5/13/18 Day 294 AT Day 54:  McAfee Knob Sunrise and Tinker Cliffs Sunset

Miles: 10 Steps: 23,781 Elevation Gain: 2,500 feet Wow, another great day at iconic locations along the trail! First up, the most photographed view on the trail: McAfee Knob! Woke up at 4:40am to catch the sunrise. Doing a night hike the night before meant not much time for sleep. I debated just sleeping in, but why not just go for it? I quickly got ready and hit the trail on the dark. It was only 2 miles and I was there fairly quickly. Awesome shots at sunrise! So happy I got up! So freaking beautiful. I ended up hanging out there for 5 hours or so! I took a bunch of photos, lazed, Liu fed, finished s book called ”Ultra marathon Man” which was pretty inspirational, and chatted with day hikers as well as thru hikers as they passed. I moved on slowly to the next shelter then went to Tinker Cliffs, which has a bunch of Cliffs (who’ve thought?) and took another long break. My friend Butter, who I hadn’t seen since Georgia passed! We took a long break together and decided to take in the sunset st this beautiful spot and night hike down to the shelter 2 or so miles to camp. Nice sunset, but couldn’t top the sunrise at McAfee Knob. The night hike was uneventful, but then the excitement began at the shelter. The shelter was empty so why not stay in there? It’s nighttime, should be easy, right? Wrong! First, something large flew into my shoulder . I’m all freaked out, it was a bird, there’s a bird nest in the shelter, no big deal. Weird, but no biggie. Next I see an enormous spider right next to where My sleeping laps is laid out. Not a huge deal, but the size of it and timing was a bit unsettling. Few inches diameter! Now here’s the crazy part! Snakes. First Butter spotted a Snake entering underneath the sleeping platform. A pretty big snake, as well! Next, not two minutes later, a snake appears on the sleeping platform, not 3 feet away from me! (I think it was a 2nd snake, but it may have been the same one). Crazy! Needless to say, set up tents and called it a night. BUT WAIT!!!! BEARS! Running around, all night! Did not see actual bears but 3 other hikers confirmed that they did! How insane is that!!!!! Didn’t get the most sleep but it’s all good!

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