Maryland Outdoor Club
Fri, Apr 30 2004 - Rock & Raft Camping Weekend (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Chih Lin, Alvin Liem
Participants:Chih Lin, Alvin Liem, Leilani Ho, Ryan Meadows, Rebecca Frankenberger, Carrie Graff, Karen Jacob, Chirag Parikh, stephen pheiffer, Lee Miles, judith dempsey, Stacy Robinson, Michael Trumbo, Stuart Marcin, christopher hillegas, Brian Sullivan, michelle cappe, Megan Miley, Steve Ehrman, Julia Begley, Nicole DeChirico, Kunal Kot, Lora Polowczuk, Adam Miller, Joanne Milne

Write Up:
One of the main concerns for this trip was the weather. As the weekend approached, we constantly checked the weather thinking perhaps the forecast had changed in the ten seconds that had passed since we last checked. Halfway through the week, it did change. It went from worse to bad when weekend showers turned to isolated thunderstorms. Despite our crippled sense of confidence, we went ahead with our plans and tried to prepare for the worst.

The carpool location was the Greenbelt Metro station. There was some confusion regarding the actual lots within the station. Some people ended up at the Park and Ride lot, while others showed up in one of the two Kiss and Ride lots. Thankfully, most people arrived early or on time. While we waited for a couple of people to show up, we packed the cars and tried to decide who would ride with whom. Following introductions and a quick overview of the caravan plans, we were on the road by around 6:00.

While Alvin was busy creating order out chaos at Greenbelt, Chih led the scout car from Towson with the likes of Michelle, Nicole, Judith, and Chris. Introductions were made, stories were exchanged, bonds were formed, and thumbs were twiddled as we drove long and far across the Maryland and West Virginia landscape. Destination: 'Deliverance' country.

The caravan made its way across Maryland, and the traffic, although heavy at times, was flowing reasonably well. A couple of cars went ahead of the caravan, but most of us made a dinner stop near Front Royal. After attempting to find a Wendy's we settled for the Golden Arches near the highway. Following dinner, most of us became speed demons, flying across Virginia, through the mountains, and into West Virginia.

For the cars coming from the carpool, the drive included a long stretch of driving on Route 60, which had numerous switchbacks and 15-mph turns. Thankfully, everyone made it safely through this treacherous road.

Chih's car pulled into the winding and sloped entrance well into the night. The campgrounds featured covered picnic areas and grills that we never used. The 'rustic post-and- beam' Passages to Adventure headquarters was situated a mere hundred yards or so away from us. The building was equipped with public bathrooms, showers, and a very limited bar.

As Chih's group of passengers tried to assemble our palatial six-person tent, other cars began to trickle in. Most of the cars from the carpool arrived shortly after midnight, although a few of us got there earlier, but had trouble locating the actual campsite. Cars continued to trickle in over the next hour or so. By around 1 am, everyone had arrived.

Soon, the campsite became a clutter of half assembled tents lit by the headlights of the cars. It was challenging to set up the campsite in the dark, but we managed to do it in a reasonable amount of time. As the last tent was raised, people gathered to socialize, drink beer, and talk about our travels and the adventure to come the following day. When the last bit of adrenaline faded away, everyone turned in.

We woke up Saturday morning to the sounds of nature's alarm clock, the incessant chirping of birds and the pecking of a woodpecker. The weather appeared to be as predicted, cloudy and ominous. We were unwavering, however. Dreary eyed, we convened at headquarters for breakfast, which consisted of waffles, cereal, cinnamon buns, donuts, and sausage sandwiches that reminded us of White Castle hamburgers. After breakfast, each of us stopped by the office to fill out waiver forms.

After signing our lives away, we met up to get our gear. Once we all suited up, we piled into the rafting bus. The bus was old and rusty and topped off at 20 miles per hour and barely overcame the hills we drove over. We met our guides, Dave, Jason, Elmo, a

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