West Virginia! (But just for a bit…)
So there we were, waiting in Pearisburg, VA for the rest of our hiker family to catch up…and when they did, we were all scooped up by Cold Potato’s grandparents. Grandma and Grandpa Potato drove 2 1/2 hours down from Marlington, WV and brought the whole smelly, hungry lot of us home to their gorgeous family home on a gorgeous hillside. We ate an inordinate amount of BBQ chicken, pineapple stuffing (We’d never had such a thing — and it’s amazing), and brisket. We swam, we rode around the property in quads, we ate some more…and had the best R&R hikers could ask for…
Thanks Grandpa and Grandma Potato!
Laces and Pacecar at the wheel
And then it was back to hiking, but the fun didn’t stop. A kind soul named ‘The Captain’ lets hikers camp in his backyard and drink the soda he keeps stocked in a backyard fridge…the catch? You need to take a zip line to get there (spoiler alert: Mya loved it)…
We had a long run of warm sunny weather. Lots of beauty to be found in these southern Virginia woods, including some iconic spots: Dragon’s Tooth, McAfee Knob, and Tinker Cliffs (see below)…
Keffer oak: at 300 years old, the oldest tree in the southern US
Water that falls to the west of this ridge drains to the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi; water that falls to the east drains to the Atlantic via the Chesapeake watershed
Thru-hikers from 2001 organized a Trail Magic hiker feed on Memorial Day weekend: homemade rice krispy treats and veggie burgers…yum!
Dragon’s Tooth: sorry mom we climbed it, see the view below…
Mountain laurels are in full bloom down here
almost at the 1/3 point
Lots of rock scrambling and rocky ridgelines in this section
McAfee Knob. The most photographed spot on the AT
view from Tinker Cliffs after a thunder storm: we could still hear rain falling in the valley
Tinker Cliffs: 1/2 mile of exposed cliffs studded with mountain laurel and windblown pine. Lovely.
You see a pasture, we see a tick infestation waiting to happen. Luckily we only found three.
Mya takes in the view: almost time for our final descent into town
Our version of the Beatles album cover. Over the highway and back in the woods we go!