First up: I'm taking some vacation in March. I will be camping at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach the nights of March 16, 17, 18, and 19. That allows me Saturday, Sunday, and Monday to spend with daughter, son-in-law, and grandson.
Next: Made a reservation for our Venturers to go caving at Marengo Cave April 13-14. We will enjoy two short walking tours plus a couple of hours of wild caving. All State-owned caves in Indiana are shut down because of White Nose Syndrome -- a threat to brown bats. Privately-owned Squire Boone Caverns and Marengo Cave are still offering underground experiences. Marengo is the only one offering any wild caving.
Finally: I made some inquiries regarding Cumberland Gap for our Crew's Shakedown. I'd like to go over Memorial Day weekend, but the school calendar isn't very friendly. We could leave RIGHT AFTER school on a Friday and get down yonder by 9:00 p.m. or so. Do three days in the backcountry, then drive home Monday evening. Be home about 10:00 p.m.? The problem with this is, the trail is pretty demanding. First day is 3.5 miles with a LOT of elevation gain. Last day is 4.5 miles, pretty much downhill. But between those two days is 9.9 miles along the ridge separating Kentucky from Virginia. It's doable in one day, but as a shakedown, teaching out-of-shape people the basics of backpacking, it's a killer. I'd MUCH rather do 4.8 miles the second day and 5.1 miles the next. So, I've go to mull this over. The school wasn't very helpful last year, since I was asking that the kids get out of a day of finals. If the Friday before Memorial Day isn't in Finals Week, though, I might be able to spring our Venturers and get a four-day, rather than three-day shakedown for them. Hope to get this resolved this week. If we have to wait till school's out, then we're hiking the trail the second week in June, and the crowded summer schedule starts to weird us out; on the other hand, I wouldn't have to miss a Sunday in order to take them. Hmmm, hmmmm, and hmmmm.