Mountains-to-Sea Trail – On the Eno River

Starting with 636.2 miles, 89,200 ft.
ascent

MST21F-Horsewithhood

Hunt Rd. to West Point Park/Roxboro Rd.
15.5 miles/1,000 ft.

After the second day of walking on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail for Janet, I asked her to write a blog entry. So this is Janet’s view after two days of road walking.

MST21F-Start of day 6You’ve heard reports of animal sightings on the trail? Bears, snakes, turkeys, wild hogs. Different species are encountered along the asphalt trail.

There is “roadkill.” That’s right. Where was the brown bird or the gray mouse headed when the log truck barreled toward it? What had that basketball size of black fur been before life ended on the center line? 

Most animal life was behind fences. Actually, miles of meandering wooden fences surrounding rolling fields. In the countryside around Durham, homeowners have acres around their home for their horses. Not draft horses but saddle horses–coddled pets, actually. These handsome steeds and mares are passing their days basking in and running around sunny pastures with ample hay bales under a blue, cloudless sky.

What a life! No doubt, they are curried regularly and handed treats. And their stables!! Many barns appear larger than most town houses. We saw more than one three story barn.

A different type of fence enclosed several acres along one road. The three dozen creatures behind the fence were not Jersey, Holstein, or Guernsey. Definitely, beef cattle. 
A medley of adults and calves over a three acre spread were munching on hay mounds and grass as well as from green plastic discs–supplemental feed or salt?

Each one stopped feeding, including some nursing calves, and intently watched us watch pass along the road.  Each elongated face was covered with a kinky, curly mass.  They stare silently, and continued to stare without a sound as though we were intruders. Had they never seen humans before?  Probably not outside a vehicle.

 
MST21E-BullJust then, a long, low, deep noise startled me and I sensed movement.  Turning around to look at the opposite side of the road, a larger, very dark mass was approaching the fence.

Oh, my gosh,  this must be the bull.  Apparently, he does not want any one fooling around with his harem–at least, no creatures with bright orange on their backs.

Can’t he read the “do not shoot, I’m a hiker?”  He’s nearly to the fence and snorting. Time to move along down the road. Oh, is that a hawk or a vulture gliding on a downdraft?

Back to me – MST21F-Enoriver

Our drives are getting longer and longer from Glencoe Mill. We should have stayed in Durham by now but the shuttles from Glencoe Mill Village were so inviting.

We find West Point on the Eno, a Durham City park and our end point for the day. I leave my car here. Then Hank shuttles us to the beginning of our section on Hunt Road. We walk from farm to farm but as soon as we turn on Schley Rd., we hit the horsy set. Large tracts of land with just a few horses.

The horse shown above is so unusual that we think it has ear muffs. But no, this is his or her coloring. The houses are large and set back but there are no menacing dogs or “Private Property – keep out” signs. The richer the area, the fewer warning signs we see.

After St. Mary Road, the road changes character again and the houses are smaller and wooded. The horses have disappeared. One corner house has a dummy with noise canceling earphones. Another spot has several wreaths made up of plastic flowers. Depending on how you count, there are almost ten memorials. We wonder if a full car of people swerved around the curve, hit a tree, and got killed.

We turn left on Cole Mill Rd. toward the eastern part of Eno River State Park. After we cross the bridge over the Eno River, we scramble down to the river and see the MST signs. MST21F-DannywithMSTcircle

This brand new piece of trail was built by the Eno River Task Force to connect to Pump Station Trail. We’re parallelling the Eno River, a languid river, not very impressive right now.

Pump Station Trail then joins Laurel Bluffs Trail which takes us out the park and on Guess Road.

We need to cross Guess Road and find the start of West Point on the Eno, a Durham City Park. It’s a good thing we checked this out yesterday afternoon.

Several Eno River Task Force members had told me to go up the driveway of the Eno River Association where the trail starts. But which of the many houses is the Association? Yesterday, we crossed and recrossed Guess Road, a very busy road, trying to figure out the correct building.

MST21F-WestpointontheEnoI asked a couple of homeowners who didn’t know what I was talking about. It turned out that they were living next door to the Association building; it’s a small brick house just opposite where we came out of Laurel Bluffs Trail.

That’s Janet crossing a small creek off the Eno River.

We zip through West Point Park on Eagle Trail on a well-blazed trail, cross the Eno River again on a huge metal bridge and find the car.   

Cumulative after Day 54, 651.7 miles, 90,200 ft.
ascent

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