On the western side of Virginia not too far from Virginia Tech is a beautiful overlook named Mcafee Knob. It is a 1/2 open perch about 20 yards wide that showcases the beautiful hilly Virginia landscape. As you gaze into the miles of open sky the stone slabs hold you up 30 above the wood floor. To get to the Knob is a 4 mile trek from Route 311, it is a mild hike that plenty of families do. Along the way you can experience the beautiful outdoors and see plenty of other faces as they try to (or already have) accomplish the same goal you do.
The first time I went to the Knob was in March 2016. I had heard about it from a few of my Navy friends, some had camped nearby the fall before. We planned the hike to leave on an early Saturday, I gathered up what little supplies I had at the time which consisted of a simple pack, a few blankets, and my hammock – I was not prepared. We met in the parking lot of a friends apartment, stuffed in a car, and took off. The 4 hour drive from Norfolk to the trailhead was interrupted by a Waffle House visit and supply run.
By the time we arrived at the trailhead we were all ecstatic to start – 4 friends stuffed in a car together for a few hours anticipating an awesome night of camping. The hike was hard work, but we made it with only a few spills and falls. We hiked for a couple hours, enjoyed the Knob for 30 minutes then hiked on past and set up camp. I was not ready for the cold.
We joked around, enjoyed ourselves, set up a fire, cooked dinner, tried to axe a tree (didn’t work), and shared plenty of stories. I froze the whole night in my hammock, it was the first night I had ever spent in it and I was not prepared. But it was one hell of a night, I had a great night with my friends enjoying the beautiful views and enjoying the outdoors.
I knew when I was standing on the ledge of Mcafee Knob that I would be back to this spot again. It was breathtaking – quite literally at some points because of the wind. I loved where I was, who I was with, and the work it took to get there. I knew I would be back.