Maryland Outdoor Club
Sat, Aug 7 2004 - Hiking/Camping Wknd (Potomac State Forest) (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Jeff Schneider
Participants:Jeff Schneider, jennifer Price, Pamela Silberman, John Putman, Dorlisa Minnick, Eric Bjurstrom, HASAN KILIC, Sarah Dannenfelser, Brian Grimm, Mark Reynolds, Tiffany Rhoten, Vera Bjurstrom

Write Up:
For anyone who considers Frederick to be "Western Maryland," you may want to take a trip farther out west to Garrett County. While Frederick is closer and has its nice spots, it doesn't quite compare to the gorgeous scenery in Garrett County--nothing to see but mountains on each side with valleys of lush farmland in between. Add in a couple of lovely lakes, waterfalls, and rivers, and you'll see why Garrett County is the real Western Maryland!

We started out early Saturday and met near Smithsburg for the carpool. Two minutes before the carpool meet time, the leader was a bit worried as only three other participants were present. But promptly at 10 am everyone started to pull in. Formal introductions were not needed, as it was such a small group and we were one big happy family from the start. We made plans to meet at McDonald's outside Cumberland for lunch, which we did. Mark went across the street to KFC, and we discussed what he would do if we accidentally left him there. Fortunately, Mark made his way back to us, and you will not be seeing him in a "Cast Away"-type movie anytime soon.

Right outside of the campsite, the leader took everyone on a couple detours to see some nice scenery. While turning around after one detour, we were fortunate enough to meet some friendly locals who were good at pulling cars out of ditches. At around 2 pm we arrived at the campsite and set up our tents. A beautiful and shaded four-mile Lostland Run hike followed. We had the trail all to ourselves and enjoyed every minute of it--except when three of us were attacked by bees. These were strange bees that liked fingers and toes.

Even though the day was unseasonably cool (around 65 degrees), Eric stripped to his bathing suit and hopped in the stream near Cascade Falls. It was a good thing he came prepared with a big towel, as the water must have been pretty cold. The end of the hike took us to the Potomac River. This is an exquisite site, complete with a small cliff that provides an overlook. This time, Tiffany and Vera joined Eric in the water. Dylan (one of Tiffany's dogs) was a little reluctant to jump in, but with a little encouragement, she joined the swimmers. If only more hikes ended with cool water to dive in (for the brave) and soak your feet in (for the rest of us).

It was a little late by the time we got to the campsite and started preparing dinner. Eric brought lots of good food to cook. As a group we all did a little bit to help with the cooking--some of us cut vegetables, while others worked on starting the fire. The fire was a bit of a challenge since all the wood around was wet. Hasan suggested trying to get some firewood by going down the road to a local's trailer. This sounded like a risky idea to those of us accustomed to mean urban neighbors, but Hasan persevered and got a ride. It was a good thing he did this, as we found a nice kid willing to sell us some DRY firewood. The fire was saved and we were able to cook and enjoy Eric's delicious beef, chicken, and vegetable kabobs. A big thanks to everyone who helped with this meal.

The rest of the night was spent doing the traditional sit around the campfire thing--smores, alcohol, and talking about funny things. Everyone stayed pretty close to the fire since it was pretty cold out. Also, we discovered that a man named Tom joined our group. For the rest of the trip Tom kind of followed us around-- but he was so quiet and unassuming, it seemed as if he wasn't there!

Next morning, we got up around 10 am, ate breakfast, and set off for Backbone Mountain. After another quick detour and turn around, we made a quick stop at what is supposed to be the smallest church in the 48 continental states. Somehow we all fit in and sat on the pews. The church was very intimate and had everything most churches feature--only mu

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