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
Dec 21 (Sun) Winter Solstice Poetry Hike Craig; Chris (202) 462-0535; (304) 433-1260
Dec 28 (Sun) Rock Creek Hike: Dupont to Silver Spring Craig (202) 462-0535
Jan 01 (Thu) Riverbend Park to Greats Falls (VA) Hike Craig (202) 462-0535
 

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

Winter Solstice Poetry Hike
Dec 21 (Sun); Craig; Chris(202) 462-0535; (304) 433-1260
Celebrate the passing of the seasons and the return of the sun on Adventuring's Seventeenth 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 of 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 ccraig@laurellodge.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).

Rock Creek Hike: Dupont to Silver Spring
Dec 28 (Sun); Craig(202) 462-0535
Here's a good holiday season leg-stretcher right in the heart of town to work off some of those holiday season calories. Starting from the Dupont Circle Metro Station, we'll stroll down to nearby Rock Creek and then follow its network of trails north all the way to the Silver Spring Metro. Scenic highlights en route should include Peirce Mill, the Nature Center, Fort DeRussy, and Boundary Bridge. Total length of this moderate-to-strenuous hike should be about 9.5 miles, with any number of short and sometimes steep, slippery or otherwise-tricky up-and-downs en route. We'll Metro back to Dupont from Silver Spring. Bring beverages, lunch, sturdy boots and the $2 trip fee. Meet at 10 a.m. in front of the elevator for the Dupont Circle Metro Station on Connecticut Avenue NW just south of Q Street.

Riverbend Park to Greats Falls (VA) Hike
Jan 01 (Thu); Craig(202) 462-0535
Adventuring traditionally welcomes each New Year by hiking at the Great Falls of the Potomac, a stupendous cascade that would not be out of place in our iconic National Parks out West. And every year our New Years Day hike attracts the biggest turnout of the entire year; attendance has been 40 or 41 for three years running. This first hike of 2015 will begin from Riverbend Park upstream from the Falls in VA and proceed along the Potomac to Great Falls itself, where we'll lunch. Our return leg will take us back to Riverbend via a series of upland trails. Total length of this moderate loop should not exceed 5 miles. Bring beverages, lunch, holiday treats to share, winter-worthy boots and a few dollars for fees. You can either carpool at 11 this morning from the Dupont Circle Metro Station (meet in front of the elevator on CT Avenue south of Q Street), or meet at 11:45 a.m. in the parking lot for the Riverbend Park Visitor Center (8700 Potomac Hills Street, Great Falls, VA) next to the Potomac. NOTE: We meet by the Park's Visitor Center, not the Park's Nature Center, which is further back from the river.


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!

Oct. 25 - Fall Potluck Social
It's our social event of the fall, and you're invited! Come to Adventuring's Fall Potluck & Social and reminisce over a year of hiking, riding and splashing together.

This fall, Peter and Carlos are hosting on Capitol Hill. The event begins at 7:00 PM and is accessible by metro (Capitol South), bus, bike, or car (though we recommend metro). WE WILL SEND OUT THE ADDRESS TO THOSE WHO RSVPED FOR THE SOCIAL ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23.

Bring a dish to share with four fellow Adventurers. Beverages will be provided. Dish assignments based on surnames appear below.

* A through E: Main Course
* F through J: Desserts
* K through P: Salads
* Q through Z: Hors d'Oeuvres or Snacks

This is a free event (...as long as you bring your dish assignment), and guests are welcome. Please RSVP via MeetUp.com, or email Jeff at jeffreyhughes@me.com.

If you can't make it, thank you for making this a great summer for Adventuring; and we look forward to seeing you again soon.


PREVIOUS TRIP REPORTS

Fall Color Hike @ Great Falls (MD) (Jeff; Jireh)
It was a beautiful day for a hike for our 22 Adventurers and very busy. Not surprisingly, there were many other people on the Billy Goat trail for the well-known Section A. We had lunch at a high point of Section A that overlooked the river with quite a spectacular view; it was a revelation for those of us who hadn't realized that all this beauty exists in our own backyard. By the time we completed Section A, we were down to 19 people. Moving on to Section B we had less traffic from other hikers; the extra elbow room made our experience as a large group more enjoyable. When we completed Section B two more people decided to go home, so the last 17 of us trekked on to Section C. A tiring day but well worth it.

Fall Color & Winery Hike @ Snickers Gap (Craig)
16 Adventurers gathered at the big parking lot at Snickers Gap on a cloudless if gusty day with plenty of fall colors still up on the trees. The first half of our journey took us up and down a couple of hollows along the AT, much of which was rocky and leaf-covered, so we had to pick our way carefully. A Wardrobe Malfunction en route was quickly resolved thanks to the cooperative efforts of our resourceful crew. Lunch at the Raven Rocks overlook was a stunning experience, not only because of the fall colors engulfing us but because the clear dry skies let us see at least 50 miles past Signal Knob to Kennedy Peak on the Massanutten. As we headed back, we were astonished to see a massive new development is underway along the service road connecting the commo tower near Raven Rocks with Route 601. Our road walk back towards Snickers Gap along Route 601 was highlighted by a sweeping view across a broad estate to the Shenandoah Valley; at this point, out in the open, we could really appreciate how well the trees had shielded us from the day's blustery winds. We reached Twin Oaks Tavern Winery in time to enjoy a leisurely hour on its popular deck. A very brief stroll from here took us back to our cars. It would be hard to imagine a more perfect outing than today's.

Bull Run Mountain Hike (Revisited) (Jeff)
When we hiked the Bull Run Mountain in September, we were greeted with layers of rain and fog, which made us think we had stumbled into the Scottish Highlands or an outtake from “Lord of the Rings.” This time, though, we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful fall day: Sunny and brisk, with a chill in the air. Five Adventurers trekked up to the White Rocks Overlook, where the views were spectacular. We expected to see the stunning views of the Blue Ridge, but what we didn’t expect was the glorious display of fall colors. After a couple of October “Fall Color” hikes, where the color was middling at best, we figured the leaves were past peak for any autumnal display. But rely on Mother Nature to provide the unexpected. The valley below the overlook was resplendent in orange and red, while the paths below the peak dazzled us with displays of yellow and gold. Our one moment of unwanted drama came near the end when the confusing trail markings that the Bull Run Mountain Conservancy, for some reason, has chosen to adopt had us (along with a number of other hikers) backtracking to get back on the correct path. Fortunately, this just meant we could experience more of the magnificent autumnal weather and display, so no one complained. The hike was followed by a stop to a nearby Adventuring favorite, Pickle Bob’s, where the combination of eating ice cream and sitting down rather than hiking made us realize just how cold this November day really was.

Big Schloss Hike (Craig)
Winter's sudden onset, combined with the beginning of firearms hunting season for deer, scared away some Adventurers, but the ten of us who showed up were glad we did. Though temperatures were well below normal for mid-November, they proved bearable thanks to light if not nonexistent winds, almost cloudless sunshine and the warming effects of our own exertions. We enjoyed sensational views both east and west from the ridgeline of Great North Mountain for much of our hike, since the absence of leaves opened up vistas normally closed off by a Green Tunnel the rest of the year. The Big Schloss outcrop itself gave us the day's best views, which we savored along with our lunches. We continued north along the Mill Mountain Trail another mile after lunch, giving us some unique perspectives of Big Schloss as we worked off some more calories. Then we turned around and headed back to our cars in the very popular Wolf Gap Campground lot, where it seemed all of today's hikers had parked to avoid the hunters . Speaking of which, we never did spot any hunters or deer, though we heard lots of salvos, especially during lunch, making us wonder if maybe the deer were firing back.

Signal Knob Circuit Hike (Craig)
Well, the five of us didn't actually go to Signal Knob, since we feared it might be too difficult to do in light of all the recent snow. So we switched instead to the nearby Dickey Ridge Trail, which begins at the northern end of Shenandoah National Park in Front Royal, also the lowest point in the entire Park. Not much snow on the ground at first, but as we climbed, so did the snow depths, up to maybe 10 inches. The trail became an obstacle course for its upper half, as many branches were blocking the trail, requiring us to negotiate our way carefully through or around them. We reached the Dickey Ridge Visitors Center about 2 hours after we started, and enjoyed a sweeping panorama as we lunched in bright sunshine and comfortably cool temperatures, without any winds to chill us down any further. We returned by walking along the shoulder of the nicely plowed Skyline Drive, closed to the public when we started out but re-opened while we were heading downhill. We switched back to the trail for the last leg of our 8-mile round trip, but meanwhile we had already saved ourselves a good 20 minutes by avoiding the obstacle course.

Lake Fairfax-Colvin Run Mill Hike (Craig)
10 Adventurers enjoyed a long hike (10.5 miles) on a short winter's day through some very wooded areas of Fairfax County. The trails were mostly level or on gently rolling terrain; as expected, there were some muddy stretches, especially when we were near Colvin Run. But by far our biggest problem all day was lousy signage, starting with getting to and finding our way around the parking garage for the Wiehle Avenue Metro Station. The signage problem peaked inside Lake Fairfax Park, where we took several wrong turns because of missing, misleading or mislabeled signs. Once we were outside the Park on the final leg to Colvin Run Mill, we encountered no problems at all. We spent 45 minutes at the Mill for lunch and for snooping around the good stuff inside their historic General Store, a relic of the 1920s, prices included. (Where else can you get nickel candy anymore?) We made good time on our return to Metro, now that we knew which turns to take (or avoid). We noticed a lot more cyclists on the trails in the afternoon than in the morning, no doubt reflecting the milder temperatures.


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 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