Mountains-to-Sea Trail – Youngsville and east

Starting with 668.9 miles, 91,350 ft. ascent
Holden Rd. to R&R Food Mart


15.9 miles, 350 ft. ascent

I spent the night in Raleigh with Kate Dixon, Executive Director of the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. She’s going to walk on the trail with me for several days. We drive back to where I stopped yesterday outside of Wake Forest and start walking on Holden Rd.

Soon we enter the community of Youngsville (population 650). The MST takes us on the main street, past stores and restaurants. We stop in  the coffee shop at about 10 A.M. We’re looking for coffee and a goodie while everyone else is having a full breakfast. The coffee turns out to be so-so and the goodies are not that interesting.

We walk out of town into rural Franklin. It’s a beautiful, warm Saturday, getting warmer by the minute. Serious cyclists are out in a large group, riding bike route #2, generally the same route that we’re walking.

MST22B-oldgaspumpFarms, modern development and some abandoned buildings, including an old gas pump. It’s advertising 30 cent/a gallon gasoline, leaded of course.

We pass Hill Ridge Farm, a recreational farm – now that’s a new term for me.MST22B-hillridgefarm They offer hayrides, train rides, playlands for children. Even though they were not going to open until next month, the place seemed like a lot of fun. It would be a good place to have a birthday party or spend an afternoon with children. 

MST22B-oldfarmThe sun is getting stronger but I don’t notice that my arms and legs are getting sunburned. It’s their first exposure this year to so much sun. We’re walking in full sun. On the road, there’s no shade.

In the middle of the afternoon, we get to our end point at a gas station. After picking up the car at our starting point, we drive to tomorrow’s end point at another gas station. Out of courtesy, we ask if we can leave a car here overnight.

“I wouldn’t do it,” the woman behind the counter said. “Car windows have been smashed in.” I don’t want to ask her how long ago that was. Sometimes, one incident in a safe neighborhood stands out in a person’s mind more than habitual crime. So we reluctantly decide to set up both cars tomorrow. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth about the area.

We drive to our motel. I realize that I have a blister on my heel. It is much too early on the trip to have a blister. I pierce the blister, pad it well and hope not to feel it too badly tomorrow.

Cumulative after Day 57, 684.9 miles, 91,700 ft. ascent

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