Friday, March 22, 2013

A Weekend on the Trail and The Warrior Hike

The First Washington Monument
With Lisa in Florida, I made plans for Ginger and I to hit the trail here in Maryland and head south for a 20 mile or so two night three day hike.

Here is the plan:
Today: (Friday Mar 22) Make sure everything is ready to go.  I have my and Ginger's backpacks all ready to go with a few exceptions.  I will probably be digging out some cold weather gear as it is around 28 degrees now and should be about the same tomorrow morning when we head out.  Tonight is Wallyball, so when that is done, I will try to not stay too late and get home for some sleep.

Saturday: We will get up when we do (I rarely sleep late) and head out after some coffee and treats.  I think we will hit the McDonald's for breakfast a few miles from the trail head.  We will park near Rt 70 and head south.  I have marked a couple geocaches on my phone and we may search for some of them if the mood strikes me.  There is one (most likely a guardrail) near the trail head by a sign.  If Ginger is ok, we will take a quick look for it.

Heading south we will pass through a neighborhood and up towards the Washington Monument.  That is about three miles in.  There is a cache in pile of rocks next to the trail that we have failed to find in the past.  Maybe I will try again with the hint.  Down the hill is a water faucet, so no treatment needed yet as we camel up.  From there we move along the ridge.  We pass the Dahlgren Chapel where the next cache lies  and will continue on until we come to a power line right away where another cache awaits.  Shortly after that we will be at Rocky Run Shelter where we will spend the night.  This is about a 6.9 mile hike.  Since Ginger is a little skittish in the woods at night, I will be bringing the tent and going to ground for this night.  There should be plenty of places to set up even though this is the last weekend of spring break for the area schools.

Sunday: We will slowly make our way up the nearby mountain of Lamb's Knoll.  Today is a short hike because I have reservations at the Bear Spring Cabin which is down a blue blaze trail from atop the knoll.  We aren't supposed to show up there until 3:00 pm, so there will be no hurry to break camp and get down the trail.  There is one more cache up near the top of the knoll that we will search for using the hints.  This day's hike is only about 3 miles or so.  It looks like someone is using the cabin for the weekend, so I probably shouldn't show up too early, but I can always get close and start gathering some fire wood.

Sunday night the weather is due to arrive.  It won't be very warm and right now it looks like a wintry mix.  It will be good having a roof over our heads and I plan on using that wood stove to its fullest.

Monday: The cold, snowy weather is predicted to remain throughout this day, so it will be a fun 10 mile hike back to the car.  There are numerous places where we will be able to get out of the weather if need be, but I think we will do just fine.  This will be a good test of the meager cold weather gear I have as well as some practice in late winter (actually early spring) hiking.

Warrior Hike
I have a few more hikers to follow.  Last year two Marine Captains who were finishing their military careers hiked the trail for a great charity.  They made it all the way of course and ended up raising over $50K for specially equipped vehicles for wounded warriors.  This year they are sponsoring (along with the ATC) 14 veteran hikers as they "Walk Off the War".  They will also be visiting VFWs and raising funds but have had their hike virtually paid for by sponsors.  I good bit of healing and doing good as they hike the trail.  Check out their website at http://warriorhike.com/
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