Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Together Again

MST - Day 55 – 4-18-11 – Minnesott Ferry to Pine Cliff Day Use Area, Croatan National Forest – 2.7 Miles
The big push is here!  Danny and I blocked out almost two weeks on our calendars to tackle the easternmost miles of the Mountains-To-Sea Trail.  It’s a long, long, long drive from our homes and most efficient to get it all done in one fell swoop.  Danny is much more comfortable being away from home for multiple days at a time, while I suffer from homesickness after four nights away, so this was going to sorely test my endurance and her patience. 
Each of us had covered the miles eastbound to the Minnesott Ferry that crosses the Neuse River.  We met there today to walk the scant couple of road miles to the Pine Cliff Day Use area of Croatan National Forest.  Chatting and catching up, the time went quickly.  Tomorrow we start from this point on an overnight backpack trip on the Neusiok Trail through the forest.  
We were expected at Terry Smith’s home for dinner but we still had plenty of time for Danny to get in some more walking.  From the Newport River parking area (Oyster Point) to Graham Memorial Pentecostal Holiness Church, Danny clocked another 3+ miles.  I must confess that I didn’t walk with her.  A little voice inside me said that I’d already biked it last month and I should use the time to organize my backpacking stuff and maybe take a nap.  As I sat in the church parking lot I heard gunshots (target practice somewhere?) and a shudder of guilt went through me - I shouldn't have let her walk by herself.  But turns out Danny never heard the gunshots, just encountered some ferocious dogs...she's tough.
Terry and his wife were delightful hosts, providing a delicious home-cooked meal and comfy beds.  Terry is a very active trail builder and maintainer, designing and building bridges and everything else along the Neusiok Trail.  He and John Jaskolka, equally active with Friends of the MST, volunteered to backpack the trail with us.  An exciting two-day adventure ahead!
If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.  ~Buddhist Saying

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