16.1 miles, 350 ft. ascent
After our lobby day, I was eager to get back on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. This was Kate’s last day on the trail with me.
We debriefed about Land for Tomorrow lobby day. Kate knows about every North Carolina legislator – their district, where they stand on various conservation issues, their pet projects and the conservation projects that have been funded in their district.
I know that it’s what she does but it’s still impressive. She filled me in on how the NC state legislature works. We never seem to run out of things to talk about. I’m going to miss her.
Today takes us from just off Lamm Road outside of Wilson to Eureka in Wake County. We pass large farms, some in winter crop, others freshly plowed. On this trip so far, the dogs seem to be under control. Some are chained or fenced but others just know to stop at their property lines. They’ve been well trained.
One quirk of this area are the polka dot mailboxes. You really have to be house proud to live in a rural area like this. Residents must spend a lot of time on their house and gardens.
We walk through Black Creek, established 1779, population 714. Unfortunately, the railroad came through the middle of town, bisecting the main street. There’s a small grocery store, a beauty shop with a very lonely owner sitting outside with her dog. The police station is also on the main street. And of course, a huge cemetery.
We stop in their town park to eat a snack. Kate says “I bet you they got a grant from one of the trust funds.”
And that’s true. Their website says “We have received 2 park grants to make the improvements to our town park. We are very proud of our park and would like to thank the PARTF (Parks and Recreation Trust Fund) committee for their support.”
Once out of Black Creek, we have lunch on the steps of a church, watching the mating rituals of two killdeer. On the gravel, in front of us, the male is tweeting and strutting. The female comes out from behind a tree. But a pickup truck roars by and the male flies up. He seems to have disappeared. But in a few minutes, he comes back and the courting continues. We leave them alone and walk on.
Kate seems preoccupied by all the Bradford pear trees that we’re passing. Bradford pear trees grow quickly and have a ball shape. They’re popular but have lots of problems….
We get to our end point, Eureka in Wake County, population 244, close to Goldsboro. Most of the businesses are closed. There’s a coffee shop that seems to thrive at breakfast time. The mini-mart has closed its gas stations.
Kate voted today as the prettiest section. So what did Kate think of the road walking? “I’ve enjoyed it. North Carolina is so beautiful.”