Appalachian Trail, The Roller Coaster, Northern Virginia, September 27, 2017 — The nonprofit Road Scholar program seeks to provide unique learning experiences for adult life-long learners. You can learn more at this link: Road Scholar Program
One of the many experiences they offer several times a year is hiking on the AT in four states – Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club supports these hikes with expert hike leaders be they ridgerunners in season or trail patrol members at other times.
These day hikes are moderate in relative terms both in terrain and distance. To some, especially hikers who aren’t in the best physical shape, they can be quite challenging. Fortunately for them, the sag wagon meets the group whenever possible.
With only one ridgerunner remaining in Maryland for this season, I led the roller coaster section last Wednesday. The hike is short, about six miles, but the terrain is fairly rocky featuring a backbone of several nasty little hills after which the roller coaster is named.
This particular group was lively and amicable. Some were faster than others, but we kept them together with frequent rest stops and a lunch break at the Sam Moore shelter.
We stopped to wait at every stream crossing. That’s where the propensity to slip and fall is the greatest. Should we ever suffer a casualty, we would need everyone’s support to manage an emergency.
Boomers are no different than Millennials and Gen Xers. Heads in phones at every stop. They had a 16 passenger van with a trailer for their gear.