Maryland Outdoor Club
Sat, Feb 16 2008 - Diff Shenandoah Hike Part II (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Carrie Graff
Participants:Carrie Graff, Sandra Stabler, Bryan Frank, Rachel Evans, KC Yi, John Ciezki, Nils Olson, Mark Coleman, Jimmy varnadoe

Write Up:
The started well enough. We all met at the carpool in relatively good time (minus 1). There were 10 of us by my count so we piled into 3 cars for the drive to the trail head. Now, as all hikes in Shenandoah do, this one started with a stop at the Dunkin Donuts for a coffee fill up and KC’s 50 glazed donut holes (we all noted that KC only buys the glazed, no chocolate, no powdered, just glazed).

The actual hike started at the Elkwallow Picnic Area near MP 24 on Skyline drive and I was quite excited to see that there wasn’t any snow (see Cabin Fever Part I for that adventure). Luckily there was a port-o-pottie at the trail head so we could all have a good relief before we started. A short walk down the trail led us to our first turn onto Jeremy’s Run Train, which is a synonym for “Let’s cross the creek every 100 ft” trail. I was prepared for the many crossings of this trail, however I failed to realize that the recent rainfall and snowmelt made the crossing much more difficult and time-consuming (mostly because people relentlessly tried to keep from getting their feet wet, even when they had already fallen into the creek up to their waist!). It was an exercise in futility for most of the group but very entertaining to watch. I think I counted 15 crossings in the 5.4 miles to the start of the Neighbor Mountain trail that would start us back to the cars. Each crossing started as a search for the best, shallowest place to cross that posed the least threat to ones dryness. Unfortunately, the very first crossing claimed its first victim with Nils (sorry dude). Luckily he fell in only to overtop the boots, but enough to get the socks wet. Unfortunately, Nils also managed to hurt his wrist quite badly as to produce a little swelling, but alas, the trail continued to call his name and he pressed on (with some help from the team).

I must say, that I cannot recall who fell in next, but one-by-one they went down. Sandra’s spill was the most spectacular that I saw as she not-too-gracefully fell off a log (or was it a rock?) up to her waist. To Sandra’s credit, she took it all in stride with a big smile! That was pretty much all you could do. KC also managed a good spill into the cold waters after Sandra warned him that is method of creating a log crossing was a bad idea. We all know KC is usually the one dolling out advice and he optimistically saw his plan as the best way to attack that particular crossing! Wrong plan, KC.

I think Rachel and I (and forgive me if I left someone out) were the only ones not to get our shoes or any other body part wet. It must have been a combination of great skill (and maybe our low center of gravity) and stream crossing savvy that won the day!

Well, we finally made it to the Neighbor Mountain trail head by 1 pm and we still had a good 8 + miles to the cars. We took a quick lunch break to wring out socks and gobble some food which provided the power we need to make the 2200 ft climb. I must say we booked up Neighbor Mountain. The lack of leaves on the trees offered up incredible views of the valley and surrounding mountains as we walked through pine and deciduous forests. With the exception of missing a switch back and walking off trail for a good 10 minutes (that’s what you get for talking), we made good time and were back to the cars by just after 4 pm. Whew! What a great hike (after we filled our bellies with Italian)!

- Carrie

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