Maryland Outdoor Club
Fri, Oct 20 2006 - Camping Weekend in Shenandoah (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Carrie Graff
Participants:Carrie Graff, Cory Brodzinski, Jen A, Kimberly Engle, Cynthia Hildenbrand, Chuck hildenbrand, Amy Pickwick, HADASSAH SCHER, Rachel Evans, Maria Maranto Dickey, John Ciezki, Tracey Wagner, Glenn Peddicord, KC Yi, Adam Miller, Colin Babb, Ian Wright, Parva Fattahi, James Petersen, Sharon White, Kristin Roberts, Christine Larsen, Paula Moran, Ryan Michela, Madeleine Levin, Sarah Tinney, Diana Cramp

Write Up:
The weekend started like all trips that are outside the Beltway and west on Route 66…..late, and miserable driving. All in all, I think we did pretty well though. With all the accidents, blocked lanes on 95 N and S, 270, and let's not forget good old 495, we were only 45 minutes late on our departure time. I was happy. Twenty-nine people was the magic number for this years trip. More than either of the two previous years and I wasn’t sure if it was going to come off. Did I buy enough food? Would people like the hike? Oh well, too late now…we’re off!

Not too much to report on our way to Front Royal for our traditional Mexican dinner at Jalisco’s. I am very happy to say that they had our seating available upon arrival, and that they were quick to serve us. The mood was festive and I think this stop is a great way for people to start to get to know one another.

From the restaurant we headed toward our final destination, Dundo campsite in the South District of the park. I made the unfortunate mistake of copying directions off of Mapquest and told everyone to make a right where it should have been a left. Fortunately, no one seemed too stumped by it and made it safely.

I have to admit, when I pulled into the campground and saw all of the cars, I couldn’t believe they were all ours! We almost didn’t have enough tent sites with all the cars…but we managed to squeeze everyone in. It was a very cold night and thankfully, KC and Colin had the signal fire going so once everyone pitched their tents, we sat around for a good 2 hours drinking and telling stories and staring into the very starry night.

The next morning, we awoke to a little frost, and the wild sound of a bunch of Boy Scouts passing in between our massive tent city to get water from the source that was just outside many of our tent doors’. At this point, some of us decided to get up. KC and his wonderful coffee pots were probably the biggest hit of all!

After a good breakfast of bacon, eggs, bagels and the like, we got our gear and hit the train head. Our hike, Riprap Hollow, was about 10 miles south of our campground and was about a 9.5 mile hike that wandered through a beautiful forest that offered up great views and some wonderful waterfalls. We had 4 dogs on our trip, and believe me, they had a great time! The weather and the fall didn’t disappoint this year. We had amazing colors and bright blue skies. It must have been the perfect weekend for our getaway! The hike was a little challenging with some steep inclines, especially toward the end, but everyone did an excellent job!

When we returned to camp, I got out snacks for the hungry hikers and we started to delve into the wine and beer. Stories and laughter soon followed, along with a hobo stew dinner complete with vegetable, smoked sausage, and all the fixings.

The second night was as cold as the first, although some people were sure that it was colder. We had a light rain, but the clouds cleared as did most of the people. Many went home to get an early start, but there were 9 of us who decided another hike was in order for that day. We decided to do Doyle’s Run. The trail could be accessed from our campground it is a beautiful 6.6 mile hike that takes you straight down into the valley along a path that crosses 4 amazing waterfalls, the tallest being 42 feet. The only problem is, what goes down, must come back up…at least if one wants to get back to their car. It’s a pretty steep climb, but the views were well worth it!

On the way home, the remainder of the group stopped for lunch in a town and just can’t remember the name of. I do know it was a Ruby Tuesday’s though. It was a fantastic weekend and thanks to everyone who came and made it a success!!!

-Carrie Graff

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