and a warm welcome to all the new hikers!
Fall Color Hike @ Maryland Heights (Jeff)
Maryland Heights beckoned and 19 Adventurers (many first-timers) responded to the challenge. While Mother Nature was chary in providing color for our Fall Color Hike, she gave us an otherwise perfect autumnal day. Besides, the spectacular vistas of Maryland Heights don’t need any special colors to elicit oohs and ahhs from its admirers. We also had the benefit of starting and ending in Harpers Ferry on the very day the town was celebrating the 156th anniversary of the John Brown Raid, so there were lots of people wandering around in period costume. (Adventuring’s very own Civil War veteran was unfortunately Necessarily Absent in New York.) We look forward to seeing each and every one of this friendly group of hikers at Adventuring events in the near future.
Rose River Fire Road Hike (Bill )
7 hikers and two dogs (Tilly and Ollie) arrived at Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, VA at the base of the Blue Ridge just in time for their Apple Harvest Festival. We first grabbed some lunch: Burgers, dogs, barbecue, funnel cakes and apple pie, with a side of bluegrass music. As Daniel, our Adventurer from Hungary exclaimed, "This is real America!" Then we shuttled down Route 670 a few miles until it dead-ended at the trailhead to the Rose River Fire Road, nee the Gordonsville-New Market Turnpike, completed in 1853 by the Blue Ridge Turnpike Company. This remote back entrance into Shenandoah National Park follows the Rose River and its picturesque sections of cascades and rapids. Today this historic road was lined with golden foliage. There were some pockets of peak color, but many areas had a few more days until peak.
What an enjoyable hike this was, along the banks of the rushing river on a beautifully brisk and sunny autumn day! We turned around just past the confluence of the lower Dark Hollow stream with the Rose River. Following the hike, we visited the Graves Mountain orchard bins back in Syria with purchases of many freshly-picked apples and jarred preserves. Four of us plus Tilly and Ollie remained at the Graves Mountain Lodge to enjoy drinks on the rocking porch and a second round in front of the fireplaces inside. Then we repaired to the communal restaurant upstairs for their traditional Sunday dinner of fried chicken and country ham with all the fix'ins, just like Grandma used to make.
C&O Canal @ Dam #5 Hike (Theresa)
On a beautiful, crisp Halloween day, 28 Adventurers embarked on a colorful and delightful journey. We started our hike at approximately 12:15 pm from McCoy’s Ferry Campground. We enjoyed spectacular views of the Potomac, vibrant fall leaves, and plenty of history. We stopped at Dam #5 for a somewhat chilly lunch as the clouds rolled in. Shortly thereafter, we returned to the Canal towpath and then back to McCoy’s Ferry, where we exchanged goodbyes. It was a most pleasant day with wonderful company. Thanks to all that came out to make it an enjoyable day!
Wilson Bridge Hike (Craig)
Post-Halloween hangovers and a heavy morning dew combined to dwindle our numbers down to a magnificent seven, but our faith in the forecasters was more than justified as we were rewarded with a fantastic fall afternoon. We took Duke Street from the King Street Metro to see several sites associated with Alexandria's African American history. The most outstanding of these sites was a well-sculpted statue honoring the Edmonson Sisters, whose freedom was purchased by abolitionists after their failed attempt to escape slavery in 1848 aboard the good ship "Pearl." We inspected the new park at the site of the Freedman's Cemetery before our picnic next to the Jones Point Lighthouse. As we strolled across the Wilson Bridge in our T-shirts, we were amazed that we practically had the pathway to ourselves on such a gorgeous day. We arrived at National Harbor in plenty of time to grab the 2:50 water taxi back to Old Town, a voyage (again) with only a handful of other passengers. Those lying abed today have ample cause to regret not joining our happy few.
C&O Canal Hike @ Miller's Bend (Craig)
The forecasters had promised that Veterans Day would be the "jewel of the week" weather-wise, and they sure got that right as 13 Adventurers enjoyed a splendid autumnal day sandwiched between two dismal, rainy washouts. Our round-trip was about a mile longer than planned as our resident jackrabbits got too far ahead of the group and overshot the intended turnaround spot. Still we found a nice place to lunch on the Potomac right next to the piers of an old railroad bridge washed out in the 1936 flood and never rebuilt. The scenic highlight of the day was undoubtedly the stretch of spectacular sheer cliffs on the WV side of the river at Miller's Bend, now topped by an impressive set of mansions.
Old Rag Hike (New Date) (Jeff)
The site “Hiking Upward” rates Old Rag a “6” (on a scale from 1-5) for its vistas and a “0” for its sense of solitude. The 18 Adventurers who scaled its peak today would have to agree. The views were spectacular on this sunny, brisk autumn day. As we climbed, squeezed, and in some cases scraped our bloody way through the boulder jungle gym, there were expressions of wonderment, whether it was the hiker’s first time on Old Rag or their 20th. However, we had to share our sense of excitement with a couple thousand of our best (or at least our closest) friends. Even though we set forth from East Falls Church at the ungodly hour of 7:30 a.m, the Park Service parking lot was already full by the time many of us arrived. In the past that would have meant we would have had to drive home. Fortunately, an enterprising farmer has now stepped in, and latecomers are allowed to park on her land, but only after forking over 10 bucks per car. After contributing to her retirement fund, the stragglers joined the rest of the group, and together we began our trek to the windy, awe-inspiring summit of Old Rag.
Crampton Gap-Fox Gap Hike (Craig)
Things went very smoothly for our nine Adventurers on a seasonally chilly November day. There were lots of leaves covering the rocks, so we had to pick our way carefully, especially at Lambs Knoll, but at least the last mile was on a paved road, away from the tricky AT. As we were finishing up lunch at the White Rocks Overlook, two of our party suddenly recognized each other from their college days after a lapse of nearly two decades; it's a small world after all! We were surprised we never encountered anybody from the Mid-Atlantic Hiking Club, which was hiking south on the AT from I-70 while we were headed north; if they expected to reach their goal of Crampton Gap (our starting point) before dark, they might well have been behind schedule. After finishing our review of the September 1862 Battle of South Mountain at Fox's Gap, we drove just a mile downhill to the South Mountain Creamery, where we all enjoyed scrumptious fresh ice cream before returning home.
Northern Rock Creek Park Hike (Brett F.)
Twelve Adventurers decided to #OptOutside in Northern Rock Creek Park on Black Friday 2015. Though parking hassles and potty breaks in Silver Spring delayed our start a bit, we eventually succeeded in taking in the early points of interest on our loop – the DC North Boundary Stone, Boundary Bridge, and the treacherous Pinehurst Branch crossing (sadly, just a trickle today). Our Civil War expert showed us an area near the Park Police Stables in which recent archeological work has re-written a few paragraphs of Civil War history. We charged Fort DeRussy and admired its formidable earthworks, then enjoyed lunch near the Visitors Center. Points of interest after lunch included the Horse Center, the Ross Drive Bridge, and Miller Cabin, the last of our man-made attractions. Now free to simply hike the Valley Trail and chat, a favorite topic of conversation quickly became whether or not this hike truly was 7 miles as advertised; the consensus was that it was significantly longer. The trip leader, having now used technology which was not available to him back in 2005, agrees. Depending on the software used, this hike measures somewhere between 9.5 and 10 miles; who knew? In the words of Mae West, too much of a good think can be wonderful!
Lands Run Gap-Jenkins Gap Hike (Craig)
Another unusually mild day brought a November to Remember to a delightful close for 12 Adventurers. Although it was overcast and sprinkled lightly in the latter half of the day, temperatures were quite pleasant, winds were non-existent, and we had some fine views of the Luray Valley from the higher elevations through the newly-bared trees. We lunched at a scenic waterfall that was quite full, even though it hadn't rained much lately. Our only stream crossing took place over Smith Run on the way up to Jenkins Gap; this occasion was more interesting than usual, since we had three ribbons of water to negotiate back-to-back-to-back. The climb to Jenkins Gap was a bit strenuous so we took our time, but we still managed to end the hike precisely on schedule. We ended our day at the Front Royal IHOP for sentimental reasons, as our yummy meals distracted us from tales of Darkness at Fridley Gap.
Roosevelt Island-Arlington Cemetery Hike (Theresa)
On a cold and dreary November day, nine tenacious Adventurers set off from the Rosslyn Metro Station toward Roosevelt Island. Once on the island, we browsed the memorial dedicated to Theodore Roosevelt. Upon leaving Roosevelt Island, we took the Mount Vernon Trail to the turnoff for Arlington Cemetery. At the cemetery’s Visitor Center we took a moment to enjoy the displays and to warm up. We then embarked upon a journey to the Netherlands Carillon via the Custis Walk, where we enjoyed some history and a cold lunch. Close by was the Marine Corps War Memorial, so we stopped by for some more history and a few photographs. We then returned to Arlington Cemetery to visit the graves of President Taft, the Kennedys, and the Tomb of the Unknowns, where we were pleasantly surprised to find a female sentry posted. Lastly, we returned to the Visitor Center where we exchanged goodbyes and hopes for warmer weather the next time. Thanks to everyone who came out today!
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.