On the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, friends Diane Hailey and Kimberly Dawn chose to tackle an adventure that many of their friends said they were crazy to try: hike the ‘Triple Crown’ of Virginia in one day.

Starting from the Dragon’s Tooth parking area at 4 a.m. Wednesday, they left with headlights to hike the 32-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail before the sun set. They were welcomed by a foggy sunrise at 5:30 a.m. atop Dragon’s Tooth and continued north across Sandstone Ridge and Catawba Mountain to McAfee Knob. Their hike continued to Tinker Cliffs and then the length of Tinker Mountain to U.S. 220 in Daleville, where a friend met them.

“You don’t have to get on a plane to go on an adventure,” Hailey said. They believe people who live nearby shouldn’t take the beauty of the region’s Blue Ridge Mountains for granted. “Everybody can come out a little ways to enjoy them, you don’t have to travel,” Hailey said. 

They finished their adventure shortly before 8 p.m.

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