AT Day 41 – Best Views on the AT


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26th May

21.2 miles 

Bushcamp (695.9) to Tinker Cliffs (717.1)

The plan was a short, relaxing day of hiking. The reality was a long tough day with the best scenery of the whole trail so far. Equally as good was blue sky with no rain. Days like today the Appalachian Trail is a pleasure.

A few miles from camp the trail climbed up to a nice ridge that occasionally opened up for a nice view of rural Virginia below. A well known hike in this part of the world is called The Dragon’s Tooth. A sharp buttress of rocks with a narrow gap overlooking the valley. The hike is very popular with day hikers which I met in large numbers as I descended to the bottom of the valley.

The next scenic wonder of the day was a place I’d heard about and seen photos of long before I started hiking the trail, McAfee’s Knob. Today is a Friday and it’s the start of a long weekend in USA, Memorial Day. It’s one of the biggest public holidays of the year. The crowds were out a day early. 

I wandered up the hill to McAfee’s Knob from the full to overflowing carpark, which the Appalachian Trail run through. Sweet smelling dayhikers were everywhere. My nose could pick up the perfume, laundry powder and soap smells on every hiker. When I’m not hiking I never notice those smells.

The day hikers are probably walking past all the Appalachian trail thru hiking and thinking, ‘that guys gone 4 days without a shower and laundry, that other guy has definitely been a week ‘ and so on.

McAfee’s Knob is little more than a slightly undercut cliff about 10 meters or 35 feet above the ground with a view of the farmland below and distant mountains. But the view just works. It’s stunning.

I overheard a couple of enthusiast teenagers repeatedly saying, ‘this is like the best thing I’ve like ever seen, this is like the best view in like the whole country’. Ok, I may have slightly over emphasised the word ‘like’ a little bit but it was close enough to what they said.

I lingered at the top for several hours, partly people watching and partly filming some time lapse videos. I was in a good mood and so was every other thru hiker. The bad weather of past days was forgotten.

Late in the afternoon Delicate Flower and I pushed on to make some miles to get closer to the next Trail town. As it’s a long weekend we may find it difficult to get accommodation so we figured we’d try to arrive early tomorrow morning and snap up whatever is available.

Pushing on was a great decision. We reached a place called Tinker Cliffs. Another view of cliffs to watch the setting sun. In the evening light we set up our tents nearby and for the first time in a long time I saw the stars.

Next : Day 42 – Daleville

All the best information on the Appalachian Trail:
Complete Guide to the Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail Gear List
Appalachian Trail Gear Review

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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13 thoughts on “AT Day 41 – Best Views on the AT”

  1. Absolutely spect-flipping-tabular! I am in awe of your photos. You truly capture the essence of the trail whether it is a black and white shot of a barn or the rolling green hills of Tennessee. I’m thinking this rain is not typical of this time of year. Yet this must be a reason why everything is so lush. So who captured your pic on the mushroom rock outcropping? I can’t imagine you were able to set the timer and run up there like a gazelle but then maybe, you did. That’s a beauty! Love following your blog. I haven’t missed a day and anxiously wait to read your daily reports. Stay safe and dryish!

    • Thanks for the kind words. The photo on McAfee Knob was taken by a day hiker, I took their photo, they took mine. Let’s hope the rain will ease off, but i think not.

      • Enjoying reading thru your posts. When I was in college (long ago) I’d take the motorcycle and pack a lunch and head to Dragon’s Tooth for some down time. Loved sitting up top and taking in the view.

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