Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Making Adjustments

MST - Day 53 – 4-10-11 – Little River Presby Church to East Geer Street – 21.4 Miles
So….since yesterday’s rain precluded placing a car at today’s end (East Geer Street), we started out the morning already behind schedule.  Complicating things further, I wanted to try Ian Fraher's new route.  The MST guidelines for this section of the Piedmont suggest road routes but a little leeway to improve safety is okay.  Even better, Ian’s route incorporates trail miles through Eno River State Park and West Point of the Eno County Park.  But I needed to do 10 miles of road before and 10 miles of road after the trail miles…how do ya do that?
Jim used Ian’s instructions with to develop our route, improvising a bike detour around the trail miles, which I fantasized being able to hike at the end of the day (say it with me now:  did not happen).  One of MapMyRide’s shortcomings is not being able to reverse the route like good old Mapquest, and we thought we could just figure it out. 
Here is where Sharon has a major revelation about herself:  Although I can read maps easily, remember routes, can get myself somewhere again if I have been there once, I cannot read directions backwards.  Just does not compute.
Jim and I spent an inordinate amount of time getting ourselves from the end point back to the eastern edge of West of the Eno County Park.  Navigating all the way back to the real beginning of the bike route would take so long that we would lose any early morning advantage we had on soon-to-be-busy roads.   We made the decision to bike the 10 miles from West of the Eno to East Geer Street and then regroup.
Good plan:  Our first mile on busy four-lane Roxboro Road would have been too dangerous later in the day.  Once we got that done, the rest of the ride was a pleasant cruise through the ‘burbs in springtime, with flowering dogwoods and azaleas.

A little bit of everything in this yard

Our ending at Lake Ridge Airport, East Geer Street, where Danny and I began our Falls Lake adventures with Kate over a year ago
It was late morning.  We could now skip biking the miles around Eno River SP and West of the Eno and bike the beginning 10 miles of our planned route.  My legs felt okay and we decided to get it done.  This time I used my Gazeteer to find our way first to the entrance to Eno River SP and then back to Little River Presbyterian Church (our ending point yesterday, remember?) rather than struggling with reverse directions.  However, even this decision proved to complicate issues later. 
This 10 miles was more rural, translated to mean rolling hills that are trouble for me.  Jim was his usual calm, cool and collected self as I pushed up and coasted down.  He particularly enjoyed this section with open fields and few houses.  On one long uphill I had to stop twice to catch my breath.
A charming red barn – do you see the “face”?

The price we paid for not driving the route was discovering an intersection with no street sign.  After pedaling a half-mile off course, a helpful resident working out in his yard pointed us in the right direction. 
At last we arrived at our destination, a parking area of Eno River SP with a fancy little pit latrine – a welcome sight.  The 8-mile hike through the park would have to wait. 
All this doesn’t sound much like hiking, does it?  Perhaps you are as confused as I am.  Truly, the hardest part of section hiking a “long trail” is the logistics of beginning and ending each day.  Will all this mapping and shuttling be worth it to say I’ve completed the Mountains-To-Sea Trail?  I think so.  I am a goal-oriented person and I like maps and challenges.  And I love North Carolina. 
Difficult things take a long time, impossible things a little longer.  ~André A. Jackson

1 comment:

still waters said...

As with a number of things I've watched you go through, you've grown in so many ways as you've made the journey. It will be nice to say "I made it." But it is equally true that "It made me."

That's what I see in you - you're being "made" with each of these goals you set for yourself....and accomplish.

Life is an interesting journey. I, for one, am glad you are living yours the way you are!