Sat, Jan 10 2004 - Moderate Day Hike in Frederick, MD (View Original Event Details)|
|Participants:||Ryan Meadows, Yu-Ling Huang, Linda Werner, Donna McLaren, David Raines, Nora Maresh, Rob Copeland, Jeff Schneider, peggy clapp, Peggy Corp, Jared Dant, Elizabeth Copeland, Laura Loughery, Brian Loughery, Stephanie Sacripanti, Shana Yudowitch, David English, Ted Hellen, Vanessa English, Ana Oskoz|
Thanks very much to those who let me know of their cancellations--you saved 21 people from standing around in the sub-freezing cold waiting for you.
The few who met at the car pool undoutedly appeared prepared for a winter's hike. It was Cold. Some were wearing masks, some had hats, mittens, gloves, and several layers of clothes. After quickly checking in everyone we decided who was car pooling with whom, I gave them directions to the park, and we headed off.
Others were waiting at Gambrill State Park staying warm in their running automobiles. After arriving I got out and checked in everyone else and made sure people kept moving. While some got to know others they didn't know Max decided some hot chocolate was in order. A thermos was definitely a good idea. Everyone who brought a camelbak was already starting to deal with frozen tubes. Did I mention it was Cold?
I gathered everyone around to go through introductions and asked, "Where would you rather be?" Many answered home in a warm bed and others in the tropics or Florida, or a hot tub. The crazy Jeff Schneider said he was happy just where he was, standing in sub-freezing weather. Max said he was quite happy with this morning, too, as he was used to Wisconsin weather.
I showed them the map of the park and the route I would take (as best as I could remember). Some couldn't wait around in the cold anymore and went ahead. Brian and I confirmed the no-shows and headed off. Walking just a quarter mile or so on the downhill didn't warm up anyone, and within ten minutes two turned back to thaw their feet and stay warm. It was definitely a painful experience and I hope to see them again in warmer weather. The remaining fools, er... MOC hikers continued on the hike. It was Cold.
Finally, we came to an uphill where everyone could get a good workout and warm up the body. Some quickly discovered frozen camelbak tubes, frozen beef jerky, and frozen inhalers. We hiked uphill more and the cold air in the lungs was invigorating to me and others. I could see the sun starting to come through the trees. I paused to check everyone was okay and most
were in bright spirits. It was Cold.
We came to an intersection and I made sure everyone was comfortable. Some were feeling much better after a warm-up climb. I got out a bottle of water to have a sip. Some dribbled down onto my jacket and froze in droplets before it could roll off. Another small reminder: it was Cold.
We continued the uphill climb on the fire road and past the spring. It leveled out until the group passed a little shack. I was looking forward to climbing the next few switch-backs as we continued ascending. Some were wondering how far it was until we would get a break. I told them it was at the top of the next climb, about twenty minutes.
Many were quite prepared for the weather and just chatted the whole hike, getting to know new-found friends. Ascending the switchbacks in the lead I was worried I might leave some behind, but Brian, who volunteered to sweep, waited patiently for some to blow their noses and made sure no one was left out in the cold. I paused occasionally to let the group catch up.
Nearing the top, I assured them the first overlook was close. The sky was clear, and when we arrived at the first overlook I encouraged everyone to take in the marvelous view. Donna took a a picture and then left everyone to freeze. She had to press on and keep moving or else turn into a popsicle. Some were quite warm, joyful, and hoped it was lunch time already. It wasn't lunch time yet but definately a good place to catch a breath, have a snack and a drink of water. Several thought their Power Bars had gone stale. Others were quick to point out it was just
frozen SOLID! The sun was coming up and the air was a balmy 18 degrees!
We got back on the yellow trail and off through the woods. The only thing I had on my mind was "I don't
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