Sun, Jun 22 2003 - Difficult Loop Day Hike in Potomac, MD (View Original Event Details)|
|Participants:||Amy Pickwick, Jamie Foster, Rebecca Firoved, Aaron Firoved, Patricia Diaz, Katy McDonough, Dawn Ibbott, Maria Maranto Dickey, Kristen Buck, Keira Wickliffe, robert odessey, Adam Miller, Jay Snyder, KC Yi, Colin Babb, Michael Eppert, Alice Green, Suzanne Walts, Shuli Chiu, Wayne Chang|
After assembling our 26 participants by the trailhead/C&O Canal towpath parking lot, KC made sure to offer everyone some yummy Krispy Kreme doughnuts, then we split into two even groups, and introduced ourselves to the people we'd be sharing the next couple of hours with. J.R. Withers lead up the group that wanted to walk the Billy Goat Trail prior to seeing Great Falls and then walk back on the towpath. I then did the opposite route, first taking my group up to see the falls (about 2.5 miles on the towpath). The water level was spectacularly high, and as our group would see later in the day, had temporarily washed out portions of the BGT.
After we took our quick break at the falls, we began the BGT and soon ran into J.R.'s group - amazingly not very far down the trail from where we started. They were booking it! So, we all headed towards the river and made ourselves a little overlook to eat lunch at and enjoy the view of the kayakers on the river and the rock climbers dangling above the Potomac River bank on the other side.
After lunch, the groups split back up again and headed in separate directions. Jeff made sure to yell out while they were walking away that one of their group members should be voted off the island, since our group made it to the lunch spot first!
The BGT is known for being very rocky, with ups and downs (rock scrambling), and spectacular views. It was also relatively peaceful - very few other groups were out there. We spotted many tadpoles in the little ponds that had formed between the rocks, a couple of snakes, a frog, and a salamander. We also lost part of our group at the end as they decided to take off without the leader and the rest of the group! But, we caught back up with them at the end of the trail. What? Were we not going fast enough for you?
We even had a shoe 'blow-out' towards the end of the BGT - but K's duct tape came in mighty handy. (See the photo).
There were several difficult spots on the trail due to us having to find an alternative routes around the flooded spots, but I think all in all, we did pretty good. Our group took a total of 4 hours on the trails totaling about 4.5 miles, and I heard J.R.'s group wrapped up about 30 minutes before we did.
KC, Rebecca, and Dawn - thank you for your additional photos!
(Photos: G1 - Group 1 [J.R.'s Group]; G2- Group 2 [Amy's Group]; BG - Both Groups)
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