Meet an AO: Cassie

It’s that time of year again — time to take stock of the year behind you, time to look forward to the year that’s coming, and time to appreciate the good things in life.

At DC UL, we couldn’t do what we do without our remarkable group of assistant organizers. That’s why, in November and December, we’ll be featuring “Meet an AO” on Instagram and the blog. 

These are the people thinking of trips, writing and posting the trip descriptions on Meetup, planning the route and carpool logistics, and then carrying out the trips, making sure that everyone is prepared and safe. When the trip is over, they’ve scoped out a place to grab some grub with friends, new and old.

In this season of gratefulness, we pause to acknowledge our dedicated team of assistant organizers. We’ve asked them a couple of questions, so you can get to know them a little better.

Assistant Organizers, we see what you’re doing out there, and everything that goes on behind the scenes. We appreciate you!

Meet Assistant Organizer Cassie. Veteran of Massanutten and attender/organizer of classics like Trout Run Valley, the Allegheny Front Trail, the VA Triple Crown, and more.

Favorite trail food: Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Cashews

Favorite trail socks: Darn Tough Ultralight 1/4 height 

Something to know about me: I didn’t grow up “outdoorsy” at all. My first time sleeping outdoors was in college! There are always lots of people willing to share what they know, and DC UL is especially great for that. Come hike with me if you want to talk about dehydrating homemade meals, organizing your Gaia GPS folders, or making your own gear. 

I’ve realized that marshmallows seem to be the theme of all my funniest moments on trail . . . playing “chubby bunny” while jockeying for space in front of the fire in a shelter on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, learning new methods of roasting and eating jumbo-sized marshmallows on an LM to Canaan Mountain; clearly, I should always bring marshmallows.

Photo credit: Kylie L.

What I’d like to know more about: Trees! I’m reading The Overstory by Richard Powers, and it’s making me realize how little I know about one of the most common features of my weekend trips. I’d love to learn more about trees, plants, and flowers. I think it’d make my hikes a much richer experience.

“Clearly, I should always bring marshmallows.”

Favorite piece of gear: My fanny pack! Although I just got my own pair of insulated pogies and I expect they might edge into first place for favorite.

Photo credit: Brian R.

Favorite DC UL trip: This trail really doesn’t deserve it, but some of my favorite DC UL memories are from the 2019 Memorial Day trip to the Baker Trail. Despite the extensive road walks (and unmaintained trail that made us wish we were back on the road), I loved it: detouring for ice cream, long group conversations where we could walk side-by-side, meeting people who live in the area, and laughing about whatever new challenge the trail threw our way (poison ivy? power plants? thunderstorms? bring it on!).

Thanks for chatting, Cassie. See you on the trail!

Are you interested in becoming an assistant organizer? Read more on our site.

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