Friday, April 10, 2015

McAfee's Knob- Appalachian Trail hiking

This past weekend the weather was fantastic and so we decided to hike another spot on the Appalachian trail. We decided on McAfee's knob which is located very close to Dragon's tooth, where we hiked the previous weekend. McAfee's knob is the most photographed site along the AT. The Knob has an almost 270 degree panorama of the Catawba Valley and North Mountain to the west, Tinker Cliffs to the north and the Roanoke Valley to the east. The hike is almost 8 miles round trip, which is a pretty long hike for us.

So before leaving, Kenan googled the directions.  All was well, until we went to turn down the road listed in our directions as the route to McAfee's knob. Ha ha.  This sign completely cracked me up. 'Don't let me have to shoot your ass" ha ha. This poor guy must deal with AT hikers constantly who trusted the google directions. So we sat in the driveway and looked up different directions to access it. We figured out that we had to go back to the Appalachian trail access parking lot, and follow the trail from there. Although the lot was marked for the Appalachian trail access, there was no obvious sign that it was the way to McAfee's knob.  We had to look on the AT map on the Kiosk. They also had a porta-jon  for before you get started,which is helpful if you're hiking with kids:) 

Once you get going, you'll see the signs. :)

Wildflowers were just beginning to bloom.  We spotted a bunch of these spring beauty, also saw forsythia, wood violets and a pretty white flowering tree. The hike itself was a bit strenuous if you are completely out of shape like i am. 

All along the AP are these shelters. There is two day limit on them i believe, but folks can staty here to get out of the rain or set up camp if they are stopping. Each one had a journal where folks who stayed at them could leave their name or write whatever they were feeling. i thought it was pretty neat.  My girl exhausted from hiking, laid every chance she could get.

Stopped for a picture break. We stopped for a lot of breaks. :) These white flowering bushes were everywhere, not sure what they were.

The views at the top were amazing.  It was definitely worth the hike. 

i  told them to go out on the rock, but i would let them walk all the way to the end. hee hee. Made my knees weak just watching them. 

i took a ton of pictures.  It was really an amazing overlook.

Some kind man offered to take our pictures, which is always nice because i'm typically never in the pictures. However i was munching away on a granola bar and had a mouth full that i couldn't get swallowed before he started snapping pictures. So i've got the chipmunk cheek look because my mouth was full and i couldn't smile. lol.

That bit of white in the distance on the right is the Roanoke Valley.

Although this hike definitely kicked my butt, it has really made me want to get into better shape so we can do more of these AT hikes.  The husband is already making plans to do the AT with my boy when he graduates high school. i'm not sure i'd want to do the entire AT at one time, but i love the idea of hiking different parts of it at different times. 

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but Nature's sources never fail." ~John Muir, Our National Parks


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