03 June 2018 Tagged: hiking
I just spent two nights and two days backpacking on the AT near Roanoke. The Friday evening meetup was at a local hiker hostel. By the time we arrived from separate locations all the hostel beds were spoken for so we setup our hammock / bed arrangments in the old hostel barn.
Turns out the crop of hostel-goers in the main building were mostly weenies by mass so we avoided them and their camp fire and held our own festivities in the barn. We provided the music and laughter which was enough to lure in some non- weenies sporting some Appalachian apple moonshine that was surprisingly smooth, while no less potent and enough leaf to pass around.
After some merriment and conversation we got the place back to ourselves and prepared to turn in. A this point, a small black snake fell from the rafters knocking over some sort of kitschy wooden decoration in the corner. This was both freaky and sobering. Nobody wants snakes falling from the rafters.
We got up a little after 5 Saturday morning and after some breakfast, set out on the trail before 6. Sunrise came shortly after and we got a couple miles in before the rain started. The rain lasted only an hour, feeding the creeks and little waterfalls.
We spent the morning making the climb to McAfee Knob. McAfee Knob is a massive rock outcrop jutting from the summit of Catawba Mountain with an amazing view of the surrounding mountains and reportedly the most photographed spot on the AT.
The climb features some moderate-to-intense trail ascents but with a short duration with the peak at 975 meters. Along the way there were many cool rock formations including this one.
We reached the top early in the afternoon.
The camera fails to do justice to the views from the top.
We quit hiking early in the afternoon and spent the night a third of the way down the mountain. At camp we saw half a dozen hikers previously met as well as making a couple new friends. The new friends didn’t have trail names so iirc we named them calamity jane and slush puppy.
The next morning (today) we took our time getting ready. I treated myself to a 1000 calorie breakfast before heading out about 7:30. The hike was quite mild in intensity and instead of rain we were treated to hot sunny weather. We made it to Tinker Cliffs in two hours flat.
Unlike the single massive outcrop at McAfee Knob, Tinker Cliffs is a kilometer long rocky ridge at all points very much like the above. And like this:
The rest of the hike was equally mild and near the end there was a great view of Carvins Cove Reservoir, spoiled only by angrily humming power lines.
Pleasure to read!
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