Mountains-to-Sea Trail – Walking from Gas Station to Gas Station

Starting with 592.4 miles, 86,900 ft. ascent

MST21C-Haw River

Sams Stop Shop to Shak’s Grocery


13.7 miles 1,000 ft.

Shift change on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

Sharon has gone home and Lenny, my husband, is going to walk the road with  me for two days on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

By the time I get to Glencoe Mill Village, Lenny has already settled in at the Barbershop Guest House. This was going to be his first time walking the road. What would he think? Would he enjoy it? Would he even stay for the two days? Read his blog below.

MST21C-Reedy Fork FarmThe area is very rural and we pass several dairy farms. The most interesting is the Reedy Fork Organic Farm, connected with Organic Valley milk.

Most new house are the manufactured kind, the kind that unions were so opposed in the 1970s. But these cheap houses allow people to own their own homes maybe for the first time and move up from trailers.

One banner advertised “$850 down buys this house”. I don’t think this area has heard of the mortgage scandal.

MST21C-Old Ski LodgeWe go through Ossipee and pass the Old Ski Lodge, a bar with many, many warning signs. They have several benches outside where we sit and have our own lunch. Two guys drive up at exactly noon on Sunday, when you can start selling alcohol in North Carolina. One brings out a beer because he needs a smoke.

The signs out front said:

“no club colors on premises”
“No id, no beer”
“all beer bought to go must leave premises”
“no smoking inside as of 01-0202010”
“No firearms allowed on premises” 

On the side “door is bolted” and “Please use restrooms inside”. Well, I don’t mind if I do, Thank you. And I go in. Two bartenders, two customers and me.

We pass Haw River Falls where a guy is creating a stone path on the river by throwing in stepping stones ahead of him. This is the Paddling Trail that will eventually be part of the MST. But first the walking trail has to be built here. There seems to be a misunderstanding that the MST is now close to the Haw River – it’s not.

What did Lenny think about walking the road? Here’s his entry.

Walking the Road

Today Danny and I did thirteen miles of road walk. Most hikers would consider such as day pure torture, but on the back roads of North Carolina’s Piedmont, it was enjoyable. The day started cold, 25 F according to the thermometer in Danny’s Subaru. We were layered up and spent the first hour of our walk unlayering.

Eventually it got up to 60. We had plenty of signs of spring to cheer us up after the miserable winter we’ve had so far – a forsythia in full bloom and trees with enough hint of green that you know they’ll start leafing out next week.

One of the great things about hiking is that you are moving slowly enough to notice details that you would miss, even at bicycling speed. It’s even truer when you’re walking the road.

The dead owl we saw by the side of the road was fascinating. Did it get hit by a car as it was swooping down on a poor, unsuspecting field mouse, or did it die of some disease?

MST21C-House GraveyardAnd we passed what could only be described as a graveyard for old buildings.

A half dozen buildings in various states of decay had been moved to a lot in the town of Altamahaw. Some of them were still on the I-beams that had been used to support them for their trip. Why would anyone do that?

This is a relatively prosperous area. We passed only one house with the collection of wrecked or abandoned vehicles that is the hallmark of rural poverty, and only one kudzu covered abandoned cabin.

Most of the houses looked fairly new. Yes, many of them were manufactured, but they were well kept and surrounded by bits of landscaping. Some of them had pretentious touches, like the fairly modest house with an elaborate entrance way complete with two stone lions. Who did the owners think they were, British nobility?

Cumulative after Day 51 606.1 miles, 87,900 ft. ascent

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