Mountains-to-Sea Trail – Getting stopped by a trooper – Yes!

Starting with 684.9 miles, 91,700 ft. ascent

Jim Ray’s Crossroads R&R food mart to Pit Stop general store in Mt. Pleasant

MST22C-Swamp

16.2 miles, 400 ft. ascent

It’s an unusually cool Sunday, around 41 deg., as we start out for our day on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.That’s good since I’m still nursing my sunburn and blister.

The route takes us close to Zebulon, the big town here – 4,600 people – but heads down southeast toward Wilson.

First thing in the morning, we see a kingfisher, and later a great blue heron. We’re starting to see swamps, now known as wetlands as we walk through Franklin and then Nash Counties. Large empty fields are about to be planted.

It’s flat. Though my altimeter registers about 300 to 400 feet of ascent a day,it could just be the uplifts on the roads.

The roads are quiet because people haven’t started their drive to church. A state trooper stops us and asks us about our walking.

“I saw you walking yesterday,” he says. We explain about the MST and Kate pulls out a Friends of the MST pamphlet.MST22C-barn

“Oh yes,” he says “I saw it on PBS. But what do you do about dogs?” he asks. Very perceptive of him. It could be that only a state trooper would understand that the most dangerous aspect to what we’re doing are dogs.’

“Well, I hope it’s not against the law.” I show him my pepper spray. He’s a runner and uses it too.

This may be the only situation when I was happy to see an officer. I think they ought to know about the trail.

MST22C-joynersoldierChurches abound here, of course.MST22C-Elizabethchurch But so do small family cemeteries.

On the left is a gravestone from the Civil War, part of a small cemetery next to the road.

We pass Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church and can hear the minister shouting his sermon. He must be pounding on the pulpit.

 

As we get closer to our destination, “no Slaughterhouse” signs pop up in people’s yards. What is that about?

I try to ask the staff at the convenience store but they can’t articulate the problem well. So here’s a summary from the web, put out by the ABC-TV affiliate in Wilson.

MST22C-noslaughterhouseIt’s a fight that has some folks fuming, one that pits a city against a county. It’s all about a chicken processing plant that could be built in Nash County.

A sign with the words “No Slaughterhouse” with a circle and a slash through it sat outside the Nash county Commissioners meeting. Residents at the meeting hope it sends a clear message.

The city of Wilson is pledging $1 million dollars to oppose the chicken processing plant. A spokesman for the city says they worry what it will do to the area’s watershed. They asked the Nash County Commissioners to take more time to study the project, but the Wilson spokesman says they were told no.

Carolinas Gateway Partnership Chairman Frank Harrison said officials have gone out of their way to do their due diligence on Sanderson Farms and the plants they operate, visiting sites and talking with public officials.

“With the high unemployment in our area, the community has an obligation to work to create fair-paying jobs with health insurance,” Harrison said.

Cumulative after Day 58, 701.1 miles, 92,100 ft. ascent

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