The Three Ridges Trek was the first trip I did with DCUL (I think back then it was called DC Overnight Adventures, or something like that). This was several years ago and about two years since the last time Iíve done this hike. I was long overdue. This time around, I was fortunate to have seven other awesome hikers to enjoy the experience with once again.
Larke, Steve, Chris, Amy, Nick, and I left the Vienna Metro Station shortly after 8AM Saturday morning as planned. There were two other MeetUp groups using the Vienna Metro as a rendezvous and some folks (not from our group) were confused which group was thereís. We arrived at the Reedís Gap trailhead with over 30 minutes to spare. Kuris and Jessica met up with us shortly after. We were on the trail a little after high noon. The weather was perfect. Skies were clear, with a slight breeze and temperatures in the mid-to-upper 70s.
We trekked the 1.5 miles from the trailhead to the Mau-Har trail, had a quick discussion about the rest of the 14 mile journey, and preceded our descent along Campbell Creek where Chance (Chris) found a nice swimming hole to lounge next to. Worried about water availability further downstream and before the ascent up the Three Ridges, I advised everyone to carry enough water to make it through Sunday morning. It turns out, some folks weren't happy with the extra weight and to add to this, there was a decent water source near the Harperís Creek Shelter. I got a few scornful looks from some folks, I wonder why[:)]? Whatís better than carrying a 3-4 liters of water uphill?
We made the ascent up Three Ridges in fine form. I tried to take a picture of Nick and Amyís reaction once they climbed the second ridge only to see the much larger final ridge in their forward field of view. I was unsuccessful. All of us made it to camp around 5PM. Shortly after, Chance and Steve decided to go on a quick 10 mile trail run. That sounded like an awesome idea. The rest of had dinner about a mile away from the campsite overlooking the Priest. The view was spectacular. Later that evening, next to a campfire, we shared our favorite selection of camp spirits and enjoyed some nice snacks prepared by Chance: cheddar biscuits and bacon.
After a pretty windy night on the ridge, the eight of us marched out of camp around 9AM Sunday morning. We made it to our cars before 11AM with beer and burgers at Devilís Backbone Brewery in mind. Chance and Larke decide to jog to DD from the trailhead. Another great idea. While waiting with our cold beers in hand at DD, our other DCUL friends on the Tar Jacket Ridge hike also decided to dine at DD and sat right next to our table (I must admit, I forgot that was another DCUL trip; Iím embarrassed). Overall, I couldn't ask for a better group of backpackers to do this trip with.