Day 53: Campbell Shelter

Day 53. It was all worth it. Yesterday’s long day and late night setup the most amazing views today for McAfee Knob. The weather forecast updated today, showing rain as early as 9am tomorrow, meaning anything other than seeing this today would have failed. I am very content as I sit here watching the sun set over the Knob.

When we arrived, we met 4 funny day hikers who were up here trying (and succeeding) to build a small fire on the cliff. We had a nice photo shoot while chatting with them, and learned one of them recently finished a section hike from Damascus to Pearisburg (the section I just finished). It was a great fun group to enjoy this milestone with, and it was a perfect afternoon in general.

But McAfee Knob wasn’t the only great view today. It is one of 3 elite views on the AT that day-hikers call the triple crown of Virginia: McAfee Knob, Dragon’s Tooth, and Tinker Cliffs. We did the first 2 today and will get the 3rd tomorrow on our way into Daleville. Here’s a photo from Dragon’s Tooth…

Between the two views, we took a quick side trip into the town of Catawba for a one-day resupply. Remy and I were both out of food and needed one more day before Daleville (where I have a box waiting). After a short shopping trip at the gas station grocery, we were offered a lift to a famous restaurant in town called The Home Place. This restaurant is one of a kind! We had an incredible lunch there of all-you-can-eat family-style southern home cooking. Two monstrous plates each of fried chicken, roast beef, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, green beans, sliced apples, beans and biscuits. YUM! And at only $15 a person, such a treat! Climbing back up the mountain again was rough after that meal, but it was a small price to pay for such great food.

I did feel bad though. This was clearly THE place to go in the area for everyone after church. The place was PACKED with families weating their Sunday best … and we were two dirty smelly hikers in the corner. We looked very out of place, but the staff didn’t mind and were very sweet. It’s a popular stop for thruhikers … perhaps not as much so on a Sunday though. Oh well.

After watching the sunset at McAfee Knob, Remy and I hiked a quick 0.7 miles to Campbell Shelter and setup camp in the dark for the 2nd straight night. I’m getting pretty good at it, though it typically means a late morning. Oh well, tomorrow is only 16 miles, so nothing to worry about.

Hello Neiman (Sharkbait!)

  • Start Mile: 695.6
  • Start Time: 09:30
  • End Mile: 713.8
  • End Time: 20:20
  • Miles Hiked: 18.2
  • Miles to Go: 1477.1
  • Lodging: Campbell Shelter

18 thoughts on “Day 53: Campbell Shelter

  1. What a grand view, scary and WOW! I know I wouldn’t miss a photo opp like that, it’s still scary. I climbed Devils Tower in WYOMING with less exposure. Thanks for sharing, I think


  2. A good day! Nice photo -‘on the edge.’ Hope you get a good night’s sleep after that gigantic meal! And you can sleep in tomorrow, followed by a short day on the trail. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brief update on my friend, Jonathan -of Long Trail thru-hiker fame, and many other adventures. He and two companions have had to leave the Benton Mackaye Trail they were hiking -he rolled an ankle, others had knee problems. Tough decisions, for all three!

    Be safe out there, Mike. Stay strong and healthy, focused, with eyes on the trail!


      • The third hiker, Sherpa was not injured so he continued on. But Jonathan and this brother in law are out.

        Note- I was reading Jonathan’s blog a few minutes ago and a ‘related’ blog popped up underneath… it was you at Fontana Dam with a big smile on your face. Small world!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know Sherpa! At least, I know “a” Sherpa out here. Actually, 2! I bet one of them is the Sherpa you mention.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Quite a spectacular view to say the least, and what a gift to enjoy it on a nice day. Mike’s reminder is well spoken – keep an eye on where you’re walking. The meal sounds fantastic – a definite unexpected gift that goes along with your entire exceptional day. Keep on truckin’ 😋
    Mom & dad

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very cool! Had a busy weekend here, so I was a few days behind on your blog. Since I saw this photo pop up, I didn’t have to worry about whether or not you’d beat the rain for the last couple days. 🙂
    You haven’t mentioned it yet (at least that I’ve seen). Are you doing the full thru-hiker beard, or will you be shaving for the wedding?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m definitely keeping the beard for now! If I can make it presentable for the wedding, I’d like to, but we’ll have to see. That decision, I’ll leave up to my wife and the bride. 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Amazing cliff hangers! “There are thousands of reasons why you cannot do what you want to. All you need is one reason why you can.”- Willis R. Whitney

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As you can see I’m pretty far behind in your journal… fascinating. Trying to catch up. I just clicked on Day 53 and am still gasping out loud! A beautiful, breathtaking and frame-worthy photo. Cannot even imagine what it was like up there.

    Liked by 1 person

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