Maryland Outdoor Club
Sat, Jun 23 2007 - Difficult Hike Bluff Trail Loop (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Sarven Sabunciyan
Participants:Rachel Evans, Maureen Wingfield, Paul Shaklan, Faron Hice, Bryan Frank, Maria Maranto Dickey, Christine Larsen, Jason Dickey, Jeff Schneider

Write Up:
Thirteen of us spent Saturday on the trails of the northern Shenandoah National Park. Some people were so eager to go on this hike that they showed up to the carpool location at 7:20, 40 minutes before the scheduled meeting time. Saturday must have been a popular day to go hiking since two other hiking groups were meeting up at the Vienna kiss and ride at the same time as the MOC. Although several people expressed concern about the length of the hike at the carpool, once we got on the trail, it became apparent that their worries were unfounded. We ran into various wildlife including two bucks who did not seem too concerned with our presence. Even the flashes from the digital cameras didn't startle them. We continued our climb to North Marshall Mountain and were rewarded by some beautiful views. We were fortunate to have such a clear day and moderate temperatures.

The group as a whole was traveling fairly swiftly and we shortly came upon the Gravel Spring Shelter where we stopped for lunch. After getting re-energized and resting a little, we made our way to the Big Devil's Stairs. This overlook also proved to be popular with our hikers and provided even more photo opps. The final portion of the hike gave us a good workout but did not pose a serious challenge as everyone in the group did very well on the hike. The hike ended at Jenkins Gap Overlook which had yet another beautiful view.

After the hike Jeff led us to an Italian Restaurant in Front Royal which contained the most amazing sculptures any of us had ever seen. They were probably more beautiful then any of the vistas we had seen all day. The food in the restaurant was excellent and plentiful. We had to ask for doggy bags.

All and all it was a good hike and fun was had by everyone. The rumor has it that, as soon as they got home some MOC'ers celebrated their accomplishment by downing an entire bottle of wine.

-Sarven Sabunciyan

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