Maryland Outdoor Club
Fri, May 6 2005 - Hike Across Maryland Cabin Rental (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Jesse Allen
Participants:Jesse Allen, Karen Helfrich, Kim Buhrman, Emilio Ungerfeld, Pam Silberman, Wil Bruce, Paul Shaklan, Jeff Schneider

Write Up:
Our cabin group was a somewhat scattered bunch. Of the eight people staying in the cabin for the weekend, four (myself (Jesse), Paul, Emilio, and Kim) intended to do the Hike Across Maryland. Another, Will, was hiking across the state, but in the opposite direction and over several days, using the cabin as an overnight destination on his three day hike. Karen and Pam were assistants on call the help anyone on the Hike Across Maryland. And Jeff joined us for the last several miles of the Hike Across Maryland, but never actually stayed in the cabin overnight with us! A strange weekend indeed...

Becqause of all these scattered plans, people arrived at different times and there was no carpool arrangement. Will hiked in from Caledonia State Park on Friday, joining Kim, Paul, and Emilio in Cascade before going out to a buffer dinner together. I arrived from Baltimore after attending (all too briefly) Pam’s art showing at the Fell’s Point Art Walk. I arrived late Friday night to find an empty if quite pleasant and cozy cabin. Karen arrived on her own an hour or so later, and finally the rest of the crew came in from their buffet dinner in Warrenton. We did our rounds of introductions and then headed off for bed, with alarms set to wake us up at 4:30 AM the next morning to get breakfast, pack, and drive down to Harper’s Ferry to hike the 40+ miles back to Pen Mar.

At 4:30 AM, far too early in the morning, the alarms went off and we got up and started breakfast. Emilio made tea which the smoke detector took offense at, making a racket which Karen and Will could not have possibly slept through. But just in case, the smoke alarm went off a second time a few minutes later. Good grief! But at least we were all quite awake at that point. We packed our bags, filled water bottles, and headed off south to Harper’s Ferry. Getting to the parking lot at 6:30 AM meant we had no trouble find a place to park! Will generously gave us a parking stub with his annual pass for the National Parks on it, so we did not have to pay the fee to park for the day in the lot at the MARC station. And so off we headed, pausing on the railroad bridge at 6:38 AM for a group picture as we started the hike, just at the first pre-dawn light.

The first two and a half miles or so going northbound on the Appalachian Trail were quite easy going: nice level flat ground on the gravel tow path. At Weverton, then the path winds up the hillside and along a several mile section with a very gradual climb over several miles. Emilio stepped back for a while to adjust some things on his pack and in his absence, Paul started what would prove to be a long tortorious process that lasted for the next 16 hours. He would name an animal beginning with the latter A, and then each hiker would take their turn coming up with another animal until no one could think of another, then we would move on the next letter of the alphabet. Know any good L animals? 40 miles later, we were only halfway through the alphabet!

Our hiking went quite well through the morning. Around 10: 45 AM or so, roughly four hours after starting, we reached White Rocks and met the first way station being set up for the southbound Mountain Club of Maryland Hike Across Maryland folks. I will leave the epic tale of why we were going northbound instead of southbound with MCM for a newsletter article. But suffice it to say, it worked out much better for us not to be hiking at their militant hiking pace, among other issues. After White Rocks, roughly a third of the way through our hike, Paul decided to pick up the pace a little and kicked on ahead of the three of us (Emilio, Kim, and myself). I think he was just trying to avoid coming up with another “I” animal myself, but it is just a theory.

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