There are events aplenty this weekend and hikes aplenty to take. After getting slightly lost last weekend on the way to and on the Appalachian Trail in Maryland, we vow to get back this weekend and recommend you do too. If that’s too far, take one of the other local hikes we’ve recommended here and here. Your Six Mix Picks this week include Octoberfests with lots of beer and lederhosen, falcon training, kayaking, camping, volunteering, an urban hike / bar crawl, the outdoors indoors, hipster craft doings, and other feats of outdoor finery.
1. Train your falcon, kayak, outdoor photography lessons: Though the
Blackwater Wildlife Refuge is a bit of a “hike” from DC, we plan on getting there in the near future because of their renowned water trails for canoeing and kayaking. This weekend on Saturday, October 2 from 8 am to 4 pm they’re holding their 15th annual open house to include guided walks, demonstrations, exhibits, and informational programs. Terry Allen will begin the day with a bird walk at 8:00a.m., with nature walks, a forestry walk, and our famous “Eagle Prowls” following over the course of the event. Programs on the day will also feature the USDA Nutria Crew, falconer Andrew Bullen, and Harriet Tubman re-enactor Vernetter Pinder. A special photography workshop, which will run from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., with nature photographer Jim Clark (a contributing editor for Outdoor Photographer Magazine) will also be available for folks who register in advance. The workshop is limited to twenty-five people. To register contact Ray Paterra at the Refuge Visitor Center at (410) 901-6124 ext. 21.
2. Fall Local Octoberfests: Washingtonian just came out with this handy, dandy two page guide to Octoberfests and Fall Bar Specials. We recognize not everyone can leave the DC area and not everyone wants to frolic in the woods. Sadly none of the festivals are in DC proper, but they look fun in their own right. There is a fall bar crawl in the Gallery Place / Penn Quarter / Chinatown hood if you’d like to wander around aimlessly in town. Not on the Washingtonian list is the Autumn Days Celebration in Shenandoah National Park also this Saturday, and with lots of hiking opportunities in the park, a bluegrass band and possible bear sitings, how can you go wrong?
3. The AT: Earlier this year, we vowed to complete the 41 mile section of the Maryland section of the Appalachian Trail in 2010. We are a glorious 10 miles in but what a great 10 miles it’s been. We started at the Pennsylvania border in Pen Mar Park on the Mason Dixon Line and hiked about 5 miles in to Maryland, and the five miles back to the car, for a grand 10 mile total on our first of two treks. For the initial hike we parked just over the stateline between Maryland and Pennsylvania in Maryland at a local park and backtracked about 100 yards to the state line. The hike was predictably wonderful, with views from the highest point on a trail in Maryland, which is also accessible by road. You do need yourself a decent trail map, even if you only are day-hiking like us. In DC Hudson Outfitters sells ’em or you can get them online from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Our second AT hike was last week and we’ll offer more on it shortly.
4. Volunteer, Hike, Camp, Yabba Dabba Doo: We’ve run on a couple of the great trail runs in the series put on by EX2 Adventures called the Backyard Burn which start up again soon. They’re casual but well-organized and lots of fun. This week we received an e-mail asking for volunteers at what seems a cool, but sold out race. We recommend it! Here’s most of the e-mail:
Volunteer and be part of the action! Join EX2 on Saturday, October 2nd at beautiful Rocky Gap State Park in Flintstone, MD and help close to 250 athletes tackle the sixth edition of the Rocky Gap Adventure Race. To complete this super fun and physically challenging intermediate level adventure race, teams of two or three and solo racers are required to trek, bike, and paddle to find 15-20 checkpoints spread throughout the park. Of course, there are twists, surprises, and tons of decision making involved in this race and, it’s a blast to watch! The Rocky Gap Adventure Race requires the support of close to 40 volunteers who help with check-in, checkpoints, canoes/kayaks, timing, and food. Times vary from 6am-6pm and shifts are usually 4-6 hours. All volunteers receive FREE food, a FREE race t-shirt, a coupon for $15.00 off a future EX2 race or $5 off EX2 merchandise, and our sincere thanks. Plus, we guarantee that you will have a fantastic time. THANK YOU! Rocky Gap is an easy 2.5 hour drive from the Washington DC area. If you want to camp on Friday and/or Saturday then we have a group campsite reserved just for volunteers! If you can help, please sign up online at the following link: http://www.ex2adventures.com/volunteer.php. Once you sign up online, then we will assign you to a volunteer position and contact you with further details, assignments, directions, etc. Thanks and hope to see you out there.
5. Crafty Bastards!: Washington City Paper presents the 7th Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair, an exhibition and sale of handmade alternative arts and crafts from independent artists. The fair is all-day, outdoors, free to attend, and will offer goods for sale, food, entertainment, prizes, and more! It’s Saturday, October 2, 2010 from 10am-5pm outdoors on the grounds of the Marie Reed Learning Center at 18th & Wyoming in Adams Morgan. Of course you can get their by hiking! Here’s a roundabout route from Dupont Circle that will take you on a trail albeit with cars to your crafty destination.
6. An Indoor Outdoor Experience: There’s a film festival happening at National Geographic called The All Roads Film Project.
The festival is dedicated to providing a platform for indigenous and underrepresented minority-culture storytellers around the world to showcase their works to promote knowledge, dialogue, and understanding with a broader, global audience. It sounds interesting, and it seems like a pretty mixed bag of movies. We Live By the River has its DC premiere and appears to be the outdoorsy movie at the festival. The film is described as a 52 minute documentary about group of First Nation communities in the Yukon River Basin in Canada reclaiming control of their lands by acting on the adage “think globally, act locally.” By enlisting the cooperation of the main polluters and scientists, the tribes have come up with a revolutionary approach to restoring the watershed and wildlife damaged by years of mining and military and local activity. It’s this Sunday, October 3 at 3:30 pm in DC at National Geographic Live!, 1600 M Street, NW Washington, DC 20036. Telephone: +1 202 857 7700.