Bull Run Bluebell Hike (VA)
(Sat); Theresa(252) 876-1469
In springtime, the scenic woodlands and trails alongside VA's meandering Bull Run offer acres of beautiful bluebells and other wildflowers. Come join us on a colorful hike that Adventuring has not offered for several years. We should be catching the bluebells during their peak season, mainly along the Bull Run–Occoquan Trail, for this moderate 7.5-mile hike. Total elevation change is about 300 feet. We will lunch about halfway through the hike on the side of a hill looking down onto Bull Run. On our return leg, we will take the Bull Run–Occoquan Trail for part of the way and then cross over to the Bluebell Trail for the remainder. Meet at the shelter in the Kiss and Ride lot at the East Falls Church Metro Station at 9 a.m. Bring 2-3 liters of water, sturdy hiking shoes, sunscreen, bug spray, lunch, and approximately $7 for transportation and trip fees. There is a fee of $7/vehicle to get into Bull Run Regional Park if you are not a resident of Alexandria, Arlington County, City of Fairfax, Fairfax County, Falls Church or Loudoun County. This fee is included in the estimation for transportation and trip fees. There will not be a Sheetz stop en route because of the relatively short driving distance, so remember to bring your lunch. Restrooms are available at the beginning and end of the hike.
Fridley Gap Hike
(Sat); Craig(202) 462-0535
This trip will have special meaning for me, since it's basically a reenactment of the very first hike I ever did with Adventuring in April 1985 in the Fridley Gap area of the Massanutten Mountains between New Market and Harrisonburg, VA. Segments of the trails we'll use in this 6-mile loop are quite steep, and we'll have to climb about 1800 feet all told, so this outing must be rated strenuous. Bring beverages, lunch, bug spray, sunscreen, and about $18 for transportation and trip fees. Afterwards you're invited to celebrate with me at some appropriate Shenandoah Valley establishment. Meet at 9 a.m. in the Kiss & Ride lot at the East Falls Church Metro Station.
(Sun); Jerry C.(703) 920-6871
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THIS HIKE:
(1) The date of the hike is subject to change depending on when the trilliums are in bloom.
(2) To go on this hike you must purchase in advance a $4 daily Virginia Wildlife Management Area access permit (unless you already have a currently valid Virginia hunting, fishing, or boat license). You can obtain the permit immediately if you purchase">href="https://secure01.virginiainteractive.org/horf/">purchase it online and then print it. You must have a copy of the permit with you on the hike.
This moderate one-way hike of around 8 miles with about 1000 feet of ascent is in Virginia's Thompson Wildlife Management Area on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains north of Shenandoah National Park. This area has been known for nearly a century as one of the densest concentrations of trilliums in the eastern part of the country, though a scientific explanation remains elusive. When the estimated 27 million trilliums are in bloom, it's an impressive display. Trip fee and transportation (for non-drivers) will be about $10. Pack a lunch and something to drink. Bug spray and sunscreen are always a good idea, too, just in case. This hike requires a car shuttle; those persons who will need a ride and anyone who can drive should inform the trip leader when RSVPing. Meet in the East Falls Church Metro Station Kiss & Ride Lot (to your right as you exit the station) at 9 a.m.
Annapolis Rocks Hike (MD)
(Sun); Dale; Jeff(808) 782-3027; (301) 775-9660
The Annapolis Rocks hike on the Appalachian Trail along the crest of South Mountain near Hagerstown is one of the most popular in Maryland, and for good reason. The views from the two lookouts we'll encounter are spectacular. From Annapolis Rocks the vista is to the southeast and Greenbrier Lake, and from Black Rock Cliff we'll have a vast 180-degree panorama to the west.
This is an easy-to-moderate hike, a round-trip of approximately 8 miles, with an 840 foot elevation gain. What makes this hike slightly difficult is that the elevation gain takes place in a very short distance; there is a mile or so of pretty steep trail. However, the AT itself is very well maintained, and should be accessible to just about any skill level.
We'll meet at 9 this morning at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station. There we'll form carpools and drive approximately an hour to the Annapolis Rocks parking area near I-70. After that initial climb to the crest of South Mountain, we'll hike several more miles to our turnaround spot, enjoying the views and having lunch before back-tracking to our cars. We should be back to Grosvenor-Strathmore by mid- to late afternoon.
Bring plenty of water, lunch, bug spray, sunscreen, sturdy boots and about $12 to cover transportation and trip fees.
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 with Rock Jocks
Adventuring announces its partnership with the RainbowClimbingDC group better 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!
Signal Knob Circuit Hike (Craig)
Our Signal Knob expedition was quite surprising in several ways, starting with the virtual absence of Massanutten Mountain's famed March mud throughout our 6-hour march of nearly 11 miles. Winter had only departed a few days earlier and there had been a good rain the day before, but you would never have known it. This was truly a day of seasonal transition, as we saw both the Last Ice of Winter (one forlorn patch) at the top of Signal Knob and the First Bugs of Spring at the base. Another surprise was the paucity of others on the mountain on what turned into a crystal clear, mild day, with winds far less powerful than swept through most of the region, killing one unlucky hiker on the AT in MD. The only folks we encountered were a bunch of backpacking collegians (presumably on Spring Break), a party of photographers at the summit, several mountain bikers near the end of our trek, and a lone runner and his dog. This day was a great re-introduction to the joys of hiking mountains after a sometimes brutal winter that had kept us indoors much too often.
Anacostia Riverwalk-Kingman Island Hike (Jay)
18 Adventurers, full of good energy & great conversation, celebrated the arrival of spring with a hike along the Anacostia River. We saw clouds when we started, sun when we finished, and temperatures in the 40s & 50s that felt just a little brisk when we rested. At the Navy Yard we said goodbye to the USS Barry, which will be dismantled at the end of the summer. We also took a passing look at Congressional Cemetery and marinas. Heritage and Kingman Islands had a few muddy patches but were mostly dry. We enjoyed our lunch on Kingman before finishing our stroll. The gate where the Kingman Island trail meets Benning Road was locked; on my scouting trip a few weeks back it was open. Future trips may want to return over the bridge between the islands and the River Walk instead. We failed to connect with a couple folks at the starting point, unfortunately. I'll list my cell in the future to help us find each other. Thanks to all who came, and hope to see you soon on another hike!
Powell Mountain Hike (Craig)
This was an unusual day in many respects for our seven Adventurers. When we started out from Skyline Drive just before noon, it was too chilly and cloudy; by the time we reached the base of Powell Mountain, it was if anything too warm and too sunny. Three of our number turned back uphill before we started our bushwhack, and thereby missed a rare Adventuring experience. We had intended to walk up what had been a public road running along the western side of Naked Creek to the Park boundary and start our bushwhack along a long-abandoned trail from there. But we quickly saw that the once-public road has now been privatized; No Trespassing, please, especially by you tree-hugging hikers! Undaunted, William suggested that we instead bushwhack up Naked Creek via the eastern side of the creek, all of which is Park property. We got far enough past the developments on private property on the other side of the creek to appreciate that reports of Naked Creek's fine beauty have not been exaggerated. Our ensuing hike back up Powell Mountain was a hard slog, as what seemed like such a gentle slope going down in the morning was anything but going uphill in the unexpected afternoon heat. Our toils were rewarded with a fantastic dinner afterwards at the Northside 29 Diner in New Baltimore, where the selection, quality, prices and service were outstanding.
Greenbelt Park Hike-NEW DATE (David)
It started out as an overcast day, with sprinkles that arrived prior to the group meeting at the Metro station for carpooling. Prepared for all types of weather, the threat of sprinkles was not enough to intimidate eighteen ambitious Adventurers and two canines from an early spring outing. The brisk winds quickly whisked away the clouds and the day transformed into a brilliantly sunny and warm spring day. The previous night’s rain quickly evaporated, which kept the usually muddy trails to a minimum. The dry trails were much appreciated because our trip that was planned in March was completely washed out by a deluge of rain. Yet another sign of a slow and late to appear spring this year, the Park only revealed a few small glimmers of spring greenery. Near the end of the hike, one very minor outburst of spring runoff was no match for the Adventurers who leaped the aqueous flow in one bound. Copious amounts of chat cascaded as we made our figure-8 loop around the park. An impromptu lunch and post-hike chat bloomed atop the park’s picnic tables in the bright sun.
Sugar Knob Cabin-Big Schloss Hike (Jay)
Nine Adventurers climbed their way along an unusually muddy trail next to Little Stoney Creek, forged across the high ridgeline of Great North Mountain, and stormed the "castle" of Big Schloss. The actual length of the trip was debated, with multiple guidebooks and GPS devices suggesting we had walked different amounts of miles, but it appears that we did exceed the ~11 miles listed in the trip description. It was one of the first sunny days of this spring, and as we climbed out of the valley we got to enjoy some great rays of sunshine, as well as some nice spring breezes. Our hardy group rarely stopped for a break during our initial climb from the parking area up to Signal Knob Cabin. Here we stopped for lunch before briefly following the Tuscarora Trail to the Mill Mountain Trail along the Great North Mountain crest. The views from Big Schloss were tremendous, under a nice, clear blue sky. The steep descent of the final leg of our trek was a bit hard on some ankles and/or knees. Most of us stopped off at Jalisco's in Front Royal for a Mexican bite on the way home.
Croydon Creek Nature Center Hike (MD) (David)
Following a string of damp and cloudy weather days, today’s weather came as a delight to 17 Adventurers as they sauntered through the streets of Rockville. While most of the area’s citizens and visitors were Tidal-Basin-bound to photograph the blooming cherry blossoms, we made our way for a more distant location to witness spring’s arrival. We visited F. Scott Fitzgerald’s gravesite, where his twisting story of fame and obscurity led to his second burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery. We then made our way to the Nature Center, passing homes where residents were busy preparing for spring. The sun was at its full intensity, the sky cerulean, the grass deep green, and the trees and flowers were ready to burst with springtime elation. Even the pollen was ramping up its vernal appearance, as several Adventurers could ruefully attest. Ah, springtime! Working up an appetite for good food, a few Adventurers diverted to Rockville Town Center afterwards to feast upon delicious Thai food at Tara Asia.
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.