As the cold weather disappears at least one more time before fall and winter capture us with their cold arms, there are outdoor activities aplenty to consider this weekend. Last week, I gave a recap of our first hike on the way to completing 41 miles of Appalachian Trail in Maryland. This week we bring you the second 5 mile leg encompassing a fun-filled 10 mile round trip hike as well as a metro accessible beer festival, apple picking, pumpkin picking, and local doings around DC.
1. The AT: On our second leg of the Appalachian Trail we left our map at home, promptly got lost only several miles from where we wanted to park, and headed the wrong way on the trail which turned out to be perfect once we were able to get started. We parked on Wolfesville Rd. in Smithburg, MD and headed South, across Wolfesville Rd. from the small parking lot and up a big hill until we felt completely removed from civilization. On the entire 10 mile hike we saw only one small group of people at our halfway point aside from the two guys on the tractor who waved hello before we hit the trail. We turned around at the Pogo campsite and old Blackrock Hotel. We felt alone, content and only slightly worried when we heard gun shots. But the shots were from farmers or hunters way down the mountain, far from the trail. Every sound we heard from squirrels birds and deer was so loud because there was nothing else around and the silence was so remarkable. Next week we bring you the hike with the bird counters / watchers beginning at the other Washington Monument.
2. Octobeerfest in Alexandria: This Saturday, October 9 from 12 pm to 6 pm Rustico in Alexandria, VA holds their 4th annual Octobeerfest. Admission is free, there are bands and over 300 beers available had in the parking lot located behind their restaurant at Slaters Lane and Potomac Greens Drive. And the Rustico folks have a great idea to keep folks from doing stupid stuff by encouraging public transportation use: each and every guest who takes a cell phone photo of him/herself at the nearby Braddock Road Metro station will receive a free Oktoberfest mug (quantities limited) or 5 free tickets to be used towards food at the event itself. For those from DC, these are the folk that own the always-packed Churchkey as well.
3. Taste of Georgetown: For those too cool for the metro, Georgetown has its 17th annual Taste of Georgetown event on Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm at the already-buzzing corner or Wisconsin and M Streets NW. They’re saying the annual Taste of Georgetown showcases the spectacular cuisine of thirty of Washington, DC’s finest restaurants, highlighting Georgetown’s culinary personalities and featuring nearly sixty delectable dishes to sample, as well as wine pairings and the jazz talents of Blues Alley. Georgetown Ministry Center’s services supporting the homeless also receives some of the benefits from the preppy set.
4. Go Pick an Apple: A site called Pickyourown.org lists apple picking sites all over our great apple picking nation. Go get some in Maryland or Virginia near DC, bring one for a teacher, to keep the doctor away or try to juggle and then take a bite out of them like my uncle used to do at my birthday parties.
5. Rock Creek Park Tree Walk: This Saturday, October 9, walk amongst giants that aren’t famous Presidents as DC nonprofit Casey Trees hosts a Rock Creek Park walk with author and naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley where you’ll learn to identify native oaks, maples, ashes, and hickories that grace the winding paths through the urban woodland park. Hear about conservation issues that were as relevant in 1890 as they are in 2010. During the next walk attendees will visit the grounds of the U.S. Capitol (October 30th) where official state trees from around the country will be blazing in full autumn glory and the Capitol grounds design that is the handiwork of Frederick Law Olmsted, the renowned 19th century landscape architect who designed New York City’s Central Park among other parks. Details: Saturday, October 9th 2010 from 8:45 a.m. to 12:00 pm meeting in Rock Creeck Park at the Rock Creek Center and Planetarium at 5200 Glover Road NW. Questions may be directed to Lacey Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions on the day of this event please contact, Lacey Brown, cell phone 310-651-0683.
6. Take a Hike for a Political Campaign: It’s that season again. As political commentators continue to get red and blue faced over the airwaves just a month before the next election, get off the couch and go help someone you believe in by knocking on doors for them over the weekend between now and November 2. To sign up to help a Democratic Congressional candidate this is a good starting point with the DCCC. The DC, Maryland and Virginia State Democratic parties should be able to help you too.