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
Apr 29 (Sun) Petworth Neighborhood Walking Tour Craig (202) 462-0535
May 05 (Sat) Bird Knob-Emerald Pond Hike Jackson (410) 422-9257
May 05 (Sat) Trillium Hike Jerry C. 571-241-3787
May 06 (Sun) Miller Memorial Hike: Arboretum Azaleas Martin; Craig (240) 988-5304; (202) 462-0535
May 19-20 (Sat-Sun) Big Schloss Backpacking Weekend Jackson; John (410) 422-9257; (202) 805-4268
May 27 (Sun) Rapidan (Hoover) Camp Hike Jerry C. (571) 241-3787
 

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

Petworth Neighborhood Walking Tour
Apr 29 (Sun); Craig(202) 462-0535
The Petworth neighborhood in Northwest Washington is much in the news lately because of a surge in development and gentrification, but it is also an area soaked in both American and gay history. Starting from the neighborhood Metro station, we'll first stroll along Rock Creek Church Road, an historic path once used by Abraham Lincoln when he commuted between the White House and his family's summer place on the grounds of the Soldiers Home. We'll wind up where Abe did, at what is now known as the Lincoln Cottage; we won't have time to tour the inside, but at least we should be able to get some good views of the home's exterior. Next we'll go across the street to the District's oldest cemetery, Rock Creek Church Cemetery, and see the magnificent sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens known as "Grief." We'll also see the nearby graves of Gore Vidal, his longtime partner Howard Austen, and his first (but apparently unrequited) love, Jimmy Trimble. Then we'll go the Soldiers Home Cemetery, where Henry Gerber, arguably America's first gay activist, is buried. We'll next walk along Upshur Street and have lunch at one of its many new and very popular restaurants. Finally we'll head down Georgia Avenue to the Metro. We'll gather at 10 a.m. inside the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro Station near the station attendant's kiosk. Bring water, bug spray, sunscreen, and the $2 trip fee, plus lunch money for an Upshur Street eatery. We should be done by 2 p.m.

Bird Knob-Emerald Pond Hike
May 05 (Sat); Jackson(410) 422-9257
Distance: 13.4 miles
Elevation gain: 2700 feet
Difficulty: **Very strenuous**

Located in the southern section of Virginia's Massanutten Range next to the New Market Gap, this 13-mile loop uses some of the lesser-used trails in the region, though Emerald Pond is somewhat popular with drive-up-campers as evidenced by the occasional presence of trash. Instead of the 8-mile out-and-back that is more common, this hike proceeds in a loop with considerable gains in elevation with occasional steep slopes, but nevertheless offers a panoramic view out to the west over New Market with George Washington National Forest in the background.

We will carpool at 8:30 a.m. from the Kiss & Ride lot of the East Falls Church Metro Station. Bring water, lunch, bug spray, sturdy footwear, and about $20 for transportation and trip fees. Hiking poles are a good idea to assist with the steep descents over leaf-covered rocks. A post-hike change of shirt is optional but usually recommended for your own comfort. The regular Sheetz stop en route will provide the opportunity to get your lunch and supplies. On the way home, we may stop for dinner. Because of the duration of the hike and its distance from the DC area, it is likely we will return to East Falls Church Metro Station after dark.

Trillium Hike
May 05 (Sat); Jerry C.571-241-3787
THE HIKE HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED TO MAY 5 TENTATIVELY. DO NOT PURCHASE YOUR PERMIT UNTIL WE ARE SURE THE WEATHER WILL BE O.K. I WILL CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST ON MAY 3 AND ANNOUNCE HERE WHETHER THE HIKE WILL OCCUR ON MAY 5.

Important Information about the Hike: To go on this hike you must purchase in advance a $4 Virginia Wildlife Management Area Daily Access Permit from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) unless you already have a currently valid Virginia hunting, fishing, or boat license. You can obtain the permit immediately if you purchase it online. Go to this website to purchase the permit: https://license.gooutdoorsvirginia.com/Licensing/CustomerLookup.aspx


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 large-flowered 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 $11. Pack a lunch and something to drink. This hike requires a car shuttle; those persons who will need a ride and anyone who can drive should inform the trip leader when emailing him. Meet at 8:30 AM near the entrance to the Pentagon Hayes Street Parking Lot which is in Arlington on Army Navy Drive between S. Hayes St. and S. Joyce St. and across the street from the entrance to the Pentagon City Mall parking garage. The parking lot is about a 6-minute walk from the Pentagon City Metro station.

Miller Memorial Hike: Arboretum Azaleas
May 06 (Sun); Martin; Craig(240) 988-5304; (202) 462-0535
(This sturdy perennial on the Adventuring calendar is one major part of the legacy left us by Damon Miller, who passed away earlier this year after decades of active participation and leadership. Accordingly, we will henceforward call this the Damon Miller Memorial Hike. Here is the trip description, based on Damon's own words.)

Cherry blossoms? Schmerry blossoms! The cherry trees get all the hype (and the crowds), but the azaleas at the National Arboretum provide the best underrated springtime display in D.C. as they blanket the hillside of Mount Hamilton at the National Arboretum. Threatened with destruction a few years ago by alleged budget constraints, public outrage and private philanthropy saved the azaleas, and they continue their springtime display. We will take an easy 5-mile hike around the Arboretum, a 446-acre hidden gem in the middle of Northeast D.C. We will visit not only the azaleas but also other seasonal displays (including dogwood, daffodils, magnolias, forsythias, Japanese quince and andromeda, early crabapples, flowering cherries, camellias, redbuds, and arisaemas). For good measure we'll also take in the Asian Gardens, meadows, forested areas and the famous original National Capitol Columns. All this will be followed by a picnic lunch. We'll gather at precisely 9 a.m. (don't forget the usual Metro weekend delays) at the top of the Q Street escalator at Dupont Circle Metro; we'll carpool from there, and should be back by 1:30 or 2 p.m. Those desiring to meet us at the Arboretum should arrive by 9:30 to assure a parking space, as the lot fills quickly, and gather in front of the Visitor Center, near the R Street NE entrance. Bring water, lunch, sunscreen and $5 for trip fee and driver reimbursement. Drivers needed.

Big Schloss Backpacking Weekend
May 19-20 (Sat-Sun); Jackson; John(410) 422-9257; (202) 805-4268
Distance: 27 miles over 2 days
Cumulative elevation gain: 5500 feet
Difficulty: **Very strenuous**

HIGHLIGHTS: Big Schloss, Tibbet Knob, Halfmoon Mountain, Trout Run

NOTE: Since we are meeting at the Metro station before it begins operation, we are attempting to coordinate all drivers and riders so that no one is left out. Please indicate if you can pick people up or if you need a ride when you RSVP on our Meetup site(second question).

TRIP DESCRIPTION

This backpacking trip covers a plethora of enchanting sights along the VA/WV border in George Washington National Forest near Columbia Furnace, VA, with a terrain that is not particularly difficult to traverse. The trail goes in a loop that touches all the highlights of the area. This trip is open to backpackers of all levels of experience, but its total distance and elevation gain is of significance to beginner backpackers. Please indicate your backpacking experience when you RSVP on Meetup so we can plan accordingly.

This will be a two-day trip, with multiple camping sites depending on the distance covered on the first day. The hike will begin at Wolf Gap. From there we will proceed south to Tibbet Knob. There is also about a 2.5 mile section that is on the road (SR 691) which will lead us to the Long Mountain Trail. The next trail is Bucktail Cutoff Trail, followed by brief time on the Halfmoon Trail and Tuscarora Trail. Of note, there is an out-and-back on Halfmoon Lookout with a total distance of 1.6 miles. The last 6 miles will be on Mill Mountain trail. Here we will be able to enjoy Big Schloss, before finishing back at Wolf Gap.

Please make sure you have the necessary backpacking equipment. You may find REI's Ten Essentials for Backpacking a helpful guide: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ten-essentials.html. As this is a group backpacking trip, we can share some equipment such as stove and first aid supplies. If you are new to backpacking, please contact the trip leaders to make sure you have the proper equipment.

You should also bring about $20 for carpool and trip fees, plus dinner money for a Sunday feast.

Rapidan (Hoover) Camp Hike
May 27 (Sun); Jerry C.(571) 241-3787
This moderately difficult 7.2-mile loop hike will take us to Rapidan Camp, President Herbert Hoover’s rustic retreat in the heart of Shenandoah National Park. From Milam Gap on Skyline Drive we will descend via the Mill Pond Trail to Rapidan Camp, passing by the base of Big Rock Falls en route. At the Camp we'll eat lunch and, if we've timed it right, take a Park Ranger-guided tour of the President's Brown House (as opposed to his White House). We'll climb back up to Skyline Drive by way of the Laurel Prong Trail and the Appalachian Trail. At Hazeltop we'll reach the maximum elevation of our hike, 3812 feet, and from there descend to our awaiting cars at Milam Gap. The estimated cost for transportation, Park admission, and trip fee should be about $23, not including a possible restaurant meal afterwards. Note that because of the time and distance involved in getting to the trailhead, no food or coffee stop is planned on the way to the hike, so bring a lunch and beverage with you. Meet at 9 AM at the Pentagon Hayes Street Parking Lot on Army-Navy Drive between S. Joyce and S. Hayes Street in Arlington. The Pentagon City Metro station is about a 6-minute walk from the meeting place.


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 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.

Capital Climbers
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.


PREVIOUS TRIP REPORTS

Bloomingdale Neighborhood Walking Tour (Craig)
23 Adventurers and/or Chrysalians showed up on an exceptionally windy morning for a walking tour of one of DC's most historic yet least-known neighborhoods. After plowing through adjacent LeDroit Park into Bloomingdale, we went up one short street notable both for being atop a major tributary of Tiber Creek and for being the childhood home of Chita Rivera. As we came to the southern boundary of McMillan Reservoir, we luckily stumbled into another walking tour filled with experts on both the history and the ongoing controversies surrounding the reservoir's redevelopment. Serendipity at its best! That encounter happened along Bryant Street, which was historically the most important block in the neighborhood, because it was the legal cases involving housing here that led to the overthrow of restrictive racial covenants. After strolling south on First Street, many of us lunched at the Boundary Stone pub before ending our tour with tales of Moms Mably and Senator Edward Brooke.

Washington's Irish History Walking Tour (Elaine)
The luck of the Irish was with us this St. Paddy’s Day when 13 Adventurers met on Church Street for a walking tour of our city's Irish landmarks. We began at the official location of Solas Nua, an Irish arts center; some of us found their table full of free Irish Literature at Dupont Circle later that afternoon. Our tour included stops at St. Matthew's Cathedral, the Civil War Nurses Memorial, the White House, the John Barry Memorial Statue in Franklin Park, and the original site of Swampoodle, the moniker for the old Irish community that was mostly destroyed when Union Station was built more than a century ago. Afterwards we managed to find room to stand at the Irish Times but lost two of our hikers when they found a seat at the bar. We finished our day with lunch at the food court in Union Station.

Whiteoak Canyon-Robertson Mountain Hike (Jackson)
Rain, sleet, graupel, snow, sunshine: this hike had it all. The finicky month of March refused to obey the usual signal for the arrival of the hiker's spring—the switch to Daylight Saving Time—and summoned a diverse meteorological show to overawe us. Nevertheless, we five Adventurers persisted. Whiteoak Canyon, always a beauty of Shenandoah, was even more remarkable as the melting snow fattened the multiple waterfalls by the trail. Robertson Mountain, Shenandoah's eternal challenge, was a workout as always but this time, with the branches still bare, under the witness of Old Rag's watchful eye. Corbin Hollow trail, a plunge into a seldom-visited valley, still bore the remnants of the recent wind storm and offered an unexpected obstacle course. The hike concluded well before sundown and, with consensus, we rewarded ourselves with amazing Thai food in Warrenton, which has the winning attribute of being 15 minutes closer than the regular Northside 29.

Overall Run Falls Hike (Jeff)
Like a budding adolescent, spring has been reluctant to come out this year. But fortunately the hormones proved too much and eight Adventurers got to enjoy a one-day stand: A morning and afternoon of sun and warmth as we hiked the Overall Run Falls trail in northern Shenandoah National Park. The day started easily enough with a largely downward trek that eventually delivered us into the Overall Run Valley. But as experienced hikers know, what goes down must eventually come up. During the second half of the day we got to “enjoy” a steep 2900 foot climb back to our starting point, combined with a number of “interesting” stream crossings. Fortunately along the way we got to glory in stunning views of Shenandoah’s tallest waterfall along with an expansive vista that encompassed the entire Overall Run valley, the Massanutten Mountains to the west, and Great North Mountain beyond that. After all this effort, we thoroughly appreciated a calorie- and carb-laden dinner at the Jalisco Mexican Restaurant in Front Royal. And as a final grace note for the day, we got to watch the rising of a spectacular Blue Moon on our drive home.

Twilight Cherry Blossoms (Jeff)
In between recurring bouts of winter, Washington's Cherry Blossoms nevertheless made their glorious appearance. Eleven Adventurers (including one who arrived just as we were about to finish) did our annual stroll around the Tidal Basin and soaked in the beauty of this unique springtime treasure. Probably because of the colder temperatures, the crowds were smaller than normal (which suited us just fine). After circling the Tidal Basin, we next strolled down to DC’s newest attraction, The Wharf, stopping momentarily to warm ourselves at the bonfire near the end of the District Pier. After that, eight of our number stopped for a delicious dinner at the Station 4 restaurant and then called it a night.

Cherry Blossom Stroll (Elaine; Craig)
20 Adventurers were finally able to enjoy our annual cherry blossom trek, though the peak bloom was delayed quite a bit by the unseasonably cool weather. After meeting atop the Smithsonian Metro Station, Craig Howell and Elaine Rowley led the group around the Tidal Basin to enjoy the spectacle. The blustery winds and cold weather scared off a few tourists, allowing for a pleasant stroll. The smaller crowds and leisurely pace allowed us ample time to snap photos, take selfies and sniff petals. A stop at the Jefferson Memorial provided a sweeping postcard panorama, along with an informative talk by Craig on the history of the cherry blossom trees and their cultural significance. Next was the FDR memorial which provided more blossoms and some great history, followed by a long stop at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and a brief stop at the Lincoln Memorial. Each stop was illuminated by a great talk by our in-house historian Craig. The final leg of the stroll was along the Reflecting Pool, which currently has a moving and powerful display of Holocaust survivors and their stories. We finished where we started, at the Smithsonian Metro stop. Some of us then went to the Smithsonian Castle to warm up with coffee.

Bluff Trail-Mount Marshall Circuit Hike (Jeff)
Nine Adventurers got to enjoy a beautiful, sunny spring day as we trekked 15 miles in the northern section of Shenandoah National Park. Even though the Park was free that day, we had the trails pretty much to ourselves, and we took full advantage of them. The morning and early afternoon consisted of three steep ascents, two of which resulted in spectacular views from the tops of North and South Marshall Mountain. The afternoon provided an equally awesome vista from the Big Devil’s Stairs Overlook, as well as three stream crossings. Even though we were pretty tired as the afternoon wore on, we had to endure one long, final push uphill to return to our waiting cars. After that grueling climb, we had definitely built up an appetite, which was more than satisfied at Front Royal’s Jalisco Mexican Restaurant.

Doyles River Falls Circuit Hike (Craig)
Five Adventurers -- three grizzled veterans and a couple of relative rookies -- ventured out to the distant southern reaches of Shenandoah National Park on a chilly, cloudy, but still serviceable spring day. We got quite a shock in Madison, where we discovered their local Sheetz is closed for renovations. Luckily, we found a perfectly adequate Emergency Sheetz a few miles down the road at the Wolfville Country Store, where they made us some fine tasty sandwiches, thank you very much. The first leg of our hike was punctuated by a number of large trees evidently blown down by the gales of March 2; fortunately, most of them have moved off the fire road. Only one large fallen tree still remains to be removed. Crossing Doyles River is more interesting than it used to be, as the flat slabs of stone that formerly facilitated the crossing were apparently swept away in some flood and have been replaced by rocks of irregular size and stability. Our lunch next to the base of the Upper Doyles River Falls was a scenic delight, as there was more water crashing over the falls than we had expected. The climb up to Skyline Drive was a bit of a slog, but we took frequent breaks to catch our breath. The views from the two overlooks along the Drive were quite impressive and tempted us to return to explore more of this beautiful country. We made quick time along the AT back to our car at Browns Gap. Dinner at Giovanna's was a novel experience for most of us, but we all seemed well satisfied by both the quantity and quality of our meals.


ADVENTURING COMMITTEE CONTACTS
President Jeff Hughes (301) 775-9660
Secretary Jackson Tan (410) 422-9257
Treasurer Peter Redding (202) 352-4796
Membership Jireh Aki (562) 810-4411
Publicity Bill Horten (443) 244-5495
 
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.
     
Woods Coordinator: Other Coordinator:
Craig Howell (202) 462-0535 Jerry Cowden (703) 920-6871