Dawn to Dusk
A very powerful thunderstorm rolled through and a massive lightning strike hit nearby. Heavy rain fell and drenched the outer edges of the covered shelter. Finally around 3AM the rain subsided and we were thankfully mostly dry. We got up happy to see a clear starry sky then set off for McAfee Knob under headlamp.
We reached the summit a little before 7AM and could not believe we had it to ourselves for sunrise. It’s a very popular spot for local hikers (think Franconia Ridge). This was a great place for us to enjoy breakfast and coffee while watching the dawn colors fill the sky.
We finally tore ourselves away and the trail continued south miles over several PUDs. Finally we hit our most technical climb in Virginia, the summit of Dragons Tooth, a unique rock outcrop. These three landmarks; Tinker Cliffs, McAfee Knob, and Dragons Tooth, make up was is known as the Virginia triple crown.
Views were limited on the descent but we did pass through lots of farmland and cow pastures. The cows would gaze over at us then go back to munching on grass.
Following a good mail experience in Daleville, we where met with a challenge. Hayley had ordered new shoes to be sent to Pearisburg. It’s been several days and we had not received shipping information. We got cell service and contacted the vendor to find out they no longer had the shoes in stock. The manufacturer would be sending them directly but did not have any shipping information at this time. With the delivery being delayed we cancelled the order and will need to figure out a contingency plan. This is why during the northern portion of the trail we relied so heavily on family to support us as it’s much easier to coordinate.
As we started to ascend back into the ridgeline, the wind picked up and temperatures dropped. The next few days will be very cold with nights expected to get below freezing. We hiked until twilight and set up camp just before dark. The colder temps forced us into the tent early and we snuggled up in our warm sleeping bags. It was long but satisfying day!
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