Hike: Mountains to Sea Trail – Segment 9
Date: November 10-11, 2017
Notes: Dropped off car at Shallow Ford Natural Area around 6:45am, drove to Greensboro Bryan Park and departed at or around 7:30am. Finished day 1 around 4:30 a.m. Day 2 started later, after 8 a.m. and finished around 5:30 a.m.
Lowlights: Mostly road walk. There were some very busy sections of the highway, particularly around Elon. Many vehicles were gracious and gave us room on a very tight shoulder. A few cars gave us no room, honked the horn and not at all courteous. The shin splint injury resurfaced. Thankfully received some Aleve and pushed through both days.
Highlights: The small town of Glencoe. A hidden gem of a town that I would have no idea existed if it wasn’t for the trail. Meeting up with a childhood friend in Mebane, and having him join us for the walk on day 2. Meeting Friends of the MST trail maintainers on day 2. Thankful for their work as the trail in Alamance county was awesome!
Total Miles: 41.69 miles
This was mostly road walk, but with some great hiking along the Haw River Trail. The Haw River is beautiful, and the trail is great way to see the areas along it. The little mill village of Glencoe was the highlight of this area. They have taken exceptional care with this little town, and I envy the folks that live there. The homes are gorgeous.
We left Bryan Park, and it looked totally different from where we left off hiking there in Feb. 2016. We had to drive around a little bit, because the parking lot where we left the destination car was GONE now! There are soccer fields that weren’t there before, and a new parking lot for them. I didn’t recognize the area, but we found good parking at the soccer fields parking lot. Hiking on the road through Elon was an adventure with a ton of traffic. Hiking on these roads really makes me miss the trails we’ve done along the Blue Ridge Parkway! The worst of the road walk was near the destination car at Shallow Ford Natural Area. We passed a school, and what had to be a factory at quitting time. We were passed by a plethora of vehicles, with barely any shoulder to speak of to walk on. We had to “ditch walk”! Reminded me of Summerfield on an earlier hike.
The next day had more trail, with the Haw River Trail incorporated into the MST. This was a pleasant change, but this hiking on and off trail and road takes much longer than just road walk. It made day 2 a much longer day, and K, M, & P all got back to the destination car at Mebane Food Lion right at dark. Luckily, the Town of Mebane had good street lighting.
There weren’t many places to stop on this route between Shallow Ford and Mebane. We presumed there would be some convenience stores, but we found there really weren’t any to speak of…not without having to walk off the route out of the way.
After two days of mostly road walk, I sum this hike up as…”The agony of de feet”!!! I need to invest in some more “cushiony” shoes for pounding the pavement, so to speak. We have about 18 more miles to go to finish this segment and get to Eno River State Park. Hopefully we can knock it out around the early part of 2018.