Maryland Outdoor Club
Sun, Apr 30 2006 - Difficult AT Hike in So. Pennsylvania (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Jesse Allen
Participants:Laura Paszkiewicz, Jesse Allen, Kimberly Engle, Meredith Gibb, Emilio Ungerfeld, Jen A, Aimee Morris

Write Up:
The phrase of the hike was “I don’t think that word means what you think it means” and the word in question is “flat.” This trip leader clearly was topographically oblivious…

All of the hikers save one showed up within a minute of the meeting time at the carpool location, and the exception (Jennifer) managed to get there a quarter of an hour early, so we got a good start, carpooling from Frederick up to PennMar, where we eventually met up with Aimee who apparently thought “park in the parking lot” meant park in the parking lot. The parking lot the leader knew just outside the park looked more like a construction site than a parking lot, so we waited a little while before we all realized that the missing member was not, in fact, missing at all. After visiting the facilities (not locked), we headed out north, crossing the Mason-Dixon Line a few hundred yards down the trail. Alas, someone knicked off with the Mason-Dixon line sign, so there was merely an uninformative brown signpost stump to mark the spot. Not too far from this spot, we went down a moderately steep hill where the organizer’s description of this as a flat hike first started to be called into question. I did point out that the description was clear that there was one valley crossing at the beginning, but once we completed this crossing, it would be flat.

Alas, reality was a little different…

Tyler took the lead through most of this section of the hike, competing to be in front. Once up from the valley on the other side, we were greeted with a long slope down to State Road 16 over a mile of hiking, and the comments about “flat” started to come in a little more vigorously. Well, it was hardly steep. Still, there were complaints about truth in advertising not entirely unfounded.

The same hike description also mentioned one stream crossing, so it is perhaps surprising nothing was said as we crossed our third stream of the day well before getting to the “one” stream, Antietam Creek.

Despite the terrain, we set a reasonable pace, taking a short break at Bailey Springs where Aimee told us more about microbiology of water than we really wanted to know. Tyler was unperturbed about jumping into the stream immediately upstream of the person filling up the water bottle. Yum! Fresh dog water! We attempted to convince Tyler to steal the bag of chips in the campground there, but he was not intrigued. Kim would not steal them for us and run if Tyler wouldn’t.

After about three hours or so of hiking, we reached Antietam Creek to find the camping area crowded with young boy scouts, so we found a nice spot on the trail a little ways away from their energy, chatter, and sticks, had ourselves a good snarl about how lame Girl Scouts was for not doing all these kinds of camping and hiking trips the boys all did, and everyone except Emilio had lunch. Emilio confessed to having more or less continuously eating as he hiked and hence he felt no need to have lunch now. So he just sprawled out across the trail for a nice nap.

After a good rest and lunch, we all agreed that continuing the extra mile and back to Tumbling Run Shelter did not appeal to us, and so we turned back towards Maryland. By this time, Tyler was still enjoying the hike, but willing to not always be in the lead and even consider the possibilities of taking it easy now and again.

The subject of “flat” came up once again as we climbed the short, but moderately steep grade out of the valley of Antietam Creek. Meredith, however, showed that equipped with her new hiking sticks, it was not that bad going really. She seemed very happy with christening her Christmas present.

Our hike back went well for the most part, but when we crossed state road 16, we followed the white blazes and within a

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