Glacier Bay, Alaska Sea Kayaking Trip 2016
Jul
2
to Jul 11

Glacier Bay, Alaska Sea Kayaking Trip 2016

MOSS-Glacier Bay, Alaska-Sea Kayaking Trip-2016

Introduction


Thank you for your interest in the MOSS Sea Kayaking trip to Glacier Bay, Alaska.  Glacier Bay is a completely amazing place!  I have been in love with it for nearly twenty years.  MOSS is an outdoor community that desires to connect people to the creator through wilderness experiences and self guided periods of solitude.  

The backcountry of Alaska is indeed is a very challenging place to be and we will be there for nearly a week.  It is extremely important that precautions are taken before and during the trip for everyone’s safety.  Proper handling of food and other items are vital for protection, both black and brown bears are residents of Glacier Bay.  Proper attention to the extreme tides of Glacier Bay are also a must to prevent the loss of kayaks and thus, transportation.  Glacier Bay’s weather can include long periods of rain which must be understood.  Many other concerns need to be addressed before hand which can be discussed as we prepare. 

Group size will depend on kayak availability but cannot be larger than twelve based on National Park Service regulations.  At this point other double kayaks are unavailable. There are several single kayaks but be aware that Glacier Bay Sea Kayaks requires that paddlers must be experienced at sea kayaking and able to do self-rescues.  Don’t let this stop you if you are still interested, you have several months to prepare yourself and possibly take a class.  There is also a possibility that other double kayaks become available.  Please contact me if you would like to discuss more.

 With all of that said, I am very excited for the interest and looking forward to a fantastic week in Glacier Bay!  Let’s continue this conversation before anyone makes a complete commitment and buys airline tickets.  Please feel free to call anytime, I always love to talk Alaska!

 


mossoutdoors.org
facebook.com/mossoutdoors01 

Please address any questions to:
mossoutdoors01@gmail.com
or call:
Pete
304-283-4628 

Itinerary

July 2 and 3:
•    -Arrival into Glacier Bay Lodge at Bartlett Cove from Gustavus, AK (transportation via TLC Taxi (907-697-2239) $15 per person + tip) *possibility of free transport with lodge bus + tip but will not know until we are there.
http://www.visitglacierbay.com
http://www.glacierbaytravel.com/tlctaxi.htm
•    Set up camp in Bartlett Cove Campground ¼ mile hike from Glacier Bay Lodge(free).  Wheelbarrows available at ranger station to get gear to campground. http://www.nps.gov/glba/planyourvisit/campground.htm
•    Backcountry Orientation with National Park Service and Kayak Orientation with Glacier Bay Sea Kayaks at Bartlett Cove Ranger Station. https://www.glacierbayseakayaks.com
•    Gear consolidation and preparation for extended backcountry trip.
•    Hikes and ranger programs as time allows to learn the park.  http://www.nps.gov/glba/index.htm
•    ½ hour Withdrawal time (see below for more info)

July 4
•    Morning transport to Gustavus for 4th of July activities (transportation via TLC Taxi (907-697-2239) $15 per person each way + tip) *possibility of free transport with lodge bus + tip but will not know until we are there. http://www.gustavus.com
o    Activities include small town with fun games like egg toss, slow bike race and toped off with the greased pole contest over the Salmon River.
o    Local food is available
o    Good opportunity to check out town and get last minute supplies
•    Return to Bartlett Cove
•    Evening meal and Withdrawal time.
•    5pm meet GBSK to receive our kayaks.  
o    Single Kayaks ($45 per day + tax)  Must be experienced sea kayakers and know re-entry skills in case of capsize.  GBSK will not issue kayaks if this requirement is not met.  
o    Double Kayaks ($60 per day + tax)  Little to no availability!!  This could change but would be better to prepare by taking a sea kayaking class for single kayak requirements. (Sea kayak experience and self-rescue abilities)
•    1-2 hour paddle of Bartlett Cove
•    Last minute gear prep.
•    Group time on the deck of Glacier Bay Lodge and/or Warming Hut.

July 5
•    Early morning wake up and pack up.
•    6:30am arrive at Baranof Wind (Day-tour Vessel) to load kayaks and gear. http://www.visitglacierbay.com/glacier-bay-tours.aspx
o    $230 for round trip transportation to backcountry drop-off which includes day glacier and wildlife tour with a National Park Service guide and lunch.
•    1:30pm(approx.) Drop-Off.  High tide is at 2:30pm so we will need to pack kayaks and depart immediately towards Reid Glacier.  High tide is at 2:30pm and we want to take advantage of slack tide as much as possible for the 7.5 mile paddle which will take 3-4 hours.  http://www.weatherforyou.com/reports/index.php?locid=2710&forecast=tides&zipcode=&pands=&place=&state=&country=us&alt=tides&smon=7&syear=2016
•    Eat evening meal
•    Withdrawal time
•    Set up camp
•    Campfire (dependent on wood availability)

July 6
•    630am wake up.  
•    Quick breakfast.  
•    Set out on kayaks for Reid glacier (2 miles) and hike a side of glacier towards Brady Ice field (10 difficult miles round-trip if completed) 
•    Paddle back to camp (2 miles)
•    Evening meal
•    Withdrawal time (optional)
•    Campfire (dependent on wood availability)

July 7
•    730 am wake up.  
•    Visit Ibach Cabin
•    Paddle to Lamblugh Glacier (5.5 miles)
•    Set up camp
•    Explore
•    Evening meal
•    Withdrawal time

July 8
•    630 am wake up time
•    Day paddle into Johns Hopkins Inlet- distance weather and group dependent. Potential of 20 miles round trip but worth every mile.
•    Evening meal
•    Withdrawal time

July 9
•    730 am wake up time
•    Explore more of Lamplugh glacier
•    Paddle to Reid entrance for overnight
•    Set up camp
•    Evening meal
•    Withdrawal time

July 10
•    630 am wake up time
•    Paddle to Skidmore Cut for pick up at approx.130pm
•    Set up camp
•    Showers!
•    Evening meal at GBL (http://www.visitglacierbay.com/dining.aspx)
 

July 11
•    730 am wake up.  
•    Pack up camp
•    Transportation into Gustavus  (transportation via TLC Taxi (907-697-2239) $15 per person + tip) *possibility of free transport with lodge bus + tip but will not know until we are there.
•    Potential Flight-Seeing tour with Fjord Flying $150 for an hour and half tour of Glacier Bay from skies above.  This is an amazing experience, worth every penny if you can afford it.  A great way to complete your trip to Alaska. (http://fjordflying.com/flightseeing)
•    Lunch and Withdrawal time close out with possible discussion. 
•    Evening flights back home

 

WITHDRAWAL?
Every MOSS event includes a time of Withdrawal, where we take the opportunity to disconnect from the distractions of life and re-engage with the Creator. 
Solitude during Moss trips are experienced through a self-lead time of reflection in the example of Jesus who, "Often withdrew to the wilderness to pray."  We will temporarily part company from the rest of our group and find a quiet place to consider the provided readings and prayers.  It is recommended that participants bring a journal and pen to write what comes to mind as they experience God through the discipline of solitude and silence in this natural setting.  Once this period of time is complete there may be a short discussion for those who wish to participate.  
Out of respect to you, the provided readings are optional but would ask that everyone agree to observe the Withdrawal time even just for the benefits of rest.


View Event →
Old Rag Hike - 1st Annual Spring Hike with Optional Camping Weekend
Jun
11
8:30am 8:30am

Old Rag Hike - 1st Annual Spring Hike with Optional Camping Weekend

To all you Old Rag Hikers! Please thoroughly read the following information concerning our hike. Make sure this hike is for you! Its going to be tough, which also means its going to be awesome!

Please contact Pete at mossoutdoors01@gmail.com or 304-283-4628 if you are interested in camping Friday and/or Saturday night.

Entrance fee is $8.

We will meet at 8:30am at the parking lot at Old Rag. Directions are also listed below. This is a very popular hike, so we want to get an early start to ensure there is enough parking and for trail traffic issues. Please be on time. Carpool if you can.  If you are coming from the Charles Town area, I can assist with arranging a carpool. Send an email to mossoutdoors01@gmail.com

As with every MOSS event there will be a time of Withdrawal, where we take the opportunity to disconnect and re-engage with our Creator.  This is done through a self-lead devotional time in the example of Jesus who, "Often withdrew to the wilderness to pray."  We will part company from the rest of our group temporarily and find a quiet place to consider the provided readings and prayers.  It is recommended that participants bring a journal and pen to write what comes to mind as they experience God through the discipline of solitude and silence in this natural setting.  Once this period of time is complete there will be a short discussion for those who wish to participate before the hike is continued.  

Bring water and food! 

Info from NPS:

Preparing to Hike Old Rag Mountain

Planning Your Visit
The most important step to a great hiking experience in Shenandoah National Park is good planning. Many of the points below are applicable to any hike, but there are a few special considerations for Old Rag. 
Be sure that you are physically able to complete this hike. The circuit hike is about 9 miles. There is a significant elevation change and a strenuous rock scramble that requires good upper body strength. Often, children and shorter adults need assistance navigating the scramble. 
Take at least 2 quarts of water per person. Dehydration is one of the most prevalent issues. 
Wear sturdy shoes that will support your ankles and allow you to to get a foothold without slipping. 
Allow 7 or 8 hours. Yes, people do it in less time but, like all types of travel, you may experience unanticipated delays. It's always a good idea to have a headlamp in case you don't complete your hike before dark. 
Be sure you know the forecast and never attempt this hike in wet or icy conditions. 
Stay with your group and stay on the trail. Do not allow children to run ahead. 
Although you need to be sure you have plenty of water and food, it is a good idea to pack as lightly as possible. Most hikers prefer fanny packs to backpacks which can be difficult to maneuver through the rock scramble. 
Planning your hike on a weekday will enhance your experience. Old Rag can become very crowded on weekends. At times, the parking lot will be full and there will be long lines and substantial waits at some of the narrow passages. For current conditions follow us on Twitter: ShenandoahNPS. 
Pets are strictly forbidden on Old Rag for their own and hikers' safety.

Directions
Although Old Rag Mountain is within the boundaries of Shenandoah National Park, most people approach it from the park's eastern boundary. Follow these directions to get to the trailhead: 
From Sperryville, Route 211: Take Route 522 south for .8 mile. Turn right onto Route 231 and go 8 miles. Turn right onto Route 601 and follow the signs to the parking area (approximately 3 miles). 
From Madison, Route 29 Business: TakeRoute 231 for 12.8 miles. Turn left onto Route 602 and follow the signs to the parking area (approximately 3 miles).

Parking
Especially during busy weekends, parking can be another challenge. All Old Rag hikers must use the large parking area at the Old Rag Fee Station. The small parking area at the Old Rag Trailhead is NOT open to the public.

In an effort to make the Old Rag experience safer, we have increased patrols so the trailhead lot will be reserved for Old Rag staff including Search and Rescue personnel, park staff, trail overseers, and Old Rag Mountain Stewards. The parking lot is about a .8 mile walk along the road to the trailhead

Parking is prohibited along the road shoulders. Please use the lot to avoid being towed.

Fees
Visitors hiking Old Rag must have a valid Shenandoah National Park entrance permit. You can purchase permits and yearly passes from Rangers when present, or via self-pay at the Old Rag Fee Station. 

 

Hiking Old Rag

Hikers navigate a narrow passage.

Holly Mills, NPS

Now that you know how to fully prepare yourself for a day on Old Rag, you are ready to begin the adventure! Once you have arrived at the parking area and paid your fee you will walk the .8 mile along the road to the trailhead.

 

At the trailhead there is additional information and a map. Take the time to read the information posted there. Old Rag is host to many rare and endangered plants that live in the harsh rocky environment of the granite boulders. These plants are particularly susceptible to trampling. They are pictured here so take a moment to familiarize yourself with these special plants so you can be on the lookout for them.

 

There are several ways to hike Old Rag, but the most popular is a circuit that takes you up the Ridge Trail, across the rock scramble to the summit, than down the Saddle Trail to the Weakley Hollow Fire Road and back to where you began. The first 2 miles will be an increasingly steeper climb along a beautiful wooded trail. You are likely to see deer and other wildlife, as well as a steady profusion of wildflowers during the spring, summer, and fall. Watch for changes in vegetation as you gain altitude.

 

About 2 miles into the hike you will come out of the woods onto the ridgetop. Here's where the fun begins. For the next mile and a half you will climb, slide, shimmy, and crawl your way across and around giant granite boulders. Follow the blue blazes to stay on track. If you see a double blaze, that means the trail will take a sharp turn or switchback.

 

You will also notice numbers beneath the blazes. These are reference numbers for Search and Rescue personnel. Take note of the numbers as you pass them. If you need to report an incident, being able to give the staff the number will help them in their response.

 

As you make your way to the summit you can pause at several fabulous viewpoints, but don't stop there-eventually you will make it to an unmatched 360 degree view. As you navigate the boulders notice the geology of Old Rag. You'll see quartz and feldspar and a great example of columnar jointing that forms a natural staircase. Notice, too the change in vegetation.

 

From the summit, you can look across much of the nearly 200,000 protected acres of Shenandoah National Park, a portion of which is federally designated wilderness. Take time to appreciate this relatively unspoiled example of forest and mountain.

 

You are about 4 miles from your starting point. Some hikers return via the rock scramble, but most prefer to continue on the Saddle Trail. Especially on busy weekends, attempting the rock scramble in reverse feels a lot like swimming upstream! As you travel down the Saddle Trail you will encounter two shelters, first Byrd's Nest, and then the Old Rag Shelter. Both are day-use only. There is an outdoor privy at the Old Rag Shelter (a little over a mile from the summit). If "nature calls" please use it instead of the outdoors. If you cannot make it to the privy, be sure to use Leave No Trace principles (cathole method).

 

About .4 mile from Old Rag Shelter you will arrive at a junction known as Post Office Junction. Before Shenandoah National Park was established this was the site of the village of Old Rag and its Post Office was nearby. There were homes and a school and church. At the junction there is additional information about the people who once called Old Rag home.

 

Turn right onto the Weakley Hollow Fire Road and complete your hike with another 3.4 miles through the woods and along a stream to the parking lot.

View Event →
Work Day - Shannondale Springs Prayer and Nature Trail
Apr
16
8:30am 8:30am

Work Day - Shannondale Springs Prayer and Nature Trail

This Saturday April 9th from 8:30am–7pm, will be a work day for the Shannondale Springs Prayer and Nature Trail on the property directly behind the Shannondale Springs Chapel on Mission Road.  The trail is meant to be a place to deepen our faith to include stations designed with spiritual themes to stop, rest and pray – to commune with God in the outdoors.  It is also meant to serve the community as a nature trail to walk and explore creation and benefit from what it has to offer.  
You are invited to join us this Saturday to continue this work.  Come for however long as you are able.  Please RSVP to let us know you are coming.  Bring a rake, or a pick, or loppers and gloves, water, snacks.  Lunch will be provided.

Direct questions to:
Pete
304-283-4628
mossoutdoors01@gmail.com

Future work day will be April 30th from 8:30am till 7pm.

View Event →
A.T. Hike Across Maryland, Part 4- Annapolis Rock/Black Rock Cliffs
Mar
19
9:00am 9:00am

A.T. Hike Across Maryland, Part 4- Annapolis Rock/Black Rock Cliffs

"This is one of the most popular sections of the Appalachian Trail in Maryland.  This 8.4 mile section of the AT features Annapolis Rock, probably one of the most visited spots along the AT in Maryland, with its spectacular westward views.  This section also features the fine views from Black Rock Cliffs as well as the Pine Knob Shelter."

If you are coming from the Charles Town area meet at the Food Lion parking lot at 8:15am to car pool.  This will be a full day hike so bring plenty of food and water.  Hike start time will be 9am with an approximate end time of 4:30pm.

As with every MOSS event there will be a time of Withdrawal, where we take the opportunity to disconnect and re-engage with our Creator. This is done through a self-lead devotional time in the example of Jesus who, "Often withdrew to the wilderness to pray." We will part company from the rest of our group temporarily and find a quiet place to consider the provided readings and prayers. It is recommended that participants bring a journal and pen to write what comes to mind as they experience God through the discipline of solitude and silence in this natural setting. Once this period of time is complete there may be a short discussion for those who wish to participate before the hike is continued.

"This section begins where the AT goes under the US 40 overpass as the trail briefly follows I-70.  Parking for this popular section is off US 40 and a blue blazed side trail takes hikers from the parking area to the AT just south of where this section starts.  There is parking for about fifty cars and the GPS coordinates are N39 32.130 W77 36.223 for those who have a GPS devise in their vehicle.

In about four hundred feet the trail turns right, leaves the busy expressway and begins to ascend.  At 0.4 miles the trail bears right as the blue blazed side trail on the left heads 0.1 miles to the Pine Knob Shelter.  This shelter was built in 1939 and sleeps five.  There is a privy nearby and water is from a spring next to the shelter.

 

Pine Knob Shelter

At 0.8 miles the trail travels to the west of the summit of Pine Knob.  At 2.1 miles a blue blazed trail on the left heads 0.25 miles to Annapolis Rocks, an overhanging cliff with spectacular views to the west.  There are several primitive campsites in the area.  There are also a couple of privies at this popular destination.

 

Side trail to Annapolis Rocks

At 3.1 miles several unmarked trails on the left lead about 100 feet to Black Rock Cliffs.  The views from Black Rock Cliffs are probably better than Annapolis Rocks.  If you plan a day hike to Annapolis Rocks, hike the extra mile to check out the view from Black Rock Cliffs.

 

View from Black Rock Cliffs

At 3.7 miles pass by the Pogo Memorial Campsite, just east of the trail.  At 4.3 miles veer left at fork.  The road on right leads 0.9 miles to Loy Wolfe Road.  At 5.4 miles the trail becomes extremely rocky as the AT follows a sharp and eroded crest of South Mountain.

At 6.1 miles there is a nice view eastward on your right.  At 6.4 miles the trail follows an old road again.  There was once an old sawmill in this area when the area was logged in the 1930s.  At 7.2 miles begin the first descent off the eastern slope of South Mountain. 

 

Approaching Annapolis Rocks

At 8.0 miles begin a steeper descent toward Maryland 17, reaching the road at 8.4 miles and the end of this section.  You'll find some parking along the shoulder of MD 17 and more parking nearby."

Info provided from the link below.  Check out this site for more trail details and consider making a contribution for their service.

http://www.cnyhiking.com/ATinMD-AnnapolisRock.htm

View Event →
Snickers Gap to Raven Rocks-Appalachian Trail-5.5 Miles-Moderately Strenuous
Feb
27
8:30am 8:30am

Snickers Gap to Raven Rocks-Appalachian Trail-5.5 Miles-Moderately Strenuous

  • Snickers Gap Parking Lot-West Bound Rt.7 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Meet at the Food Lion parking lot in Charles Town at 8am to carpool or join us at the Snickers Gap AT parking area at the intersection of the west bound lane of Rt. 7 and VA679 at 8:30am.

 

The view from Raven Rocks is one of the best in the area. Although the distance is only 5.5 miles with a vertical gain of 1,530ft, as you can see from the elevation profile, there are three strenuous ascents on this out and back hike. Raven Rocks is also a popular area with rock climbers, as it can be accessed by a road 0.4 miles from the east.

Make sure to wear sturdy footwear, as the hike that remains entirely on the white blazed Appalachian Trail, is very rocky.

Begin the hike by heading north on the white blazed Appalachian Trail, as it crosses over the first ridge, then making several steep switchback descents before reaching a small run in 0.8 miles. 100 yards past the run cross over an unblazed trail and remain on the Appalachian Trail.

After ascending the next ridge come to a nice view of the Winchester Valley to the west, before descending and arriving at the Raven Rocks Hollow stream in 1.2 miles from the last run.

Climb the final ascent of 0.4 miles, passing a sign marking the Virginia, West Virginia border, then reaching Raven Rocks where you will find fantastic views towards the south west and the Shenandoah Valley.

During spring and fall, the Raven Rocks 100ft wall is a favorite spot with local rock climbers. To return retrace your route 2.7 miles back to the parking area at VA679 and Rt7.

View Event →
Black Friday Charity Hike-Maryland Heights Trail-Harpers Ferry, WV- 1st Annual
Nov
27
10:00am10:00am

Black Friday Charity Hike-Maryland Heights Trail-Harpers Ferry, WV- 1st Annual

Skip the mall rush-Hike Maryland Heights-Bring toys for one of the 85+ kids that are in an orphanage or teen shelter and 300 kids in a feeding program all in Juarez and Madera, Mexico.  

RSVP HERE!

10AM - 3PM.  Meet at the back portion of the Caviler Heights Visitor Center parking lot.  Entrance fees are $10 per car.  We will collect toys and proceed to ride shuttle to lower town.  See the description of this hike below.

If you are unable to attend but would still like to donate please contact Pete.

For our first annual Black Friday Charity Hike, MOSS has chosen to support the orphanages, teen shelters and participants in feeding programs in Ciudad Juarez and Madera, Mexico operated by Rescue Ministries of Mexico.  Here is why...

Children outside of the orphanage in Juarez, Mexico operated by Rescue Ministries of Mexico.  

Children outside of the orphanage in Juarez, Mexico operated by Rescue Ministries of Mexico.  

About our charity:

RESCUE MINISTRIES OF MEXICO
& VINO, TRIGO Y ACEITE

Our Vision: To provide a safe home for children, youth, adults, and the elderly.
Our Mission: To serve God and our community.
Our Target: To strengthen the Institution of the Family.
Our Objective: To provide food, shelter, clothing, education and basic medical assistance to people in need, and most of all to announce the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We appreciate the opportunity to present to you the work we do at Rescue Ministries of Mexico and at our sister organization Vino, Trigo y Aceite. Rescue Ministries of Mexico is registered in the United States as a non-profit organization under chapter 501 C(3), whose sole purpose is to provide for the needs of the shelters & Ministries of Vino, Trigo y Aceite in Mexico.

Vino, Trigo y Aceite is a Christian Organization founded in 1988 in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico by our Pastor Guadalupe Varela de Páez. For over 20 years Vino, Trigo y Aceite has been registered as both a Civil and a Religious Association in Mex-ico, thus allowing us to work with children, adolescents, adults and seniors in key cit-ies of the State of Chihuahua such as: Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Chih., Ciudad Madera, El Largo Maderal, La Mesa del Huracán, Chih. and in the city of Gomez Pala-cio in the State of Durango, México.

See more at:  rescueministriesofmexico.org

Aurelio Páez (Executive Director) and a few kids from Rescue Ministries of Mexico

Aurelio Páez (Executive Director) and a few kids from Rescue Ministries of Mexico

Personal note:  I have decided to organize this MOSS event on Black Friday to offer people an alternative to the mad rush on stores that feed into our materialism and instead ask participants to bring a toy to donate to an orphanage in Juarez, Mexico for Christmas. (Stop by the local Harper's Ferry shops on the way home! :)) Rescue Ministries of Mexico is an organization that I have spent a lot of time with and can speak personally of its leadership.  Along with the pastor at Shannondale Springs Chapel, Porky Jones, we have visited most of the projects in which Rescue Ministries is involved,  including orphanages, shelters, churches and food/clothes banks.  Over the last 13 years, SSC has assisted in house and church building projects, repairs at the Juarez orphanage,  school supply donations, pastoral support, and clothing drives.  Probably the most beneficial part of our partnership is the strength of encouragement both groups have gleamed from this long term relationship.  

In early December, the Executive Director of Rescue Ministries of Mexico, Aurelio (Leo) Páez, will be coming to West Virginia to receive the toys and speak about his experiences with his organization and the adventurous life of mission work.  More details will follow.   

Thank your for participation in this toy drive and hike.  Stay tuned for similar events by "liking" our Facebook page.

-Peter Petretta


A word about Withdrawal Time....

As with every MOSS event there will be a time of Withdrawal, where we take the opportunity to disconnect and re-engage with our Creator. This is done through a self-led time in the example of Jesus who, "Often withdrew to the wilderness to pray." We will part company from the rest of our group for a half hour and find a quiet place to consider a reading and prayers centered on our responsibilities for the poor. It is recommended that participants bring a journal and pen to write what comes to mind as they experience God through the discipline of solitude and silence in this natural setting.  This will take place at the MD Heights overlook.


About Maryland Heights Trail-Harper's Ferry NHP:

"Difficult (steep and rocky in places), 4.5 miles round trip, 3 to 4 hours. Wayside exhibits.
The Maryland Heights Trail offers hikers the opportunity to see many aspects of Harpers Ferry NHP on one walk: spectacular scenery, geology, Civil War and transportation history. From the Information Center in Lower Town turn right to merge with the Appalachian Trail at the dead end of Shenandoah Street. Cross the footbridge over the Potomac River. Turn left (upstream) on the C&O Canal Towpath. The trail stays on the towpath for 0.3 miles, and then crosses a footbridge over the canal bed to Harpers Ferry Road. Be careful! Watch for traffic. Directly across the road is the Maryland Heights trailhead. The first bend on this green-blazed trail offers a nice view of the Potomac. Go straight at the first intersection to a see the 1862 Naval Battery, then return to the green-blazed trail and turn right. At the next two intersections stay straight on the red-blazed Overlook Cliff Trail. About 0.3 miles turn right for a narrow, rocky descent 0.5 miles to the cliffs overlooking Harpers Ferry. Backtrack to the C&O Canal Towpath."

                                                                         -http://www.nps.gov/hafe/planyourvisit/hikes.htm


See Sara Paez and the Juarez orphanage at :50secs in on Dateline episode Inside Mexico´s Drug War 2.  (You may need to temporarily turn off Restricted Mode on YouTube to view.)


Photos from 2002 trip to Baborigame, Mexico

View Event →
WV Project CommuniTree Planting with the Cacapon Institue followed by a hike at Craftworks.
Nov
14
10:45am10:45am

WV Project CommuniTree Planting with the Cacapon Institue followed by a hike at Craftworks.

tree.jpg

Community members from Tabler Station Manor HOA are planting a mix of 16 trees in their neighborhood outside of Inwood.  This is a perfect introduction to the Cacapon Institute and the important work that they do for the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and the entire Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  Although the location of this tree planting may not seem like an inspirational location, MOSS folks know the importance of trees in all locations and the benefits that we reap by their presence in and around our lives.  By participating in this first activity with Cacapon Institute, we will have the ability to assist in location selections for future MOSS tree plantings.  This is the first official service event as MOSS and is extremely exciting.  Future opportunities will include disaster relief, trail maintenance and trash cleanup projects.  

www.cacaponinstitute.org


Following the tree planting, we will head towards Charles Town, WV for a hike at Craftworks on the Coolspring property.  This will be a relatively easy hike that will give the MOSS group an introduction to what Craftworks is all about and potentially give us opportunities to work together in the future.

Craftworks at Coolspring is a community supported nonprofit beautifully sited on 12 acres of environmentally sensitive land.  Meandering Bullskin Run traverses our landscape which includes Cool Spring Marsh, a vital marl marsh containing 18 rare and very rare West Virginia plants.  

www.wvcraftworks.org

View Event →
Old Rag Mountain - 3rd Annual Fall Hike
Oct
24
8:30am 8:30am

Old Rag Mountain - 3rd Annual Fall Hike

  • Old Rag Parking Lot VA United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

 

To all you Old Rag Hikers! Please thoroughly read the following information concerning our hike. Make sure this hike is for you! Its going to be tough, which also means its going to be awesome!

Entrance fee is $8.

We will meet at 8:30am at the parking lot at Old Rag. Directions are also listed below. This is a very popular hike, so we want to get an early start to ensure there is enough parking and for trail traffic issues. Please be on time. Carpool if you can.  If you are coming from the Charles Town area, I can assist with arranging a carpool. Send an email to mossoutdoors01@gmail.com

As with every MOSS event there will be a time of Withdrawal, where we take the opportunity to disconnect and re-engage with our Creator.  This is done through a self-lead devotional time in the example of Jesus who, "Often withdrew to the wilderness to pray."  We will part company from the rest of our group temporarily and find a quiet place to consider the provided readings and prayers.  It is recommended that participants bring a journal and pen to write what comes to mind as they experience God through the discipline of solitude and silence in this natural setting.  Once this period of time is complete there will be a short discussion for those who wish to participate before the hike is continued.  

Bring water and food! 


Info from NPS:

Preparing to Hike Old Rag Mountain

Planning Your Visit
The most important step to a great hiking experience in Shenandoah National Park is good planning. Many of the points below are applicable to any hike, but there are a few special considerations for Old Rag. 
Be sure that you are physically able to complete this hike. The circuit hike is about 9 miles. There is a significant elevation change and a strenuous rock scramble that requires good upper body strength. Often, children and shorter adults need assistance navigating the scramble. 
Take at least 2 quarts of water per person. Dehydration is one of the most prevalent issues. 
Wear sturdy shoes that will support your ankles and allow you to to get a foothold without slipping. 
Allow 7 or 8 hours. Yes, people do it in less time but, like all types of travel, you may experience unanticipated delays. It's always a good idea to have a headlamp in case you don't complete your hike before dark. 
Be sure you know the forecast and never attempt this hike in wet or icy conditions. 
Stay with your group and stay on the trail. Do not allow children to run ahead. 
Although you need to be sure you have plenty of water and food, it is a good idea to pack as lightly as possible. Most hikers prefer fanny packs to backpacks which can be difficult to maneuver through the rock scramble. 
Planning your hike on a weekday will enhance your experience. Old Rag can become very crowded on weekends. At times, the parking lot will be full and there will be long lines and substantial waits at some of the narrow passages. For current conditions follow us on Twitter: ShenandoahNPS. 
Pets are strictly forbidden on Old Rag for their own and hikers' safety.

Directions
Although Old Rag Mountain is within the boundaries of Shenandoah National Park, most people approach it from the park's eastern boundary. Follow these directions to get to the trailhead: 
From Sperryville, Route 211: Take Route 522 south for .8 mile. Turn right onto Route 231 and go 8 miles. Turn right onto Route 601 and follow the signs to the parking area (approximately 3 miles). 
From Madison, Route 29 Business: TakeRoute 231 for 12.8 miles. Turn left onto Route 602 and follow the signs to the parking area (approximately 3 miles).

Parking
Especially during busy weekends, parking can be another challenge. All Old Rag hikers must use the large parking area at the Old Rag Fee Station. The small parking area at the Old Rag Trailhead is NOT open to the public.

In an effort to make the Old Rag experience safer, we have increased patrols so the trailhead lot will be reserved for Old Rag staff including Search and Rescue personnel, park staff, trail overseers, and Old Rag Mountain Stewards. The parking lot is about a .8 mile walk along the road to the trailhead

Parking is prohibited along the road shoulders. Please use the lot to avoid being towed.

Fees
Visitors hiking Old Rag must have a valid Shenandoah National Park entrance permit. You can purchase permits and yearly passes from Rangers when present, or via self-pay at the Old Rag Fee Station. 


Hiking Old Rag

Hikers navigate a narrow passage.

Holly Mills, NPS

Now that you know how to fully prepare yourself for a day on Old Rag, you are ready to begin the adventure! Once you have arrived at the parking area and paid your fee you will walk the .8 mile along the road to the trailhead.


At the trailhead there is additional information and a map. Take the time to read the information posted there. Old Rag is host to many rare and endangered plants that live in the harsh rocky environment of the granite boulders. These plants are particularly susceptible to trampling. They are pictured here so take a moment to familiarize yourself with these special plants so you can be on the lookout for them.


There are several ways to hike Old Rag, but the most popular is a circuit that takes you up the Ridge Trail, across the rock scramble to the summit, than down the Saddle Trail to the Weakley Hollow Fire Road and back to where you began. The first 2 miles will be an increasingly steeper climb along a beautiful wooded trail. You are likely to see deer and other wildlife, as well as a steady profusion of wildflowers during the spring, summer, and fall. Watch for changes in vegetation as you gain altitude.


About 2 miles into the hike you will come out of the woods onto the ridgetop. Here's where the fun begins. For the next mile and a half you will climb, slide, shimmy, and crawl your way across and around giant granite boulders. Follow the blue blazes to stay on track. If you see a double blaze, that means the trail will take a sharp turn or switchback.


You will also notice numbers beneath the blazes. These are reference numbers for Search and Rescue personnel. Take note of the numbers as you pass them. If you need to report an incident, being able to give the staff the number will help them in their response.


As you make your way to the summit you can pause at several fabulous viewpoints, but don't stop there-eventually you will make it to an unmatched 360 degree view. As you navigate the boulders notice the geology of Old Rag. You'll see quartz and feldspar and a great example of columnar jointing that forms a natural staircase. Notice, too the change in vegetation.


From the summit, you can look across much of the nearly 200,000 protected acres of Shenandoah National Park, a portion of which is federally designated wilderness. Take time to appreciate this relatively unspoiled example of forest and mountain.


You are about 4 miles from your starting point. Some hikers return via the rock scramble, but most prefer to continue on the Saddle Trail. Especially on busy weekends, attempting the rock scramble in reverse feels a lot like swimming upstream! As you travel down the Saddle Trail you will encounter two shelters, first Byrd's Nest, and then the Old Rag Shelter. Both are day-use only. There is an outdoor privy at the Old Rag Shelter (a little over a mile from the summit). If "nature calls" please use it instead of the outdoors. If you cannot make it to the privy, be sure to use Leave No Trace principles (cathole method).


About .4 mile from Old Rag Shelter you will arrive at a junction known as Post Office Junction. Before Shenandoah National Park was established this was the site of the village of Old Rag and its Post Office was nearby. There were homes and a school and church. At the junction there is additional information about the people who once called Old Rag home.


Turn right onto the Weakley Hollow Fire Road and complete your hike with another 3.4 miles through the woods and along a stream to the parking lot.

View Event →
MOSS Fall Weekend-Biking/Hiking/Camping - Section Cycle Parts 3 and 4.
Oct
10
to Oct 11

MOSS Fall Weekend-Biking/Hiking/Camping - Section Cycle Parts 3 and 4.

Lets squeeze the last bit of warmer weather out before winter blows in!  Join MOSS for an action packed weekend of camping, biking and hiking.  Camp along the C&O Canal National Historical park and the Potomac River.  Bike to Harper's Ferry and hike Maryland Heights.  Wake up the next morning for another ride on the C&O.

Columbus Day weekend has often been a marker for the end of summer type activities and is a good chance for some to take advantage of a three day weekend to get out for one more camping trip.  

More info later...

 

View Event →
Section Cycle The C&O Canal National Historical Park - Part 2
Sep
19
9:00am 9:00am

Section Cycle The C&O Canal National Historical Park - Part 2

This is Part 2 of the MOSS Section Cycle of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.  We will begin at the large parking lot on Canal Road across the Potomac River from Shepherdstown, WV.  (See the address and map. )  This trip will be a 17.2 mile round trip ride to Taylors Landing with a return ride back to Shepherdstown.  

As with every MOSS event there will be a time of Withdrawal, where we take the opportunity to disconnect and re-engage with our Creator.  This is done through a self-lead devotional time in the example of Jesus who, "Often withdrew to the wilderness to pray."  We will part company from the rest of our group temporarily and find a quiet place to consider the provided readings and prayers.  It is recommended that participants bring a journal and pen to write what comes to mind as they experience God through the discipline of solitude and silence in this natural setting.  Once this period of time is complete there will be a short discussion for those who wish to participate before the bike trip is continued.  

As this ongoing event proceeds, there will be opportunities to participate in cleanup projects that focus on trash removal from the Potomac River and the C&O Canal National Historical Park.  


184.5 Miles of Adventure!

Preserving America's early transportation history, the C&O Canal began as a dream of passage to Western wealth. Operating for nearly 100 years the canal was a lifeline for communities along the Potomac River as coal, lumber and agricultural products floated down the waterway to market. Today it endures as a pathway for discovering historical, natural and recreational treasures!    

www.nps.gov/choh/index.htm

 


View Event →