Maryland Outdoor Club
Sat, May 30 2009 - St. Mary's Wilderness Backpacking (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Nils Olson, Steve
Participants:Steve, Nils Olson, Rebecca Austin, Michael Lamb, Heather Christensen, Sarah Keast

Write Up:
Steve picked up Rebecca, Mike, and Heather at the West Friendship lot at 7:00. I met Sarah at the Vienna metro at 8:00. Both cars arrived at the parking area by 11:00 and we were on the trail by 11:30.

We hiked about 2.5 miles to the camping area. Most of the camping spots were occupied. There was one unoccupied area but it was too small for our group of 6. After some debate, we decided to pitch our tents in a large open area near where a single large tent was already set up. When the tents were up, we fixed lunch and hung up our remaining food.

After everyone had eaten, we put on our fanny packs for the 2.5 mile hike down to St. Mary’s falls. There were some side trails and mining spots, so we spent over 2 hours hiking downhill to the falls. Mark fell in the creek and hurt his thumb, but was able to get by without problems. The falls were nice, but it was starting to get late, so we decided to hike back to camp as fast as we could, and we made it back in less than 1.5 hours.

When we got back to camp, the other tent was gone. We then started sawing wood for the campfire, and everyone started cooking dinner. The igniter on my stove wouldn’t work, ironically, Sarah and I had been talking about the unreliability of piezo lighters on the way down. I later discovered the ceramic insulator had cracked after only its second use. Snow Peak has promised to fix it.

Dinner was good. Mark and Heather went all out and had leftovers to share. The fire was good and helped get my boots and socks dry. We went to bed by 10:00. There was a thunderstorm during the night, and everything outside the tents got pretty wet. Steve and I also got some chigger bites during the night.

We all got up, ate breakfast, and packed things up. We were on the trail by 9:30, and we hiked about 3 miles mostly uphill to Green Pond. At Green Pond, we turned onto a fire road and started hiking back towards the parking area. We ate lunch by an abandoned school bus. Several motorbikes were running along the fireroad.

After about 3 miles on the fire road, we got back on the main trail. Footing was somewhat treacherous with peat moss covering the trail, and Heather fell and twisted her ankle. The injury wasn’t too serious, and she was able to complete the hike without assistance. We got back to the cars by 3:30.

- Nils

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