Maryland Outdoor Club
Sun, Jan 25 2004 - Moderate Day Hike on the Northwest Branch (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Katie Stofer, Joanne Milne
Participants:Joanne Milne, Katie Stofer, Donna McLaren, Ronit Fix, Colin Babb, Rob Copeland, Chris Whalen, Kristen Larson, Vanessa Vidunas, Ryan Meadows, Jason Craver, David Ni, Shana Yudowitch

Write Up:
The MOC and the Trail of the Fall Guy:

The day dawned overcast and cold. We lost more than half the group because of tires frozen in ice and flattened and just general weather-avoidance behavior. But the (lucky) 13 of us set out to spit in the face of Father Winter.

I thought that doing a hike close to home would get things moving more on time. Ironically, however, the guy who had the farthest to drive was early while one of the closest was almost a half-hour late (even though she lives only about eight minutes from Katie's house).

Nevertheless, we finally piled into the cars and set out for the trailhead, as we planned to have cars at both ends in case we didn't want to do the whole 12 miles. We hit the trail and found ourselves pleasantly meandering, trying to get the blood pumping while avoiding sporadic patches of ice. One of our hikers twice volunteered by falling to show the rest of us where the slippery patches were.Unfortunately, he was at the back of the group so it didn't do anybody any good, and it certainly didn't help his own rear end.

As we reached Colesville Road, about four miles in, we had to make a decision either to go forth into unexplored, shorter, yet slightly more difficult terrain and possibly get inside a little sooner, or to venture back the same four miles on the tried-and-true route.

So we split up into two groups. The southbound group contained Katie, Colin, Ronit, Shana, and David, and the northbound loop group contained Joanne, Donna, Ryan, Rob, Chris, Kristen, Jason, and Vanessa.

The northbound group retraced their steps to the beginning of the NWB trail (in other words, they were not adventurous enough to cross Route 29 and attempt the rock scrambling).

The southbound group finished the one-way trip, warmed up a bit at Katie's house, and returned to the parking lot at the Brookside Nature Center in Wheaton via several cars. Joanne and Rob were inside the conservatory looking at the beautiful foliage, while others used the facilities or warmed up in one of the cars.

On arrival of the southbound group, we caravaned to Dominic's for a warm pizza dinner. A bone-chilling time was had by all!

A nice hike all in all, if a bit chilly. Look for this again in the spring; next time probably will be dog-friendly, as there usually are lots of locals out with dogs on these trails.

--Joanne Milne and Katie Stofer

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