November 2016 - Backpacking along the Appalachian Trail in MarylandWe spent Friday night at the Dahlgren Backpacker Camp the South Mountain Inn. It was a warm night with temperatures staying in the 40s. Around 0630 Saturday morning a larger group of runners, participating in the JFK 50 Miler, ran by our campsite on the Appalachian Trail.We ate breakfast in camp and then drove to the starts of the long and short hikes. The long hikers climbed to the ridge near Annapolis Rock and enjoyed the view. The short hikers were helped by a resident near the trail head with parking and access to the trail head.
Both groups hiked along through the morning and early afternoon with a number of people hiking only in shorts and T-shirts. A storm was predicted for late in the day and we watched it develop to the west of us. Around 3 PM the front crossed our ridge rapidly dropping temperatures and hail on us. We had prepared earlier in the day by making our warmer and waterproof clothing easily accessible in our packs. After a quick stop to put on this clothing we continued hiking in the wind and the rain/hail. Fortunately, the precipitation was light. The long hikers caught up with the short hikers shortly after the front hit and we hiked together into Warner Gap Hollow where we camped for the night. The cars were shuttled before dinner. We had simple backpacking meals made by adding water to our prepared food and plenty of hot drinks with water from the nearby stream boiled on backpacking stoves.
The temperatures dropped to 28°F overnight and few people were a little cold in their sleeping bags. We had a hot breakfast and hiked the mile around Buzzards Knob to our cars parked on Raven Rock Road overnight. Enjoy the photographs below.
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