Maryland Outdoor Club
Sun, May 7 2006 - Difficult Day Hike in the SNP - Jeremy's Run (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Jesse Allen
Participants:Parva Fattahi, Jesse Allen, Jim Polfer, Saki Saki

Write Up:
In what just may be an MOC first, not only did everyone arrive on the correct side of Metro at Vienna West, but everyone on the hike managed to arrive almost fifteen minutes early. With such a small group and good organization already, we set up our carpool quickly and headed out to Front Royal and our hiking trailhead at Elkwallow in Shenandoah National Park. The weather chose to start on a stunning note for the day, so we have wonderful clear skies at the roadside overlooks on the way up to Elkwallow.

Once at Elkwallow around 10 a.m. (Now about half an hour before schedule courtesy of good traffic and no bears playing on Skyline Drive), we did a quick round of introduction, got changed in hiking gear, and headed out down the trail towards Jeremy’s Run. This particular 14.7 mile loop trail would go down the valley and cross Jeremy’s Run some 14 times, though the first crossing up near the top of Elkwallow is so minor that it is quite easy to miss it at the spring. However, the others all ranged from noticeable to substantial (though never much beyond ankle depth… perhaps a little more with a ill chosen step as at least one person demonstrated during the day).

After a couple of hours, we took our first and only substantial break at a small waterfall, where we managed to get into extended discussions about food (some love peanut, but Parva considers it vile) and bugs (Tamara’s reaction to finding an inch worm on her jeans made Parva’s low regard for peanut seem mild. Saki could not resist the temptation of a bit of rock hopping back and forth across the stream. We also espied a strange looking pod thing and had a good long biology discussion about whether it was a seed, parasitic growth, or pod people.

A half mile from the waterfall (if I might use that term with a little generousity), we reached the trail junction to climb up Neighbor Mountain, and perform our last stream cross as we climbed most of our 2900 feet total. The winding climb up Neighbor Mountain spread us out a little, though not too much. It did at least tend to one strange conversational moment when Saki, Jim, and I were talking about certain act beyond the decency of being reprinted here (save to say it involves a demo tape for Jackass and a stapler), then we stopped to regroup for a moment, and continued the conversation when the group was together again, earning us strange looks from the rest of the hikers who had not been privy to the start of the conversation. I say no more.

But it was not all Jackass. In addition to more of the strange pods (eventually Jim decided to perform surgery and it seemed to be some kind of seed pod), we saw a little wildlife, including a brief glimpse of a bear in the valley. The bear, wisely more afraid of us than us of him, took off quickly.

Once we finally made it to the top, we were all ready for a little bit of a break, but did not linger too long before continuing, picking up the Appalachian Trail and taking it north back to Elkwallow for about four miles. Saki felt we should run around the parking lot a few times to roll on an extra 0.3 miles to make the hike an even 15 miles, though Parvi would have to do just a little more after taking a minor shortcut on a zigzag on the way up Neighbor Mountain which we never let her forget (yet strangely when Jim decided to keep going straight even where the trail was clearly blazed for a turn, the good natured ribbing didn’t last long. No one speaks ill of peanut butter without subsequent prejudice, I guess.). However, we got no takers as our wonderful day at the start had turned to a much cooler day as we came up Neighbor Mountain. By the time we were finishing the last quarter mile on the Appalachian Trail, it had turned to a light rain.

The light rain turned more substantial as we drove ba

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