Mountains-to-Sea Trail – Walking to Greensboro 3

Starting with 554.4 miles, 86,600 ft. ascent

MST20-summerfielddonkeys

Stokesdale to start of Greensboro Greenway

10.1 miles, 300 ft. ascent

Gabriel picks me up at 7:30 again for my next day on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail but decides not to walk with me. I don’t blame him; the sky is gray and there’s a chance of rain.

“Call me anytime, if it starts raining and I’ll pick you up,” he says.

That’s very sweet so I don’t tell him that I’ve spent a
lot of time, effort and money to get these miles so I’ll walk through rain. He
drops me off at the church in Stokesdale and I promise to let him know when I get back to my car.

Stokesdale has about 3,200 people, more than double that of  Walnut Cove. Its main street is on the highway and not very attractive.

I would not petition to make either town a “trail town”. But the trail
quickly turns from the highway to side roads. First the houses that I pass are
set on flat, treeless lots. But another turn takes me to an attractive neighborhood
on the outskirts of Stokesdale where I cross the Haw River.

Unlike the road walk last winter, the dogs here are not a
problem. They are fenced in, or on a leash or just accepting of walkers and I
am grateful.

The last stretch passes through Summerfield, which is a
legitimate historic town.

MST20-Bugleboy I pass the memorial to Bugler Boy Gillies who died at the hands of the British during the Revolutionary War.

The plaque is small and almost hidden in the bushes, in front of a power plant. I would never have seen it if I
wasn’t walking. Then I realize how close we are to Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, in the middle of Greensboro. There was a lot of American Revolution action in this corner of North Carolina.

This past fall, I visited three revolutionary was sites: Cowpens National Battlefield, Kings Mountain National Military Park, and Guilford Courthouse.

MST20-CharlesbrucecemeteryAs I get closer to the center of Summerfield, I pass a large
plaque and cemetery for Charles Bruce (1733-1832), revolutionary leader and founder of Bruce’s Crossroads, now Summerfield. Bruce is buried under these huge trees.

The memorial sits in front of a school and the cemetery is on the other side of the road. I would have blown right past that as well in a car.

In the distance, donkeys are grazing quietly and don’t bother coming over to the fence.

MST20-SummerfieldtownhallI keep looking for that magical coffee shop, the one with a cappuccino and let me eat my sandwich discreetly. But there’s nothing on this route. The town hall is the only interesting public building on this route along with several quirky houses.

I pass a sad looking shopping center with a CVS and a little
later an antique furniture mall with a public rest room. With all those couches and easy chairs, what if I sat down and pulled out my lunch? Then I’d really look homeless.

Instead I continue walking. Historic Summerfield has turned
poor and down at the heels. I find a piece of dry grass on a corner opposite
the Circle M Mobile Trailer Park. A resident shuffles to his trailer, eyeing
me. His dog is barking wildly and going nuts but he’s on a leash – thank you
sir!

The trailers here are in bad need of repairs and a good coat of paint. The trailer park has all the classic characteristics of a rural slum – on the edge of town, out of sight, no stores around other than that shopping center that didn’t seem to have a supermarket. Trailers go on forever until I reach US 220. This highway which goes into Greensboro has serious traffic.
But the wide grassy sides help. Here I don’t wave and no one honks in
solidarity. I just walk briskly and keep a careful eye for traffic.

Finally Strawberry Rd. where I turn in to find my car. It took me 4:40 hours, not bad. I call Gabriel. “I’m back at my car, safe and sound,” I say.

The Greensboro Greenway starts here. Another piece of trail
off the road which I’ll savor on my next trip. But my day isn’t done. I have to
get the gist of the trails on the Greenway and find the end point for the first
day on my next stretch. I pull out the North Carolina Gazetteer, state map, map
of the watershed, map of Greensboro, and the directions which I worked out last
night.

I do find the trail end, finally, and also find a Starbucks before heading home.

Cumulative after Day 48, 564.5 miles, 86,900 ft. ascent

 

3 thoughts on “Mountains-to-Sea Trail – Walking to Greensboro 3

  1. There is no trail through Stokesdale! Your kind is not particularity welcome you noisy uppity SOB! While I cannot speak for everyone in Stokesdale or Summerfield a lot of us feel the same way about you “Asshole Hiker”! You were TRESPASSING if you got off the road right of way so maybe next time we will be able to prosecute you!

    Please note- A lot of people have to make do with what they have. The worst of us would make a better neighbor than you!

      1. I am very concerned about spending taxpayer money on this project, when we have war veterans living under bridges and the survivors of the greatest generation living on mere pennies per day. There is no way you can finish this trail without resorting to the use of eminent domain. I know all the politicians say they would never do that. I also know that all the folks on the steering committee, as well as the town manager of Summerfield hint at the use of theft of private property to accomplish their goal. Involuntary easements have already been extorted from some property owners who had the audacity to try to rezone their own property. The citizens will be taxed in order to maintain a trail through their property so a bunch of smart asses can insult them. Right! Let me assure you, I will do everything in my power to see that this does not happen.

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