Crabtree Falls (VA) Hike
(Sun); Craig(202) 462-0535
Crabtree Falls, located beyond Charlottesville, VA and a few miles east of the Blue Ridge Parkway, is ranked as the highest waterfall not only in the Old Dominion but east of the Mississippi River. Its spectacular 1200 foot drop, actually a series of cascades and straight falls over rocks, can be readily appreciated thanks to a wonderfully engineered and very popular trail 2.5 miles long alongside or close to the falls that is wide and gently graded, with stairs to help you get through the steepest parts. At the very top of the falls is a large and user-friendly overlook with breath-taking views of the Blue Ridge and the Tye River Valley, tailor-made for Dynamic Lollygagging (TM). If we have enough time and energy, we'll stroll another mile or so along the easy trail to Crabtree Meadows, with little additional elevation gain, before turning back. Total length of our moderate round-trip hike will not exceed 7.4 miles. Bring beverages, lunch, sunscreen, bug spray, and about $23 for fees, plus whatever you'd like to spend on dinner on the way back to town. It's a long way down there (160 miles each way), so we'll leave at 8:30 a.m. from East Falls Church Metro and probably won't be back until well after dark. NOTE: Because the small Kiss & Ride lot at East Falls Church will remain under construction for much of the rest of the year, park in either that lot or the larger Park & Ride lot at Washington Boulevard and Sycamore Street, and then gather inside by the station attendant's kiosk.
Labor Day Weekend at Seneca Rocks, WV
(Sat-Mon); Craig(202) 462-0535
Seneca Rocks, a thousand-foot high rock outcropping that looks like a chunk of Yosemite that somehow escaped to West Virginia, is one of the most spectacular and scenic spots in the entire area. Behind it looms North Fork Mountain, where a trail along the crest offers an endless series of stunning vistas across beautiful ridges and valleys. Come luxuriate in this hiker's paradise through the upcoming Labor Day Weekend. We'll leave early Saturday morning September 5 and drive to the northern end of North Fork Mountain. Here we'll have a strenuous climb of about 2000 feet to the overlook at Chimney Top, lunching at another overlook en route. Then we'll check into our cabins at the legendary Yokum's at the foot of Seneca Rocks. Sunday will be devoted to a long but relatively easy stroll along the southern end of the North Fork Mountain Trail, featuring all those vistas. We'll take the relatively easy trail to the top of Seneca Rocks around sunset either Saturday or Sunday evening. We'll head back to town on Labor Day, presumably stopping for a short hike somewhere en route. The cabins we originally reserved for this trip are now spoken for; if you'd like to come along now, please make your cabin reservations directly with Yokum's. You can still be part of our carpool if you want to hold down transportation costs. Estimated costs for transportation, meals and trip fees should be around $140 per person beyond your lodging costs. Our carpool leaves East Falls Church Metro at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
DC to Baltimore Bike Ride
(Sun); Jerry C.703-920-6871
This has become one of my favorite local rides. As unlikely as it seems there really is a decent way to bike from Washington DC to Baltimore without taking your life into your hands! This is a one-way ride of approximately 49 miles. We'll use the MARC Penn Line's Bike Car service to get back to DC. Meet at 8:00 AM in the parking lot of the Columbia Island Marina. Look for us at the south end of the parking lot (near the marina building). Drivers can only access the parking lot from the southbound lanes of the GW Parkway. The closest Metro station, Pentagon, is about 1.5 miles away.
The ride's terrain ranges from flat to moderately hilly. Although we will have some traffic to contend with along some segments of our route, many other parts are downright pleasant. I no longer hand out cue sheets at the start of a ride, but I can email you a cue sheet in PDF format if you request one from me after September 1. I encourage everyone to do this unless you don't mind keeping me in sight throughout the ride. I'll be your "leader" in name, but I won't necessarily be at the front of the pack since I favor a more leisurely pace (meaning an average moving speed of 10-12 MPH in bike-speak). Plan on a mid-afternoon lunch in downtown Baltimore upon completion of the ride. Bring a water bottle, something to snack on along the way and some money for our meal in Baltimore and the $2 trip fee. The train departs Baltimore's Penn station at 4:10 PM and arrives at DC's Union Station at 5:10 PM.
I previously led this same ride on July 3, 2015. You can view photos from that trip and the trip report at http://www.adventuring.org/cgi-bin/tripreport.asp#2091
Fall Woods Planning Meeting
(Thu); Craig(202) 462-0535
Summer is drawing to a regrettable close, so it's time for Adventuring's Fall Woods Planning Meeting. It will be held after Labor Day on Thursday evening September 10 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. You must have attended at least one Adventuring hike to be eligible to attend this session. Bring your own beverages; Craig will provide the munchies.
Jeremys Run-Neighbor Mountain Hike
(Sun); Craig(202) 462-0535
Here's an ambitious, if not absurdly optimistic proposal for a challenging hike through the valley of Jeremys Run, a seldom-visited (by us) section of northern Shenandoah National Park. The good news is that the Jeremys Run Trail passes through what is arguably one of the loveliest valleys in all of Shenandoah; the bad news is that the trail crosses Jeremys Run 14-17 times (depending on the season and on who's counting), with many if not most of those crossings requiring wading instead of rock-hopping. But if the mini-drought we've had since early July persists into mid-September, this mission should be doable. The total length of this strenuous one-way hike beginning from the Elkwallow Picnic Area along Skyline Drive should be 10.7 miles, with very roughly 2000 feet of elevation gain as we ascend Neighbor Mountain after leaving Jeremys Run. Only experienced hikers in good aerobic condition should sign up for this one. If the rains return, though, a new, drier and probably less demanding itinerary in the same general area will be substituted and announced in advance. Bring plenty of beverages, lunch, bug spray, sturdy boots, a towel (in case your feet do get wet), and about $15 for fees. We'll gather at 8:30 this morning inside the East Falls Church Metro station by the station attendant's kiosk. We should be back in the DC area before dinnertime.
DC Murals Walk: Famous Figures
(Sun); Jay(415) 203-7498
DC has dozens upon dozens of murals spread throughout its neighborhoods, with a myriad of styles and a breadth of artistry. Join us for a 2.7-mile urban hike to take a close look at seven of them. We'll focus on murals that pay tribute to famous cultural and historical figures, from Marilyn Monroe to Langston Hughes. Your leader will share some of the history of each mural and its subject matter. We'll begin our journey in Woodley Park and head south and east into the U Street and Shaw neighborhoods. Our only stops will be the murals, so please bring a liter of water, snacks, good shoes and some sunscreen, as well as the $2 trip fee. Meet at the Woodley Park Metro Station at 10 a.m. We'll end a few blocks from both the Mt. Vernon Square/Convention Center Metro Station and the Shaw/Howard University Metro Station.
Cape Henlopen Camping & Hiking Trip
(Fri-Sun); John C.(703) 914-1439
Ask the five Adventurers who were at last October’s Cape Henlopen State Park Camping Trip, and they’ll tell you – it was a blast! This trip is on again for September 18-20, 2015! We’ve reserved two adjacent campsites for Friday and Saturday nights, with a big day of hiking planned for Saturday.
The Park and the Campground: Cape Henlopen, a 5200-acre park on the Atlantic Ocean between the towns of Rehoboth Beach and Lewes, Delaware, features impressive dune landscapes, beaches (expected water temperature is around 70), boardwalks, bird-watching, World War II artifacts, and more, and can easily fill a weekend. Our two campsites are near the entrance of a 150-site camping area which allows both tents and RV’s. Each site has running water but no electricity. Shower facilities are a short walk away.
Planning: Event is currently limited to 12 participants. If rsvp’ing via Meetup, please answer the survey questions. Also, feel free to use Meetup to post questions and share information in order to help the trip leaders make appropriate plans for food, ride-sharing, etc. If you are not on Meetup, please email the trip leaders directly. There are two options for arrival time: 1) arrive Friday evening between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm, or 2) arrive Saturday around 1:00 pm. The camping area must be returned to its original condition by 12:00 noon on Sunday.
Food and Activities: The co-leaders will provide all meals, and will host breakfasts and dinners by the campfire; John will be our chef (yea!). The menu will be posted to Meetup soon. Examples of breakfast & dinner menu items include: Blueberry Pancakes with Vermont Maple Syrup, Eggs Cooked to Order, Fresh-Sliced Fruit Platter; Homemade Spanish Rice, Pineapple-Upside-Down Cake. Lunch is typically sandwich fixin’s. If you have special dietary needs, please contact John. Brett will be our hike leader (and ‘sous-chef’).
Driving / ridesharing: Driving time from DC averages 3˝ -4 hours and requires crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge (check traffic reports). Most participants will probably be driving by themselves; the availability of ride-sharing will depend on participants’ responses. Anyone who does get a ride should reimburse their driver for their share of the gas.
Costs: Regardless of when you arrive, this will be considered a multi-day trip, so only the food-and cooking related fees will be prorated. Payment for all trip expenses (per below) must be received no later than Sunday, August 16th. PayPal is preferred; contact one of the co-leaders regarding other methods of payment. Cost breakdown will be as follows:
$4.00 Adventuring fee
$30.00 Campsite fee
$8.00/day: Cooking Fuel charge (since no outside firewood is permitted in the park)
$20.00/day: Food / beverage cost
Thus, total cost would be $90 if staying both nights, or $62 if just one night (plus driver reimbursement if applicable).
Bring: Tent, toiletries, hiking attire, sleeping items, beach items, bug spray, food if you have special needs, etc. You may wish to do an internet search on ‘camping checklist’ for ideas on other items. The trip leaders plan to bring all food items and cooking supplies.
Schedule of Events (*all times approximate / subject to change*):
Friday September 18th
3:00 pm – Co-leaders’ target check-in time
4:00 pm – Earliest check-in time for participants
7:00 pm – Welcome Dinner hosted by John & Brett
Saturday September 19th
7:00 am – Breakfast hosted by John
8:00 am – South Loop Hike (includes Gordon’s Pond area and beach hike)
1:00 pm – Lunch (back at camp)
2:00 pm – North Loop Hike/Swim (beach and dune hiking, WWII artifacts)
8:00 pm – Dinner hosted by John
Sunday September 20th
7:00 am – Breakfast hosted by John
9:00 am – 10:00 am– Break camp
10:00-12:00 – Free time (linger at the campsite, nature hike, swim, etc)
12:00 pm – Departure deadline
Let us know if you have any questions; hope to see you there!
• When do you plan to arrive – Friday between 3pm and 6pm, or Saturday at 1pm?
• Do you need a ride from DC to Cape Henlopen?
• Do you have your own tent?
• Do you have any special dietary needs?
• Do you plan to bring a dog (subject to approval by the co-leaders)?
• Which are you most interested in: hiking, swimming, relaxing by the fire, or other?
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 email@example.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!
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!
DC to Baltimore Bike Ride (Jerry C.)
Two Adventurers and five Outriders set out early Saturday morning from Columbia Island Marina for a 50-mile bike ride to Baltimore. We picked up an additional Adventurer on the Metropolitan Branch Trail just north of Union Station. After a brief stop at Glut food co-op in Mt. Rainier we hopped on the Northeast Branch Trail for a scenic and traffic-free ride through Maryland's inner suburbs. Once beyond the Beltway it was pretty much smooth sailing all the way to Baltimore. Well, one of us did have a blowout to contend with, but he replaced that rear tire's inner tube quickly. And then there was that long work train that blocked the road as it slowly moved rail cars to be loaded with trash from one track to another at the Jessup waste transfer station. Oh, and our ignoring that "Road Closed" sign paid off because the road was fine and we had no cars to contend with. We celebrated our arrival in Baltimore with a great meal at the City Café. Getting back to DC was a breeze thanks to MARC commuter rail's new bike car service. The bike car had racks for 23 bikes and ample seating. We were back in DC well before sunset. If you missed this ride you'll have another opportunity in the coming months because I plan to lead this great ride again. Watch the calendar.
Great Falls (MD) Holiday Hike (Damon)
Although a forecast of morning rains caused a 4-hour delay, a convivial group of ten Adventurers still turned out for the 6th annual July 4 Holiday Hike at Great Falls, MD. In sunny but sultry weather, the group traversed the cooler, shaded Berma Road to Old Anglers Inn Parking Lot, then turned and headed upstream along the scenic Widewater section of the C&O Canal, stopping along the way to observe and photograph several turtle-filled estuaries. However, just as the group approached the turnoff for Great Falls Overlook, thunder and heavy clouds rolled in. The group divided, with four members (including the event host) heading for shelter at the Visitor Center, while the remaining six bravely soldiered on to the Falls, even as heavy rain ensued. While the whole group never re-convened after that, one of the Overlook visitors (who had come prepared with a hooded poncho) later reported that the Falls were "well worth it" despite the rain.
Upper Whiteoak Canyon Falls Hike (Craig)
We eight left East Falls Church on time at 9. We arrived at the Upper Whiteoak Canyon Trail Parking Lot on time at 11. We ate lunch at the Falls Overlook on time at 12:30. Then we had to switch from Plan A to Plan B to Plan C to... Plan Z, ending our hike at 5:15 at the Lower Whiteoak Canyon Trail Parking Lot. Many thanks to those who helped to improvise a Plan Z that was actually quite pleasant in some ways. Dinner was at the Roadside 29 instead of at Skyland, and nobody complained. We arrived back at East Falls Church at 8:30, precisely as predicted. Nothing to see here, folks; just move along.
Gathland State Park-Weverton Cliffs Hike (Craig)
28 people turned out at Gathland State Park on a pluperferct summer day, marked by comfortable temperatures, mostly sunny skies and light zephyrs. Arranging the shuttle of 10 cars between our starting point at Gathland and the Park & Ride lot at the Weverton end of our trail was only slightly less complicated than planning the invasion of Normandy. This operation took quite a long time, in part because we had to shoehorn our cars into only a handful of available spaces at the Weverton lot, already choked with vehicles associated with a Boy Scout expedition in the area. It was lunchtime by the time we finished shuttling, so we ate in the big picnic pavilion at Gathland. Following a quick review of the Civil War-era history of what was then known as Crampton's Gap, we finally got our hike underway around noon. We made good progress on the 5 miles of the Appalachian Trail between Gathland and Weverton Cliffs, since the AT was mostly level and wide, though the rockier sections were a bit troublesome for some of our crew. We reached the cliffs around 3 p.m. and enjoyed the spectacular views up and down the Potomac while wondering what was going on with all the low-flying helicopters and the sirens wailing from every direction. It did not take long to work our way down off South Mountain on the steepest and trickiest part of our trail to the Weverton parking lot. We were all back at Gathland and saying our good-byes by 4:30, more or less on schedule despite the delays necessitated by all the car shuttling. Lovely hike, lovely views, lovely company.
Big Meadows Hiking Weekend (Jeff; Joe)
You couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather as a spirited group of seven Adventurers traveled to Shenandoah National Park for our annual Big Meadows hiking weekend. Saturday’s adventure was the Riprap Hollow Circuit in southern SNP, where we had numerous opportunities to check out the magnificent vistas and also plunge into the chilly waters of a swimming hole (though only two of our group indulged in that eye-opening experience). On Sunday, there were more vistas as we hiked up and around Stony Man, the second highest peak in Shenandoah. In between the two hikes, we spent a delightful evening and morning at Big Meadows Lodge, where we had our fill of delicious food, potent “Prohibition” drinks, and a father-son singing duo that would have been visually improved if the father had stayed home. We also got to raise a few glasses with our buddies in the Capital Climbers. Saturday evening was capped with astronomical wonder as we ventured outside on a clear, moonless night to marvel at the magnificent abundance of stars (and some shooting stars) that are normally hidden from us by the bright lights of DC. Definitely a Big Meadows weekend to remember!
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.