Maryland Outdoor Club
Fri, Oct 22 2004 - Camping Weekend in Shenandoah (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Carrie Graff
Participants:Carrie Graff, Keith Ellis, Jesse Allen, Kate Copanic, Greg Thomas, Paula Moran, Tressa Ellis, Mark Reynolds, Leo Seung, John Putman, KC Yi, Steve Shelby, Marta Carriero, Matthew Waddell, Colin Babb, Bea Zheng, Sarah Keast

Write Up:
Despite having a 100-degree fever and a swollen gland in my throat the size of a golf ball, I headed to the carpool to meet those who dared to brave a weekend in the woods with me. Everyone but Steve, Marta, and KC met at the carpool. KC was gracious enough to have left for the campsite earlier with wood he donated from his backyard, and to get camp started. Right from the carpool I could tell this would be a great group as the laughter was immediate. After introductions, and correcting the 'bad' directions I had written for everyone (does anyone know how to get to 490?) we departed into the wonderful traffic that is DC's Friday rush hour. On reaching Front Royal (and exit 6, not exit12 or 4) we all eventually met up at the first gas station to see what everyone wanted for dinner. We settled on a Mexican place I had eaten at once, and behold they had seating for all 15 of us! Jokes about sleeping in tents after eating Mexican were sure to come up, and after about an hour, we were back on the road for the last two hours to Dundo campsite. Just outside Front Royal, our caravan encountered a police road stop, and eight Maryland driver's licensees later, we were off once again.

Making the first of three wrong turns that weekend, I, the fearless but definitely confused leader, almost took the caravan to West Virginia before doing a U-turn on Rt 33. Good thing there were not many people on the road! The way to Dundo on Skyline Drive was a bit treacherous as the fog had set in heavy in spots, but alas, we all made it. True to his word, KC had a rain tarp over the picnic table and a good fire waiting. Steve and Marta had already started 'winding down' with some drink, and after putting our tents up (some went up easier than others), the rest of us indulged in our well- deserved spirits-.kudos to Kate for the Rum and Coke! Colin decided to take a little extra time with his tent, and after 10 minutes of excessive stake pounding, the group decided he must be building a cabin over there in the he was dubbed Lumberjack. After some more joking, and staring into the fire, we turned in for the night to ready ourselves for the next day's hike.

Awakening to fog, but finally figuring out where the bathrooms were, KC and Jesse started the much-needed coffee. Slowly, people stumbled out of their warm sleeping bags and into the crisp morning for a breakfast of bagels and fruit-.all except for Matthew, or Sleeping Beauty, as he became to be known. He came to life about ten minutes before we departed for our hike, but managed to scarf down a quick bagel and get some lunch put together.

After a short ride to the trailhead, everyone donned packs, including Shadow, who elicited laughter from the group as she showed her dislike for the pack with her pathetic expression of canine disapproval. Heading down the trail (and an almost wrong turn made by yours truly), the group reached Chimney Rocks. As we contemplated the reason why so many rock outcroppings bare that name, we enjoyed the first of many views of the beautiful fall foliage and the valley. The sun managed to brake out from time to time, bringing out the different colors of the forest. Shenandoah seemed to shift and change throughout the day with every turn of a corner and every change in light. Heading down into the valley, we encountered a beautiful waterfall where the group decided it was a good place to brake for lunch. Shadow made the rounds of begging for food, and her efforts were not without rewards. Lunch was a bit abbreviated with the chill in the air, so we were off for the remaining 6 miles of the 9.5 mile hike.

Hiking out of the valley was a bit of a climb, but the breaks in the trees offered some spectacular views. With a few stops to take water and snack breaks, everyone soldiered on brilliantly. Bea and I talked abou

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