Sat, Oct 20 2007 - Tri-State Hike (View Original Event Details)|
|Participants:||Saki Saki, Joe John, Lucas Fisher, Maureen Wingfield, Brian Blankinship, Chris B., michael thomey, Ali Badii, Jennifer Carey, Lutz Rastaetter, Michele Touchet, Norma Broadwater, Liz Mountz|
The first time I did the tri-state hike was on May 27, 2006. Tim R. of the Howard County Sierra Club led this superfantastic 9 mile hike. I sometimes like to call it the New Zealand hike. A friend once told me that after God created all the continents, he took the leftover parts and made New Zealand. Hence, New Zealand is a small place with a great diversity in terrain and climates. This hike was also very diverse in the number of states, rivers, overlooks, and trails that were seen. In fact, I don't know of any other hike where one can see so much in so little time. I later decided that someday, I too would like to lead this hike.
On May 12, 2007, Dr. Chuck and I scouted this hike. I brought maps and my global positioning system (GPS). I took copious notes along the way, measuring pace, time, and distance. I also took photos of all the information signs so I could later present historical highlights of the area. We finished the hike but never found the lesser known shortcut to Maryland Heights.
I studied more maps and contacted Tim R. He gave me more hints on finding the shortcut. On June 24, 2007, I was back at Maryland Heights. After a few tries, I finally found it. I felt I was now ready to lead the hike.
I submitted my plan to the Maryland Outdoor Club (MOC). In September 2007, the event was posted. Within 12 hours, the event was full! There were eventually 6 cancellations but with 20 people on the waiting list, there was no problem finding enough participants.
On the morning of the hike, I checked the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecast. It read as follows: Mostly sunny, with a high near 74. West wind between 7 and 16 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.
On October 20, 2007, Norma, Lucas, and I met at the Broken Land Parkway and Route 32 Park and Ride. The rest of the group trickled in shortly after. We tossed the flying disc to keep warm. Shortly after, we were off.
We arrived at the Kettlecorn Lot in Virginia. I knew everyone in the group except Liz so instead of folks introducing themselves, I did it for them. In attendance were Ali, Joe, Lucas, Lutz (batman), Maureen, Michael, Michele, Norma, Brian, Chris, Liz, Ron, Jenn, and me.
At 0830, we commenced hiking.
The first part was a fairly steep but short climb that got us warmed up. In just over a half mile, we arrived at our first destination, Loudoun Heights. There were a couple of tents set up at the overlook and I believe people were still in at least one of them. I described the neighboring areas within view. After posing for our first group photo, we resumed hiking.
We walked along the Loudoun Heights Trail on the Jefferson County/Loudoun County border.
About 2 miles from the start, we came to the Appalachian Trail. We headed north and eventually began our descent. We passed several fallen Chinese Chestnuts.
It rained quite a bit the previous day and the ground was still a little wet...and slippery. I slid down a rock and landed flat on my ass but recovered gracefully.
Soon we crossed the Shenandoah River via the route 340 bridge. There were a few whitewater kayakers/canoeists out. I used to think this river was the boundary between Virginia and West Virginia but a later map study revealed that the border was actually the Loudoun Heights Trail and the Appalachian Trail.
The group walked down to the parking lot just under route 340. Here, we paid our four dollar per person fee to a ranger. Ali was the unofficial group treasurer.
Continuing onward, we hiked along the railroad tracks, heading east to Virginius Island. Here, I spoke about how Armory Superintendent James Stubblefield purchased the 13-acre island for $15,000 in 1824 then sold it for almost double the cost just two months later. We checked out the ruins in the area then resumed walking.
At 1030, we stopped in Ha
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