Trip report for May 2016 running of the Old Loggers Path: http://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/events/230796126/
Overall, the Old Loggers Path lived up to itís reputation as a pleasant moderate distance hike with a well maintained trail and clear plentiful trail blazings. Our May 2016 outing went smoothly.
Melís 30 lbs dog Buddy was on this trip, as were some humans. I got to carpool in the back of Melís car with Buddy and get my doggie fix on this outing. He seemed to handle the distance OK, so heís joining the Veteran member ranks now.
While driving to the trailhead, I turned my cell phone out of airplane mode briefly to look for a gas station. It was a good thing that I did so, as Yuna had left me a voicemail that she couldnít find the trailhead and was at a Hotel on the way up there. And she had lost her wallet too.
After stopping for gas, we linked up with Yuna about an hour later. She had taken a wrong turn to get to the trailhead and run into some hunters. The hunters pointed out that she probably didnít want to keep going down the road she was on. At some point, she ran into a friendly local who redirected her to the hotel where she had phone reception. After calling her credit card companies, she decided to still join us for the hike and she would deal with everything else when she got back to NJ. On the way back home, she dropped by the gas station she thought she left it at and they had held it for her.
An upside of leaving from Greenbelt metro at 7pm was that we avoided most of the bad traffic. Mel was able to drive from NOVA to Greenbelt in under an hour. But a downside was that we didnít hit the trailhead until just after midnight.
We camped right at the trailhead, as we were going to be up just before dawn and moving out about an hour after then. A mountain biker pulled up in a large pickup truck at 0445. He seemed to be quite noisy and took about 15 min to unpack his bike and hit the trail. Two hunters pulled up in a mini-van at 0510, so three of us were up at that point. We ended up hitting the trail a half an hour before we originally planned to.
Since we didnít want to try to link up at night, we had planned to link up with the group in the other car either in Masten or the trail down to Masten. We didnít see their car at the trailhead, so we thought up various ways that they could have ended up elsewhere. When we got to the trail register, Nick had signed on their way in, so we knew that they were ahead of us on the trail. We found them eating breakfast at their campsite on the way to Masten.
There were some ruins in Masten, but not as much as I had expected. We didnít spend too long exploring Masten though. The trail had only moderate elevation gains and losses. There were two particularly nice overlooks on the trail before the stream crossing. While we had looked at our options for the crossing to re-route if need be, the stream was an easy crossing as B~~~ had noted. We crossed on three logs that made for a makeshift bridge. Buddy swam it. Had we forded it, the shallow path would probably only go up to oneís knee.
The weather for the outing turned out far better than the forecast called for. The forecast called for ľĒ - ĹĒ of rain on Saturday. We had some sprinkles on Saturday, but the rain stayed away until around 5pm. Yuna, Bryan and Mel had already set up camp at that point. They had chosen a campsite about a mile short of our intended site, but it worked out well for us, as we found that a troupe of Boy Scouts were on our intended site. The rest of us got wet in the downpour that started at 5pm, but it only lasted about an hour and a half. We had some flurries and sleet on Sunday morning, but overall it was nice. It's a matter of perspective when you can declare getting rained, snowed and sleeted on to be better than expected weather.
Between the rain and the four hours of sleep on Friday night, most of us went to bed no later than 8:40pm. I had no trouble going to sleep at 8pm myself and others were already asleep at that point. Nick executed an effective wake up call on Sunday morning and we hit the trail at 6:30, which was 0:40 after sunrise. Some of the streams on the route out were pretty too.
Mel lost her wallet too, but it was likely somewhere on the trails hiked on Saturday, so we decided to check the initial segment of trail to see if it was there. We sent a runner down the trail toward Masten and pulled the cars around to Masten. Unfortunately, it didnít turn up in either Masten or on that segment of trail.
We stopped by the Bullfrog Brewery on the way back for brunch. When we saw a sign for Swineford national bank, I wondered if itís the bank used by the capitalistic pigsÖ Finally, Nick seemed to get a rap stuck in my head:
[i] You down with OLP?
Yeah you know me![/i]
Nice write up! So, OLP? Worth doing? It seems like your answer is yes.
I need to get 'er done!