2011 Pre-Trip to Washington, DC

Pre-tour: Washington, DC

Aug 31 – Sept 1, 2011


Washington, D.C.

Start your Event a day early, to explore the great city of DC and the surrounding area! Our home base will be the luxurious Hyatt Arlington in Rosslyn , just over the Key Bridge from Georgetown. You’ll need to make your own way to the Hyatt (an easy metro ride from Reagan National, or cab ride from Dulles), and be ready to head out from the lobby at 1:45 pm. You’ll have the option of a Monuments walk, or a visit to two amazing nature photography exhibits. From there the two groups will meet for a boat cruise on the Potomac , followed by a sumptuous dinner at Sequoia in Georgetown Harbor. The hotel is a 15-minute walk from dinner; and you can either head back early, or explore Georgetown nightlife before heading back.

Thursday we’ll be up and at ‘em with an early breakfast and check out. Two groups will depart from the lobby to camp: one by way of Virginia Wine Country; the second via the Billy Goat Trail – the favorite moderate metro-DC hike -- complete with stunning river views and a healthy dose of rock scrambling. An easy option along the C&O Canal towpath is also available if there is interest. After the day’s activities, we’ll make our way to camp, in time to get settled in before dinner.


Arriving by car

Driving directions can be found here: http://arlington.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/services/maps/index.jsp

Arriving by plane

If flying into Reagan National (DCA), you can take metro to Rosslyn (Blue line train), or taxi or Supershuttle. The hotel is directly across the street from the Rosslyn Metro station. For more information, see: http://arlington.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/services/transportation/index.jsp

If flying into Dulles (IAD), you can take a taxi or Supershuttle to the hotel. For more information, see (scroll to middle of page): http://arlington.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/services/transportation/index.jsp



Hyatt Arlington Hotel

Please plan to be checked into the hotel no later than 1:30 pm. They will store luggage if rooms are not available upon your arrival (official hotel check-in is 3 pm).


2:00 – 5:30 pm

There are two options during this timeslot. We will depart at 2 pm SHARP to make our connections.

Monuments Hike

OPTION 1: Monuments Walk (Included): Monuments Walk Around Tidal Basin

This urban walk will leave from the hotel, and take a short metro ride on the Orange Line to the hike start at Smithsonian Metro (on the Mall). A 3-hour easy-moderate walk to visit many famous sites, including the Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the White House. At the end of the hike, we’ll hop back on metro to Foggy Bottom, from where we’ll walk down to Georgetown Harbor to meet the remaining folks for the 6:30 pm boat cruise. This hike will be lead by Marty Baron.

Nature’s Best winning photos

Option 2: Visit Nature Photo exhibits at Museum of Natural History and National Geographic Museum (INCLUDED)

For those who have seen the monuments already, prefer a less demanding walk, or are just really into nature and/or photography, we’ve prepared an alternative excursion. The Nature’s Best winning photos form 2010 are on display at the Museum of Natural History. We’ll stop in to take a look at these amazing shots, then head up to National Geographic to view the Extreme Nature photos of Carsten Barr. “When I photograph extreme environments – the volcano, the tornado, the glacier – each is entirely different, but they have one thing in common: You are in a situation with an uncertain outcome.” Carsten Peter. The Earth is a shape-shifter, its basic elements in constant motion. New forms arise from the violence of volcanoes, the steady drip of subterranean stalactites, or the movement of glacial ice. Photographer and adventurer Carsten Peter seeks out these changing environments, the unpredictable extremes of spewing lava or deep, unexplored caves. His photographs capture vivid images of fleeting moments or forms shaped over centuries. We’ll then walk down to Farragut West metro and travel one stop to Foggy Bottom, from where we’ll walk down to Georgetown Harbor to meet the remaining folks for the 6:30 pm boat cruise. This hike will be led by Liz Friedman.

6:30 – 7:30 pm

Boat Cruise of Monuments


See the monuments by water on this breathtaking Mini-Monuments Tour along the Potomac River. We’ll enjoy majestic views of the Jefferson, F.D.R., Lincoln and Washington memorials and learn about the history of Watergate, Arlington Cemetery and the Kennedy Center. Late arrivals can met in the lobby and leave hotel at 5:30 pm and walk over Key Bridge to Georgetown Harbor, where they’ll meet the groups from the two afternoon activities at the boat landing/dock in Georgetown. Board at 6:30 pm SHARP.

7:45 – 9:30 pm

Sequoia in Georgetown

ALL: Dinner at Sequoia in Georgetown (INCLUDED)

Eclectic American fare coupled with enchanting views of the Potomac River, Kennedy Center and Watergate Hotel, through floor to ceiling windows, make Sequoia a one of a kind dining experience. We’ll enjoy a sumptuous three-course meal from their group dining menu.

After dinner, either walk directly back to the hotel (15-minute walk), or explore the Georgetown nightlife and return to the hotel a bit later.

THURSDAY, September 1st

7:30 – 9:00 am

Breakfast on your own at the hotel and check out.

9:15 am – 4:00 pm

There are three options during this timeslot.

VA Wine Country


Virginia wineries have been multiplying at a phenomenal rate; with more than 190 at latest count! We’ll visit two outstanding ones using van transportation, so you won’t need to worry about driving! Our first stop will be Breaux Vineyards, rated Virginia's favorite winery in 2008, 2009, and 2010! At this Napa-like estate, we'll sample 13 different wines in their tasting room and get a tour of their impressive facilities. We’ll then head out for lunch on the patio of the acclaimed Magnolias at the Mill. After lunch, we’ll continue on towards camp, with a stop at the picturesque Veramar Vineyard where we’ll sample approximately 10 award-winning wines. The price for this amazing day will be $65/person and will include: van transportation (plus gas) from the Rosslyn Holiday Inn with drop-off directly at Camp Rim Rock; visits to two premier Virginia wineries; tastings of at least 23 different wines – all available for purchase; exclusive VIP tour of Breaux winery, gourmet patio lunch including your choice of one entrée (entrée salad, pizza, sandwich, or specialty meal), one non-alcoholic beverage (soda, iced tea, lemonade, water), and choice of either an appetizer or dessert.

Billy Goat Trail Hike


OPTION 2: Hike the Billy Goat Trail (INCLUDED)

A favorite close-in Hike of many, this moderate 4 to 5-mile hike has rock scrambles, wooded paths, a stream crossing (on a log), and spectacular views of Mather Gorge. Enjoy a box lunch on a rock overlooking the river gorge. At the end of the 2-mile Billy Goat section, we’ll head upstream another ½ mile to the Great Falls overlook, and take a slight detour to the Visitor Center area for a bio break, and ice cream (for those who wish to purchase at the snack bar). Then we’ll return to our cars by the towpath and upper Berma road, for the drive out to camp. All folks going on this hike should plan to pick up lunch elsewhere in advance of the hike.

OPTION 3: Easy Hike to Great Falls (INCLUDED)

This is an easy hike that starts and ends at the same point as the Billy Goat Trail (BGT) hike, but avoids the BGT altogether, if rock scrambling isn’t your thing. The hike follows the C&O Canal Towpath from Old Angler’s Inn upstream to the Great Falls Visitor Center, and we’ll take a side trip out to the overlook of Great Falls on Olmstead Island. Then visit the Great Falls Visitor Center area for a bio break, and ice cream (for those who wish to purchase at the snack bar). Return by the Berma Road (upper trail). The hike is a total of 4 easy and flat miles. The hike should take approximately three hours, or an hour less than for the folks doing the BGT.



Includes one night at the Hyatt Arlington, Double Occupancy; Wednesday evening Boat Cruise; Three-Course dinner at Sequoia (beverages extra); and Wednesday and Thursday optional hikes/walks, etc.


Winery Tour: $68 (includes transportation from Hyatt, tasting of 23 wines, tour of working winery, and gourmet lunch on gorgeous outdoor patio, and dropoff at Camp Rim Rock)  (CANCELLED)

Single Room upcharge: $75

A LA CARTE (for local folks or those not needing the hotel)

  • WED: Monuments Hike with Marty $0
  • WED: Nature Photography Exhibits with Liz: $0
  • WED: Boat Cruise: $15
  • WED: Dinner at Sequoia: $55
  • THU: Billy Goat Trail Hike $0
  • THU: Easy Hike to Great Falls $0

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