Maryland Outdoor Club
Sun, Aug 29 2004 - Difficult Day Hike in GWNF (Duncan Knob) (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Jeff Schneider
Participants:Jeff Schneider, Christine Di Lapi, Carrie Graff, Michelle Williams, Fred Wang, Kelly Rand, Pam Kozlowski, Chris Whalen, Ellen Worthing, Jeff La Noue, Ann Grimes

Write Up:
This truly was a hike to "get away from it all." Since the trailhead was about two hours from the Vienna Metro, it certainly felt like we left our homes way behind. Also, we saw a grand total of two other hikers on the trail. Massanutten Mountain has excellent, well-maintained trails, but not nearly as much traffic as nearby Shenandoah National Park. Peace, quiet, humidity, and great hiking ruled the day.

At about 11 a.m., we managed to fit our cars in the limited parking at the trailhead and started the tough uphill climb. A couple super MOC hikers dissapeared in a cloud of dust in front of everyone, but of course let the rest of us catch up at trail junctions. Carrie's dog, Shadow, was her regular energetic self. On this humid August day, we made sure she drank enough water.

At lunchtime, we passed by the dry, but lovely Peach Orchard Gap campsite and began the rocky scramble up on top of Duncan Knob. Since it was such a tough climb up and we felt so far away from everything, we celebrated by comparing how many bars of reception our cellphones were receiving. After enjoying our lunch at a decent overlook, Chris found a great view on the other side. Unfortunately, many of us already began the descent after Chris discovered this overlook. Next time we will have to eat there.

A few downhills and uphills awaited for us after lunch. The forecast, like on many summer days, called for a slight chance of thunderstorms, but it was nothing but sun, humidity, and sweat. After quickly finishing the nine-mile hike, we dined at Dan's Steakhouse. Even folks who don't normally eat steak felt like they had no choice but to enjoy some "Valley Tradition" beef. We also want to thank our nice waitress who brought everyone big glasses of water with pitchers to refill.

Thanks to all who attended and I hope you had a good time!

--Jeff Schneider

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