Capital Hiking Club
Hikes are resuming!!!
Dear Capital hikers,
We said we'd all be together again when the time is right, and that time has arrived! After a COVID-induced hiatus of 17 months, Capital Hiking Club is back in action, starting Saturday, Aug. 7.
The first hike -- to Sugarloaf -- is posted on Meetup. Signups will open on July 31.
For now, we're taking the following steps as continued precautions against COVID, and also to ease the workload on our volunteer hike leaders during this transitional period:
The number of participants will be limited so that the bus will be about half-full. This will allow people to socially distance or sit near others as they choose.
Masks are required on the bus at all times. This is a current Federal transportation rule and also the policy of our charter bus company. Masks are *not* required on the trail or elsewhere outside the bus. For the first few hikes, we've chosen destinations that are relatively close to DC in order to limit the time on the bus and thus minimize mask time.
No eating is allowed on the bus. If you need to take a drink of a beverage, it's OK to briefly lower your mask for that.
The leaders will not supply drinks and snacks during post-hike social hour, but you're welcome to bring your own, so long as it's consumed before you get back on the bus and you take care of your trash/recycling. Other than that, the post-hike social time continues as usual, and for most of us, it's a cherished feature of our trips.
To further allay COVID concerns, the bus company has upgraded to a premium, MERV 13 cabin filtration system that continually filters 0.3 – 10.00-micron particles. This system eliminates dust, lint, pollen, mold spores, microscopic allergens and virus carriers. In addition, they've installed a UV-C HVAC light disinfection system that works continuously to kill up to 99% of microbial contaminants. Surfaces in the buses are routinely cleaned and disinfected.
Hopefully, we'll be able to relax our restrictions soon so we can return completely to normal. We will of course continue to monitor the COVID situation and adjust our plans accordingly.
See you on the trail soon ... in real life!
Capital Hiking Club president