One lesson learned: A couch gains considerable weight as it comes back down the trail.
Hiking to McAfee Knob in the winter is tough enough, but hiking it with a couch is on a whole ‘nother level. My dad had taken my brother and me hiking to one of his favorite places, and my brother and I enjoyed it so much that we decided to go back a few weeks later with some of our friends and cousins.
This was January, and the air was brisk. My brother, David, and Appalachian State roommates, Wade and Mitch, and I had packed lunches that morning and we were planning on meeting my cousins, Bobby and Johnny, for the hike. Bobby and Johnny are known for planning epic hikes and taking props with them, so I was not completely surprised when they showed up with . . . a couch. They asked us if we wanted to carry it up; we all looked around at each other unsure of what to say. Wade finally jumped in and volunteered all of us to carry the couch to the top.
As we crossed 311 and began the hike, we were good to go. We were all in pretty good shape so it was not terrible. We took turns carrying the couch for roughly 10-15 minutes. Four of us would carry it at a time, so two of us could rest. And, when we all needed a break it was very convenient to be able to set the couch down and rest on it.
As we got closer to the top we got to some narrow areas and Bobby and Johnny had to just carry the couch by themselves to navigate through those parts.
The further we hiked, the more frequently people would tell us how close we were to the top, and we also became the subject of some weird looks. Once we made it to the top, we made sure to take a ton of pictures. Everyone at the top of McAfee Knob also wanted to take pictures. We secretly wished that those people had helped us carry the couch to the top.
Remarkably (or maybe not), the couch felt a lot heavier as we started back down. Once we got to the fire road, we took the cushions off to lighten the weight. When we were about half way down, it started to get a lot colder as the sun dipped behind the mountains. We had all brought jackets, so we layered up. Unfortunately no one had thought to bring a flashlight, and before too long it was pitch black. We used our phones to light the way. As we finally made it back to Johnny’s truck, it felt like the couch had practically doubled in weight since that morning.
We all went out to dinner and stuffed ourselves until we couldn’t eat another bite. When we put the pictures up on Facebook, some of our friends were jealous that they did not get an invite to do something this cool, while others were sure the pictures were fake.
If only they knew how hard it was to carry that couch 7.8 miles up and down Catawba Mountain.