Maryland Outdoor Club
Sat, Aug 30 2003 - Road Trip to North Carolina (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Keira Wickliffe
Participants:Keira Wickliffe, Brian Loughery, Jason Craver, Laura Paszkiewicz, Ronit Fix, Andrew Malchow

Write Up:
Road Trip to North Carolina: what a trip for all those that missed it. It started off interesting. I showed up a few minutes late due to a traffic backup caused by an accident, and the 'employee of the month' at Dunkin Donuts not knowing they even had a product called a Box of Joe. But no big deal, nobody was in 'panic' mode yet looking for the organizer.

Next, we rearranged people and gear to fit into three cars for the journey. Interestingly, Brian had all the girls but me in his SUV. As we were about to leave we decided to double check on what route we were going to take. So, I go to grab the directions, that I prepared the night before, but they weren't there- go figure.

But, JR soon came to the rescue, as he had printed out the directions from the web site. Whew - that could have turned out much worse.

The trip down didn't take nearly as long as we thought it would have - you would have almost thought that Young was attending with his 'lead foot.' Including a long lunch break, the drive totaled about 7 hours. We stopped at Waffle House so that those that had never experienced it, had the opportunity.

When we arrived at the campsite that evening, we realized we were missing JR's vehicle. So, as we took off for the restroom facilities on the way to the group campsite, we were glad to see that JR and Andrew had arrived. JR managed to get the back end of his truck stuck in another campsite's fire pit and had to spin out his tires to get out.

Next, it was on to finding our particular campsite. Needless to say, we got lost. Inadvertently, we got a really nice tour of the camp grounds!

To our dismay, our campsite turned out to be a 'free-for-all' area in a big field with picnic talbes and firepits scattered throughout. The third group in this area, we grabbed a big corner of the field, and began pitching our tents. The tent pitching was a rather interesting experience too, because of the difficult ground. Brian came to the rescue with his plastic mallet, but that even proved a bit challenging. The native-North Carolinians on the trip forgot just how problematic the ground is - all rock and clay. So, we played a nice game of 'angle the stakes and hope they won't come out.'

The evening was rounded out by some discreet drinking. Most everyone decided to call it quits early to get some good zzz's and be prepared for hiking the next day.

Awakened to the sound of the 5 to 6 AM roosters (both mornings), we decided to get breakfast ready. Andrew taught us how to make the 'perfect' campsite bacon, while I cooked the eggs. No one died or suffered any major indigestive problems, an accomplishment for someone that doesn't typically do the cooking.

Paying a visit to us that morning was Pugsly, a little pug that wandered over to our campsite from the one he was staying with his owners.

After breakfast, we all piled back into Brian's car, and off to Grandfather Mountain we went! Because of Brian's dark-tinted windows, the ticketing agent at the park couldn't see exactly how many people we had and charged us for just the front seat passengers.

Into the hike, we stopped for lunch on one of the mountain's peaks, seeing how it was the sunniest it had been all day. After eating, we continued on the trail, and it began to rain on us. We overheard a Boy Scout troop leader telling his boys that the 'mountain is a temperate rainforest, so it rains a lot here.' That it did, as we later found out, it would rain on and off on us for the rest of the day. We tried not to let it slow us down. The fog began playing tricks with our eyes and Ronit and I thought we saw a small pond, which turned out to be the edge. I am so glad that I wasn't the only one that saw that.

Almost at the top, we began to hear thunder. We only had another 100 feet or so to go to reach the highest point on the mountain.

Have some photos from this event that you'd like to share in our photo album? Please forward them to Amy Lipsius at Please note that we prefer to receive the photos in approximately 640x480 or 750x500 pixels - do NOT send original high-res photos. If you have a LOT of photos, please submit up to twenty of your favorites (only) for a day event, or up to forty of your favourites for a multi-day event. Thank you.