Maryland Outdoor Club
Fri, May 25 2007 - Pax Tri-Event (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Norma Broadwater, Saki Saki
Participants:Norma Broadwater, Saki Saki, Lloyd Allen, Glenn Peddicord, Melissa Sheedy, jimmy noble, Kathryn Bright, Alyssa Voss, Lutz Rastaetter, Joe John, Ali Badii, Aimee Morris, Shelley Sanner, Chris Rusco, yvonne thayer

Write Up:
Day One: May 25, 2007
Memorial Day weekend traffic is always difficult in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas and this weekend was no exception. Fortunately, I (Saki) wasn't driving to the Eastern Shore to go to the beach. Instead, I drove south to Patuxent River Park. I stopped in at the Visitor Center to pick up the key to the campground and talk to Jim, one of the staff. I've dealt with Jim in the past and he's always taken care of my group.

I arrived at the campsite just before 1630 then began unloading and setting things up. Norma, my co-leader, arrived a little later with chicken and biscuits for dinner. Gradually, the rest of our group began showing up.

In general, I find the MOC crowd to be very helpful. Just ask and participants will lend a hand. Glenn brought two coolers full of ice, Joe brought a screen shelter, and Alyssa brought firewood. Each person was also asked to bring a potluck dish which made the meals all the more enjoyable.

Jim showed up later with a truckload full of firewood...enough to last much longer than our scheduled stay.

We began our first activity of the event, a short night hike. At about 2005, we headed south from our group campsite on the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Driving Tour (CADT). This dirt road connects Patuxent River Park to Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, crossing over Mattaponi Creek. By the time we reached Mattaponi Creek, it was starting to get dark.

Lutz brought a special listening device which amplifies the high frequency sounds produced by bats. By pointing it in various directions, he can detect if bats are present and determine their direction. It wasn't yet the ideal time for listening to bats so we continued walking.

In Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, we took a short trail to a 40 foot high observation tower. From the top, Norma read some information about the general area and its impact on the environment. We listened for bats. Nothing.

Heading back, we stopped at the wooden bridge over Mattaponi Creek at 2105. Now it was pretty dark. The two-thirds full moon gave us enough light so we could see outlines and shadows. Though it was only May, the fireflies were abundant and active. So were the Fowlers frogs. Lutz pulled out his listening device and just as he expected, the area had several bats. The sound they send out to detect flying insects was amplified on his handheld device. It was a little overwhelming to think that there is a whole other world beyond our limited hearing range.

The group headed back to the campsite in various small groups. Under the tree cover, the moonlight did little to illuminate the road but since it is big, wide, and flat, there were no problems.

I locked the gate to the campsite then joined the rest of the group. I welcomed everyone to the Pax Tri-Event, went over the schedule for the next day, and then started an icebreaker game. I said my name and something interesting or unique about myself that could be said in 5 words or less. The next person would repeat my name and what I said about myself, and then say their name and something about themselves in 5 words or less. This seemed to work pretty well. Here's what I remember (though one person had to refresh my memory about her factoid). Norma got bit by a prairie dog, Ali likes to solve puzzles, Melissa likes to ride motorcycles, Jimmy likes the outdoors, Joe is 6 of 7 siblings, Kathryn teaches music, Bill is the Mayor of Hyattsville, Alyssa has 2 dogs, Lloyd has math tattoos, Yvonne was blessed by the Pope, Lutz likes Greek dancing, Aimee has a twin (she is the good twin), Glenn is related to Warren Beatty, and I was a hairdresser. If there was a prize, I think Bill would have won it for the most interesting fact about himself.

Speaking of prizes, Norma and I put together a test. Norma's part was about flora and mine concerned fauna. The quiz

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