McAfee Knob is reportedly the most photographed spot on the Appalachian Trail, and I know why. Sure, it’s pretty. But after hauling my carcass up nearly 3200 feet of rocky trails, there was no way I was going to leave without a picture.

I did the walk today with our eldest, the child who was less enthusiastic about this move to the country. She has been delightfully up for adventures since we arrived, though, and I am enjoying her good company very much. This morning, she packed up water and snacks for us and led the way up Catawba Mountain with a snappy pace. And the view at the top was truly rewarding.

Advice for a McAfee Knob trip? Bring plenty of water, some bug spray, and a good attitude. The website says it’s a four-hour trip and they aren’t wrong. Go early and during the week, if possible — I heard stories of the crowds from other hikers, and by going on a Monday morning, we were able to have the place to ourselves for a few minutes.

And believe me, the next time I see a friend post a photo of themselves in that well-documented setting, I will salute them.

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