Throwback Thursday: Hiking in Roanoke, Virginia, 2016

In March, Cody and I visited Lance and Leah in Roanoke, Virginia for the second time. It is safe to say that they are some of our favorite people to visit. Great food, great company, and of course great hiking is always a given when we make it out east to see them.

 This time around

We previously visited the Morgans during spring break of 2015. That visit was my favorite stop on our big east-coast adventure. Like this year we were treated to some amazing views of the Appalachian Mountains, and this time Lance pointed us in the direction of McAfee’s Knob.

The trail to McAfee’s Knob a much more difficult hike than the one we took in 2015. The trail is a small section of the infamous Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,200 miles (3,500 km) long.

Our hike was a mere four miles up to the Knob and four miles back down. I use “mere” lightly because four miles up is quite literally an uphill climb.

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Going up

It took us almost two hours to reach the lookout point. There are not very many steep inclines but the trail is long and winding.

It’s incredible to think that some hikers do this part of the Appalachian trail when they go on their months-long treks and that it is only a hiccup in their overall journey.

The path winds through thick woods for the majority of the hike. As you approach the peak, and the famous lookout, the trees begin to look different… the trees’ height and stature shrinks, making them look like they belong surrounding the hobbits’ shire.

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Lookout!

The view from McAfee’s Knob is, needless to say, absolutely incredible. This place was made for existential breakdowns over how tiny we humans truly are.

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Cody does not like heights but, as previously seen in my other hiking posts, I love dangling my feet off of cliffs and giving my mom heart attacks… At least this time she didn’t see me doing it until after I was already safely away from the edge.

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The flat rocks made for a perfect place to have a picnic and sit for a while. The cool breeze felt amazing and I bet it was some of the freshest air that has ever entered my lungs.

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Going down

Going back down after a hike like this one is always difficult for me. Not only am I already tired, and my start to hurt, but what do I have to look forward to? Nothing but a hot car.

It did help to have a goofball with me though… Laughing and joking all the way back to the hot car.

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