Tag Archives: MST

Friends of the MST meeting – before and after

The Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail 40th anniversary meeting and gala promises to be one to remember. It’s next weekend – Friday March 24 to Sunday March 26 in Elkin, NC. Besides the gala  and Saturday meeting,  there will be art stroll, music, and wine and beer, of course.

And we’ll be refighting the Revolutionary War in the South. OK, not fighting, just learning about the various battles.  On Friday March 24: 8:00-5:00 and Saturday March 25: 8:00-3:00, members of the North Carolina Historical Reenactment Society Revolutionary War Unit 6th NC Regiment of the Continental Line (the Sixth), the Yadkin Valley Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Surry-Wilkes Chapter of the Overmountain Victory Trail Association will present Overmountain Victory Trail Revolutionary War Days. Yes, there was plenty of revolutionary war action in the South.

Guilford Courthouse

There will be talks on the Battle of Kings Mountains and Guilford Courthouse – subjects of two national park units that I visited several times. I do hope that the speakers will go beyond “the red stood here and the blue stood there.”

Maybe they might explain one the most fascinating monuments at Guilford Courthouse, the “No North, No South” monument. This monument, erected in 1903, was an attempt to unify the country still raw from the Civil War by pointing out that we were all unified during the American Revolution.

But have no fear. These talks will only be 15 minutes each and be repeated throughout the day.

Muskets and rifles will be fired. Members of the company will be camping in authentic Revolutionary style. I wonder if anyone will be reenacting the redcoats, you know, the British Army soldiers.

OVVI

The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail (OVVI) unifies several battlefields. Its eastern end starts in Elkin. The western end is in Virginia. There’s a rumor that the Superintendent of the Historic Trail will also be there, talking about OVVI and stamping your national park passport.

But the most fascinating part of all of this for me is talking to the men who are the descendants of the OVVI soldiers. Imagine knowing about your grandfather (N times removed) who lived in the 1780s.

I could give you the schedule but there are so many activities. Just come to Elkin on Friday and enjoy. And though technically, you don’t have to register for the Friends of the MST meeting to participate in the reenactment, just remember who made this possible.

So sign up – I don’t think it’s too late.

 

Giving Tuesday – Who are you supporting?

Today is Giving Tuesday. You know that because you’ve been inundated with requests from nonprofits all across the country.

Poster campaign at OVC
Poster campaign at OVC

Right now, Western North Carolina needs your money more than ever. At no time is this poster more appropriate.

Our public lands are burning. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now closed. The park folks have closed everything because of the wild fires. I don’t know if they’ve ever done this before. Even Park Headquarters is without power and phone service.

But we’re all interconnected here. The Appalachian Trail travels for over seventy miles through the Smokies. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail across North Carolina starts on Clingmans Dome in the Smokies. All of these lands need our help.

At this point our Congress doesn’t even have a budget past December 9. So it’s not going to put any extra money into our public lands. I’m just hoping that Congress will go back to work and pass a budget.

But we’re not helpless. We need to support Friends groups that support the trail. There are so many of them in our area. Choose one and donate your money today. Plan to donate your time and effort on a regular basis.

Don’t wait until the end of the year. Yes, you’ll get a tax deduction but that’s not a reason to support a cause.

Here goes:

Friends of the SmokiesLogoFOTS – which assists Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I lead monthly hikes for the group.

 

Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail logofmst– which champions the Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across North Carolina

 

Great Smoky Mountains AssociationLogoGSMA – which assists the Smokies by managing the bookstores and publishing awesome books and maps.

 

Fifty completers on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail

image_preview14The Mountains-to-Sea Trail has hit 50. It now has 50 completers, a milestone.

Lorie Hansen of Hendersonville has become the 50th person to complete the 1,000-mile hike across North Carolina. According to a Blue Ridge Now article, Hansen was very grateful for all the trail angels who helped her along the way. She found the logistics challenging. That’s the big problem – where to stay the night. Everything else is easy, much easier than the Appalachian Trail, to which it is always compared.

The majority of those completing the trail are much like Hansen, a first-time long distance hiker. She also represents the increasing number of women of all ages completing the trail. PJ Wetzel is also hiking the MST, in a leisurely manner and is now in Pisgah National Forest. He seems to be circling back to his van most nights, therefore walking the trail twice. Lorie and PJ actually met on the MST last month.

By the way, according to Blue Ridge Now, Lorie is 63 years old. PJ is certainly not much younger. As I keep saying, hiking is a “life sport”.

The first to complete the hike were long-time outdoorsmen Allen DeHart and Alan Householder in 1997. I was number 21, finishing in 2011. It seems such a long time ago that I completed the trail.

“We’ve got a long way to go to catch up with the Appalachian Trail, but it should be recognized that it was about 30 years between the first A.T. hiker and the 50th ” Kate Dixon, Executive Director of Friends of the MST said.

Congratulations, Lorie. Come out with Carolina Mountain Club. We’d love to hear your story.