Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rural Route

MST – Day 43 – 12/6/10 - Stone Mountain State Park to Mountain Park Baptist Church – 15.2 Miles 
Danny and I are back on the road trek again. We have completed the Mountains-to-Sea Trail from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains down to the ranger station at Stone Mountain State Park. Now it’s time to follow the double yellow blaze for a while and close our gap from SMSP to the library in Dobson, NC.
Winter comes every year to western North Carolina – why are we always surprised that it happens in December? The gate to Stone Mountain SP was closed so we parked a car and started walking eastward from that point. As we prepared, a ranger came by and snapped a photo for us.

We had a 23-degree start today and a 32-degree finish. An overnight snow coated the roadsides. The air was crisp to the point of crunchy. Domestic animals ruled the farm scenery: cows, horses, crowing roosters, and a few dogs (none that were determined to maim us). Road walks are challenging for other reasons – try finding a place to pee on those open country roads (AND it’s below freezing).

 Every picture tells a story, don't it?
Yeah, you got that right.


Checking out this house with no roof

Chairs in the yard always make a statement

Laura Ingalls Wilder fans - this reminds me of the house in "On The Banks Of Plum Creek"

Rural route mailboxes

Waiting on the hay

Winter sky and bare tree

Bringing on the hay

Tiny vineyard

Still chillin'


Many churches

 Across the street from the church where we parked our end car was Mountain Park Family Country Store, open for business and a warm place to catch our breath. This little gem has used books, snacks and beverages (hot coffee for us today) and an affable owner, Peter McGuire, ready to shoot the breeze with patrons.

But our day was not yet done. There was that pesky mile between the SMSP ranger station and the entrance gate (still closed). We did the out-and-back walk quickly and congratulated ourselves on finishing another section, then drove to the Dobson library to leave a car for tomorrow’s end.

Over dinner at a local restaurant we discussed future plans for completing the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Our initial scheme included hiking the trail portions and biking most of the road miles while staying flexible to accommodate different schedules and events in our lives. We both purchased hybrid bikes and had been practicing skills. In the end Danny decided she was more comfortable with walking than with biking, so at this point we plan to meet at the Outer Banks in the spring to walk the 80 miles up the coast to Jockey’s Ridge State Park. There are more trail sections along the way and we will do those together when possible. So for now, Danny will be walking and I will be biking and we will have different tales to tell.

Read Danny’s account of the day here.

Some people spend a lot of money on camping equipment and spend weeks in the wilderness when they could save themselves a lot of trouble simply by occasionally going out in their backyards to pee. ~ Lewis Grizzard

1 comment:

still waters said...

Your tales are always good, and welcome. The miles continue to accumulate, becoming memories which endure since they've been committed to record here in your blog. Keep 'em coming!