Maryland Outdoor Club
Fri, Feb 4 2005 - Cross Country Skiing/Snowshoeing Wknd II (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Jesse Allen
Participants:Jesse Allen, John Hughes, Colin Babb, Ellen Worthing, Emilio Ungerfeld, Kate Copanic, Lucas Fisher, Lauren Brumsted, Kate Becker, julie tasillo, Paula Moran, KC Yi, Mark Reynolds, Pamela Silberman

Write Up:
Most of us met up right on time at the carpool location at Frederick with no troubles despite the "trick" directions (coming from Baltimore, there's a left turn marked as a right just before you get to the parking lot to check to see if you were paying attention!). KC and his Sunshine Band went up early on their own, while Ellen came striaght to the Blackburn Center from a late work assignment. Once those of us meeting there gathered and introduced ourselves, Kate and Lauren correctly the false impression that they can come to this event from Vermont (After all, they don't get snow in Vermont, right?), we arranged our carpooling and headed out for the Blackburn Center.

There had been some snow on Thursday evening and that was on the road up to the Blackburn Center which made for interesting driving. I managed to get stuck on the uphills in a couple of places despite front wheel drive and traction control, a first for my car. But then it usually does not have to struggle up an icey gravel road with groceries for fifteen in the back. The rest of the group kindly helped get me unstuck and managed to have fewer issues of their own going up the hill. Pushing and shoving, we got to the top, unloaded, and parked ourselves out of the roadway and settled in for a quick and easy dinner of pasta with pesto, a vegetable al fredo, and garlic bread. As Colin likes to say that I like to say, it was a fine repast.

After some games of cards and Scrabble, we turned in for the night.

It was not a fine weekend for snow shoeing and cross country skiing: the snow on the ground was thin and patchey and unskiable for the most part. However, this did not stop us for having a good breakfast and heading out for an easy hike north three miles to the David Lesser Shelter, stopping for a break, then splitting up for some to continue another three miles north to Keyes Gap, while the rest of us hiked back to the Blackburn Center for a pleasant tomato soup lunch, a little break, and a short 3-4 mile loop hike through the woods. The day was quite pleasant for hiking, though warm enough that the snow cover on the Appalachian Trail in the morning was starting to turn to slush in the afternoon. Ellen also kicked a long high speed hike to Snickers Gap and back in the name of preparing for the Maryland Challenge/Hike Across Maryland in early May.

Once done with our hikes for the day, we all settled in for some social chatter, some good wine, cheese, chips, and other nibblies over games of cut throat Scrabble and cards. We put together a simple dinner of rice and some chinese dishes including a highly inauthentic if tasty General Tsao's Chicken. Well fed and appropriately thrashed at Scrabble (well, at least for this author), we tucked in for the night.

Sunday morning we had another leisurely start to the day with scrambled eggs, sausages, and chipotle scones. I got a few strange looks for my habit of souffle-ing the eggs (beating the egg whites seperately for a light and fluffy scrambled egg texture, as well as some good upper arm exercise since there was no electric mixer!). But there was little in the way of leftovers! Ellen kicked out early again to take in a longer and more energetic hike than most wanted to do, this time taking in the twelve miles up and back to Keyes Gap while most of the rest of us settled for a four mile loop hike, ablely led by the Blackburn Center caretaker, Bill. Or maybe not so ablely led: those in front whom hiked with him went too far south on the Appalachian Trail while I trailed in the back and had no trouble spotting the turn and making it at the right place. We stacked firewood on the porch in return for being let off our obligation to mop the kitchen floor (though we cleaned the place otherwise, and special mention should be made here of



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