Through the end of the year, we'll be keeping you updated in this weekly enewsletter on two main events celebrating our 40th Anniversary: MST in a Day and Jennifer Pharr Davis Hikes the MST. 

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. 12, October 30, 2017

Jennifer Pharr Davis: The gift of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail

As Jennifer Pharr Davis and her crew - husband Brew, daughter Charley, and son Gus, work their way across the state on the MST, Jen files a weekly blog reflecting the journey. This week: The gift of the MST.

Hiking the Mountains-to-Sea trail has been a gift.

I am out here every day living a dream. I say that because hiking a 1,175-mile trail with two kids under the age of five who are tagging along seems more like a fantasy or delusion than an executable plan. Yet I am able to make this hike a reality as a result of my husband's support.  While I am out walking Brew has the difficult job of watching our kids without a home base, managing the logistics for our hike, and working hard to keep additional work at bay.

I have spent my days climbing mountains, passing farmland, and enjoying the serenity that comes with hiking long trails. Brew, meanwhile, has been busy changing diapers, searching for lost pacifiers, and trying to keep mold from overtaking Gus' sippy cup. He has done an outstanding job of making this trip educational and social for our 4-year-old daughter. And as a result he has become an expert on museums, nature centers, and libraries across the state. He has also kept our baby-turned-toddler from destroying himself and everything in his wake. (When we passed through Durham, we stayed with a friend who is a pediatric surgeon and she aptly described caring for a 1-year-old as "suicide watch.")

The only problem is that Brew hasn't enjoyed it.

Read more on our website, here.

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Follow Jen! Get the latest news from Jen about her journey: 

Hanging with Dad is an educational experience for Charley.
What's Brewin' off the trail?

So maybe Brew Davis hasn't enjoyed the entire adventure across the state (see story above), but it's obvious from his Facebook posts that he, Charley and Gus are exploring lots of fun places that lie just off the trail.

Get a sense of the attractions within reach of the trail by venturing to his Facebook page , here .
The view from Beacon Heights, Segment 4 (photo by Ben Trotter)
MST in a Day: Relive it in photos

Who would have guessed that the same day we elected to hike the entire MST would be the same day that the weather was perfect across the entire state!

Lucky for all of us, that translates to reliving the day over and over in pictures. Fortunately, our MST in a Day hikers savored the day with cameras in hand. The result: a virtual return to September 9 on our Flickr page.

Take a minute to appreciate the trail over and over again, here.

Gear: Use your pack's key chain hook

This week's favored gear isn't a freestanding piece of gear; rather, a feature you should look for when buying a pack.
An unnerving element of a hike can come at the end, when you've returned to your car and are digging furiously for your keys. Rats! you worry: Did they pop out when I stopped for lunch?

Avoid this moment of sweat-inducing despair by making sure your pack has a key chain clip. Typically, the clip is in the hood pocket: one end sewn into the fabric, the clip-end easily snagging your keychain and keeping it on board when you stop for a snack and are ravenously rooting around for your turkey jerky.

Rain? Bring it on!
Tip: Waterproof yourself

If you had plans to hike this past Sunday and they were dashed by the rain, you need to waterproof yourself. If you're properly dressed, hiking in the rain can be a remarkably rewarding experience - and it doesn't take a lot to make yourself so. Your goal: W hen you're out in the rain, don't let the rain invite itself in to you. 

Find tips on getting geared up for wet weather at .

Hike the MST this weekend!

Saturday, the Hikers of Iredell will hike the 7.8-mile stretch of the MST from NC 80 at Buck Creek Gap to the Black Mountain Campground. We like this hike because it's one mountain stretch of the MST that doesn't get as much attention - yet has so much to offer. The hike may also include a diversion or two to a nearby waterfall.

Learn more and sign up here.
REI corporate logo
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.