Appalachian Trail, Week 8, 5.26-6.1.15

The journey through Virginia has continued to provide some intetesting views and experiences this week.

This week’s travels included plenty of forest, meadows, streams, pastures and rocks.  

Hiking along one stream, we came to a place known as The Captains.  It is a local residence where the owner allows tenting in the yard and provides free sodas.  The catch was that we had to ride across the creek on a bosun’s chair, a cable and pulley arrangment. 

One morning, our group went by the Keffer Oak.  The Keffer Oak is the largest oak in the southern part of the trail.  It really was hard to get angoid picture of it.  We also got to share the experience with a group of cows, who apparently live in the same pasture and who were not as impressed with the tree as we were.

Another morning provided the experience of seeing the Dragon’s Tooth, a large stone monolith.  It is down a short side path and can be climbed up for a view over the valleys and ridges.  It was a fun little side trip, to break up the usual routine of hiking.

The highlight of the week, and probably the trip so far, was sunrise at McAfee Knob.  The original plan was to be there late in the day.  Due to a few reasons, including the weather and finding out that the view faced east, we decided to stop earlier and hike up for the sunrise.  We were up before 4am to get packed up and on our way. We hiked the last 1.7 miles by headlamp and arrived just before the sun came up.  The view was nothing short of amazing.  There was an undercast and clouds to make the scene especially dramatic.  We watched in awe and took many photos.  It is something none of us will forget.

Not sure what will happen next week, but I’m sure it will be interesting!


LoNSlo preparing to ride across the creek to get a soda at The Captains.


A turtle just hanging out by the trail. I’ve seen plenty of deer and chipmunks, but this was the first turtle.


At the Keffer Oak, a famously large oak on the AT.


The Keffer Oak, the largest oak on the AT in the south. I could not get the whole tree in the photo.


Random Christmas ornament in a tree on a ridge in the middle of nowhere, VA. Along with the grand and magnificent, there are some strange and funny things along the trail.


The Dragon’s Tooth, a stone monolith. We were able to climb up the other side for views.


Passed the 700 mile mark!


The sun just rising at McAfee Knob.


Looking out over the undercast and ridges at McAfee Knob.


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