Starting with 606.1 miles, 87,900 ft. ascent
Shak’s to Ally-Mae Road
15.4 miles, 800 ft. ascent
This is a very easy section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to follow. The area is rural with lots of tobacco barns, some with tobacco still hanging in them.
The low point is passing a farm with a pack of dogs. A group of aggressive dogs start barking and excite each other and me. My heart probably pumps harder now than any time on the trip so far. A couple of dogs get very close to my legs.
I swing my sticks around me to give me some extra space and have my pepper spray out of the pack, out of the plastic bag and in my hand. I don’t want to use it because there could be blowback, literally, if the wind was right.
Meanwhile Lenny tells them to go back home, if that’s going to do any good. He shouts at them as I run on the other side of the road. This farm is located diagonally opposite Emily’s Cookies – they must have had seven or nine dogs. What is the matter with these people?
Lenny is going fast. His long legs carry him so much further than me. I’m used to having him stop and rest on uphills but here there are no uphills. So he keeps going and I need to ask for a break, or we’ll continue to walk forever.
No discussion of this section in Alamance County is complete without mentioning Emily’s Cookie Mix Shoppe.
Debra Malchow owns the shop with her husband, in the proverbial “middle of nowhere” on Jeffries Cross Rd. north of Glencoe Mill Village. There are no other businesses around and unless you’re walking the MST, there’s not going to be any walk-in traffic.
Debra makes and sells cookies and other pastries, ice cream, coffee and a few gift items. She holds cookie decorating classes and bakes wedding cakes. She’s been in business for ten years so she’s doing it right. Debra has such an infectious warm personality that you know that she would be a success no matter what she did.
Emily was her daughter who died of a rare genetic ailment when she was two years old. Though Debra and Craig knew that Emily’s days were limited, they were determined to care for her at home. They enlisted help from the local hospice, Kids Path and raise money for this charity now.
Lenny and I stop in and have a big snack at Emily’s and I drop my change in the Kids Path collection jar.
Cumulative after Day 52, 621.5 miles, 88,700 ft. ascent