And so ended part 1 of the unofficial Hikers One hikes. And what a way to end it. Given that I’m still a bit tired of the hike, but still, it was AMAZING. McAfee’s knob, even if you Google it, is something that just makes you hike for 8 miles to enjoy the view from up there.

But let’s start from a bit back. It had been a couple weeks since we had last gone hiking. Our last hike was the Crab-tree falls hike. But it had been a while since we had done that. And in the interim, we had only had a namesake of any physical exercise. So, any hike this time was going to be a challenge in itself, or afterwards at least. But having seen a few snaps of the McAfee’s knob before hand, we just had to do it.

Now, Google is very good at directions and all, and it led us to the starting point of the shorter hike of the two possible starting points But guess what, Google is not very good at identifying angry land owners. Where the shorter hike was to start, we saw a board threatening to shoot hikers parking around the property. So we had no choice but to turn around and find the other base. But the place had no network and we couldn’t re-route ourselves. So, we followed some old worn-out board signs that led us to the parking lot. Yeah, we missed it the first time we passed it. So, we had to go a long way before we could turn and that too in someone else’s driveway, which by the way, also turned out to be a “shooting-threatened” place. But we did anyways. Boy, I didn’t know Virginia had so hostile people. But I guess it’s only fair, since there are so many visitors around those parts.

Anyways we started hiking. Now the worst part of this hike was, it wasn’t all up or all down. It was a mix of both. So, while going up we had some going down that eased the pain. But, while coming back down, we would have to face some up, which felt like a vertical mountain after the long day and hiking for almost 7 miles. Anyways, we made it to the top and back.

The view at the top, well, you’ll just have to look below for the pictures, because words cannot just describe it. You could hold a baby and make a Lion King pose up there. Or you could read a Tyrion chapter from GoT Book 1, specifically the chapter that resembles the setting at the Knob. It was just beautiful. We hung out there for a while. As usual, we had Mountain Dew at the top of the mountain. I read GoT Book 1 . The photos seem intimidating to be sitting around some of the places we were, but it was totally safe and picture perfect. Again, refer below for the pictures.

We finally headed back. The worst part. Climbing towards the end of the hike. But we somehow finished it. I was half-dead. And we had a long 3-hour drive back. We did have the full moon to give us company. And yeah, I’m still a bit sore from the hike. But gotta say, it was the perfect end to the Hikers One @ internship.

Oh and one more interesting fact. This time, we had the gang that did a bunch of stuff together this internship. We had William Bailey, Tyler Smith and Alie Hajalie. We’ve participated in a couple of competitions during our internship and have had a bunch of lunches together. It was a nice way to bid adieu. Thanks guys. Hope our paths cross again.

-Akshar Rawal