Starting with 138.9 miles, 19,250 ft. ascent
Bayleaf Church Rd. to Falls of the Neuse – 12.3 miles 1,050 ft. ascent
We started out in the rain and finished in a downpour but in the middle we had some great sunshine. The mist really helped to make the above picture of the lake.
We started at the dead end on Bayleaf Church Road, a tourist attraction in itself. The high-end Carlyle housing development had some huge McMansions. With our section hiking, we end up on the same road three times so this area really made an impression on me. Three times – when we place a car the day before, when we drive there in the morning to start the hike and when we pick up the car at the end of the hike.
We moved in and out of the Wildlife Management Area. The cut areas were very obvious. In the mountains, they may not keep up the mowing and tree removal as much but here, some areas were as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Plenty of beech trees and loblolly pines. The fungus around the bark made a green pattern.
The Falls Lake trail crew had worked on replacing a bridge but didn’t finish the job. So we ended up walking in the water a little to get across the creek – the first time that we needed to really step in the water. When the bridge is finished it’s going to be a beauty.
When we reached the Falls of the Neuse area, we could hear the traffic and see a boardwalk and buildings but somehow the trail just kept on going. A line of longleaf pine trees had been planted along the trail.
We got to our cars at about 2:30 P.M. in a downpour. We had done 50 miles in three and a half days. We were wet but felt great!
Cumulative after Day 11 – 151.2 miles, 20,300 ft. ascent