Starting with 662.5 miles, 90,700 ft. ascent
Falls of the Neuse to Holden Rd. SR-1147
8.4 miles, 650 ft. ascent
Finally starting the Mountains-to-Sea Trail trip that I had to cancel in January. This time, it is warm and sunny as I drive to Raleigh.
But since Sharon is biking this section, I’m on my own. So for today, I worked on getting a shuttler, someone who would help put my car at the end of the section and drive me back to the beginning.
I called PaddleCreek, who rents canoes and kayaks and knows about shuttling people. I talked to Pete Farmer two weeks ago and I was a little nervous as whether he would come through. I had a picture of a 20-year old with other plans.
But I get to the store and Peter turns out to be a 60 year old plus retired Canadian who works at Paddlecreek for fun. Very reliable. If you need a shuttler, call the store and ask for Pete.
The road out of Falls Lake is steep and narrow – not a pleasant place to walk. But it doesn’t last long and soon I’m in McMansion land.
If we think we have outragiously large homes in Asheville, come out to the Raleigh suburbs – Wake Forest, actually.
I pass housing development after development with their big “private” signs, threatening prosecution if you step on their property.
But one street stands out as a friendly development without any threatening signs – just a bench inviting you to sit a while.
I pass a strange barn.
Its owner asks me what I want – I seem to look official with my orange vest.
So I tell him about the MST and he starts telling me that his grandparents owned the barn at the “old homeplace”. He moved it here on his land.
Then who do I see but Scot Ward, the guy who wrote the MST book that I’m following step by step. He is doing the trail for the fourth time, this time east to west. Our trails intersect on Thompson Mill Rd. He seems to be staying in a lot of private homes; contacts he made on his previous trips. Though he still carries a backpack, it doesn’t sound like he’s sleeping out a lot. But that’s fine. The MST is not a backpacking trail.
I reach my car at about 3:30 P.M., thinking I should have done more miles. It’s too early to go down to Raleigh, so I go to check out my next destination.
Cumulative after Day 56, 668.9 miles, 91,350 ft. ascent