Maryland Outdoor Club
Sun, Mar 14 2004 - Difficult Day Hike (Bull Run - Occoquan Trail) (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Joanne Milne, Chris Whalen
Participants:Chris Whalen, Joanne Milne, Jeff Schneider, Donna McLaren, Douglas Smith, Adam Miller, Allyson Green, Ronit Fix, Katie Stofer, Colin Babb, Christine Di Lapi, Debbie Haggart, Doug Wise, Ryan Meadows

Write Up:
About 15 enthusiastic hikers met at the Vienna Metro for a Sunday almost-springtime hike. We drove to the Bull Run Occoquan Park, where we waited for a few stragglers.

We began the hike with nice rolling hills along the lake. Occasionally we stopped to catch our breath. Two of our hikers headed back with minor injuries. Meanwhile, Joanne and Alison tore up the front of the pack like crazy women. Doug S. ran on ahead to reach our destination. After 2.5 hours we reached the halfway point of 6.5 miles at Fountainhead park. The bathrooms were locked, so we ate our lunches and took a much needed break.

During lunch, the temperature dropped, the wind picked up, and we realized we had to get started again for the return trip.

With sore feet we started off again. About halfway back, we all stopped for about 20 minutes to rest, joke, and poke fun at one another. The next hour seemed interminable! Those gently rolling hills we encountered earlier became monstrous obstacles. We finally made it back to the cars around 4:30 PM.

We sat and rested in the parking lot while hikers continued to join us. Jeff lost his hiking sticks and had to backtrack a bit to fetch them.

When he arrived, he announced that Maryland had beat Duke in the ACC Championship (having magically acquired this knowledge from a gnome in the forest), and that they will be going onto the NCAA Tournament later this week. The Terps among us cheered and headed for drinks and a nice hot dinner at the Olive Garden at Fair Lakes.

There, Matt (the waiter with the braids) served us salad with extra cheese, tasty Sangria, and yummy hot entrees. One young lady ordered eggplant parmesan, sans the eggplant. So Matt had to get her some extra eggplant to make up for it. After our dinner, we paid the check, as Matt brought us extra chocolate mints! Yum, our favorites.

We headed home with full tummies, sore feet, and smiles on our faces. Generally, a pleasant and exhausting day for all. Thanks for everyone who made this day so spectacular!

--Joanne Milne

The weather wasn't as nice as the weather psychics promised. It was cloudy and chilly. We had a good turnout, however, and I would like to extend my thanks to everybody that came out and had fun. Unfortunately, one person had to leave because of new boots rubbing her heel. Colin was coerced into entertaining Ronit by jumping up and down on the bridges. Luckily, there wasn't much foot traffic on the trail because it's one person wide about half the time. We took a break at the picnic shelter in Fountainhead Park. After the wind picked up, we decided to get going before we froze to death. While taking a break, Jeff learned that Maryland had tied Duke and they were heading to overtime. Unfortunately, he left his trekking poles when we started moving again. He rejoined us in the parking lot, triumphantly. Maryland beat Duke and made the NCAA Tournament.

After much ballyhoo, we decided on Olive Garden as our restaurant. We had a great waiter, Matt, and waitress, Emma. Matt ground about a pound of cheese into each salad bowl since nobody said 'when.' They treated us with respect even though we were questionably dressed. The food and atmosphere was wonderful. The only problem we experienced was the chairs; it seemed we were the only patrons who had solid wood chairs. It wasn't very comfortable sitting in them, but we survived.

--Chris Whalen

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