Another difficult day. I woke up early to get a nice start and was pleasantly surprised to find that part of the sky was actually blue. I still decided to go with the rain gear again. As I was taking down my tent I ran into this little snail hanging on to one of my tent poles for dear life.
I set off for an exciting day. First stop would be Dragon’s Tooth, a massive stone monolith. When I got there it was pretty foggy which gave it this very mysterious and mystical look.
The climb down after Dragon’s Tooth was ridiculously difficult. There were many large boulders still wet from the past few days. There were spots where I had to drop my poles and do my best to lower myself using the thin rock ledges to lower myself and sometimes even lift myself. The backpack of course made things that much more difficult to lower myself. It took me almost an hour to do a little over half a mile because of how difficult it was. I only managed to take a tumble once but how I managed to not break any bones or gear, I have no idea.
Once I managed to get past that descent, I then had to hike through some cow pastures. Some cows stared at me, some just kept resting and as I got close to the gate to leave one started to chase me (probably thinking or hoping I would let her out).
The next pasture was empty but had a stile to allow hikers to pass but not cows. The only problem is the stile was too thin for me to get through with my backpack on so I ended up having to climb it. The other stiles had electrified fences that I had to avoid to move on. Eventually I came across this post marking 700 miles. (2 reasons why these mile markers are always well after I cross those spots. 1. is the length of the trail changes every year, 2. the markers are giving miles from Springer Mtn, the official start of the AT and I’m giving mileage from the approach trail 8.8 miles before Springer since that’s where I started.)
Next it was on to one of the highlights of the whole trail, McAfee Knob. I started the climb and ran into a number of tourists. I also ran into this black snake as well. Luckily, the beginning of the climb to McAfee they have two trails, one for the AT and one for the tourists.
When I got to the top it was just gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous.
There is a reason this is called the most photographed spot on the AT. 200° views of the valley, hawks flying around looking for pray, the towns in the distance, the beautiful green grass and incredible mountain ranges. I did my best to get pictures but I can assure these pictures can in no way compare to the real thing. If anyone is ever in the Daleville, VA. area I definitely recommend making a detour to head up there and see it.
After reluctantly leaving McAfee Knob I grabbed some water at the next spot and then just continued hiking ’till around 5:30 and then found a spot to set up my tent and start making dinner. Here’s the view from my tent:
We are Maria and Jason. Two crazy 30 somethings from New York City who decided to trade in our metro cards for a young-at-heart cargo van. Retired from being a phone company's service vehicle, Houdini, is has transformed into our home on wheels and is taking us all the way to the southern most tip of South America.
Follow along on our adventures.
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