Through the end of the year, we'll keep you updated in this weekly enewsletter about Jennifer Pharr Davis's MST hike. 

If you have friends who love to hike, please forward this enewsletter and encourage them to sign up and get involved.
40th Anniversary Weekly Coverage

No. 7, September 21, 2017

Jen in the Gragg Prong area of Wilson Creek.
Hear Jen tonight in Winston-Salem

Tonight in Winston-Salem, Jennifer Pharr Davis makes the second of four appearances to talk about her journey on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. 

Jen - who is joined on the trail by  husband Brew, 4-year-old daughter Charley, and pre-1-year-old son Gus - descended from the mountains into the Piedmont last week and should have some fresh insights on the trail from Stone Mountain into the Greensboro area. (She'll also share tales about being accosted by acorns, hiking with horses and assorted diaper incidents.)

To register for tonight's Jen appearance in Winston-Salem (it's free for a donation to support the trail) head here.

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Follow Jen! Get the latest news from Jen about her journey: 
Can't make tonight's appearance in Winston-Salem? You can still catch Jen in  Raleigh on October 10, and  Wilmington on Oct. 26. Admission is a gift to Friends of MST, with a suggested minimum of $10 per person to help cover costs of the event. Seating is limited, so sign up soon.

Jen's people: Hiking reporter Karen Chavez

While Jennifer Pharr Davis is hiking her way across the state, she'll be interviewing people she encounters along the way. Today: Karen Chávez, longtime outdoor recreation writer and editor with the Asheville Citizen-Times. 

Karen Chávez didn't grow up in North Carolina, but she has spent the past 17 years of her life in Asheville working as an outdoor recreation reporter and editor for the Asheville Citizen-Times. She has logged countless miles of running, completed marathons, and she wrote a book about hiking across the state with her favorite trail companion, a black lab named Shelby.

Karen didn't grow up hiking and backpacking; in fact, she grew up in the Bronx. But a summer spent at a rustic nature study camp in the Berkshires, which culminated with a three-day backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail, encouraged Karen to pursue a career in the outdoor industry. She started as an interpretive ranger with the National Park Service, working at different sites across the country, including Yellowstone. Then she went to school in Montana to earn a master's in journalism. She is a former member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Karen was the first person to walk a mile with us on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. She brought her niece and two nephews to Clingmans Dome to start the trail with us. After knowing Karen peripherally for years through the outdoor scene in Asheville, I enjoyed learning more about her on the trail.

Learn more about Jen learning about Karen here.

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Read Karen Chavez's reporting on Jen's hike and her other work in the Asheville Citizen-Times, here.
MST in a Day: More coverage

So many people sent beautiful photos and stories of their MST in a Day hikes. We've posted all the photos on our Flickr site, and we've also started posting some of the stories and photos from each trail segment.   For instance, what was it like on Segment 4?   Find out here .


To read stories from other trail segments, check out our ongoing coverage here.

What's in Jen's pack pantry?

What keeps Jennifer Pharr Davis fueled on her long-distance hikes? While she makes her way across North Carolina on the MST, she'll share some of her favorite trail food.  

Bars are a hiker's best friend. They offer instant energy in convenient packaging. It rained 5 out of the last 7 days, and because of that I ate even more bars than usual. It is a lot easier and more pleasant to take a few bites from a bar that is stashed in your pocket or hip belt, than stop in the rain, empty your pack, and rummage your wet fingers around in a bag of trail mix.

But not all bars are created equal ...

Learn more about this bar inequality here ...
Hiking tip: Happy feet make a happy hiker

It's always a good idea to bring an extra pair of socks on a hike when conditions look messy - and even when they don't. But did you know it's also a good idea to wear a different pair of shoes to the trail? Drive to the trailhead in something comfortable, your feet will thank you when the hike is over and you get to slip back into your favorite bunny slippers! If the weather is warm, removing boots during a break to let your feet cool works wonders with rejuvenation. Another option is soaking feet in a stream or river for a few minutes to reduce swelling that might occur. In colder weather, elevating your feet during breaks is a simple way to alleviate pain in your feet.

Thanks to our sponsors!

There would be no Mountains-to-Sea Trail, no reason to celebrate a 40th anniversary, without the generous support of our many sponsors, including  BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, Great Outdoor Provision Co., REI, Duke Energy, Farm to Feet, First Citizens Bank, Mast General Store, Rostan Family Foundation, New Morning Gallery, AntiGravity Gear, Prestage Farms and Wyrick Robbins.