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. 11, October 23, 2017

Jennifer Pharr Davis: The Beautiful Diversity of the MST

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: Diversity on the MST.

The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is the most diverse path I have ever experienced. It travels past the spruce and fir trees of 6,000-foot ridgelines in the Smoky Mountains to the cotton fields of Eastern North Carolina. Along the way, I have observed the changing topography, flora, and fauna, but most of all I have been struck by the distinct communities off trail and the variety of user groups on the trail.

We started this journey as a family at the Cherokee Qualla Boundary where our daughter learned about Native American culture and struggled to understand The Trail of Tears. She even talked Brew into buying me a handmade pair of beaded earrings. (Good job, Charley!)

A few weeks later we listened to live bluegrass music on the banks of the Yadkin River in Rockford in what is known as North Carolina's wine region. We never tested the wine, but we did sample three different types of pie. Mmmm.

In Durham, Brew and I went on a short-lived double date to check out the bustling nightlife of the Triangle. I had just ordered my drink when the babysitter called. Unfortunately, our baby has his own version of "nightlife."

This past week, I walked past a Civil War battlefield in Bentonville and then a few miles, and a few cotton and tobacco fields later, I got to hop up into a tractor and help a local farmer "turn up" his sweet potatoes.

Read more on our website, here.

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

Last Chance to Hear Jen

What's even better than reading Jen's blogs and social media posts on her hike across the state on the MST?  Hearing her discuss it in person - and getting the chance to ask her questions!

As JPD and the crew have journeyed east, Jen has stopped three times to share her experience in person. The last opportunity to hear Jen live is Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Brooklyn Arts Center in Wilmington. If you live in the Wilmington area, lucky you! And if you don't, hearing her inspirationall, entertaining and often amusing tales is worth the drive.

A donation is requested for the Oct. 26 event: $10 helps cover the cost of the event, anything beyond that benefits the trail. Learn more and register here.
MST in a Day 2017: The Movie

The reviews are in: "Stunning!" "Breathtaking!" "Producer/Director Jerry Barker is the Ken Burns of the MST!"

The long-awaited MST in a Day 2017: The Movie, is now available on You Tube. Culling hundreds of photos and videos shot on September 9, from Clingmans Dome atop Segment 1 to Jockey's Ridge ending Segment 18, Jerry has managed to capture the 24 hours of MST in a Day in just over 8 minutes. See what you missed, see your friends - you might even see yourself.

Grab a bucket of popcorn and settle in for the documentary you've been waiting for since September 10!

Landmark MST T-shirts benefit the MST
The Landmark Project, based in Greenville, S.C., makes some of the coolest Ts around, and they've brought their awesome retro National Park style to a line of T-shirts for the MST. Linville Gorge, Clingmans Dome, Jockey's Ridge and the general MST shirt - they're all available for you to wear on the trail and apres hike at your favorite brew pub. Best of all, 40 percent of the proceeds from sales of the shirts benefits the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Look cool and support your favorite trail at the same time!

Check out the line and order your shirt - or shirts! -  here.

Hike the MST This Weekend

Where will you hike the MST this weekend?

How about along the Eno River in Durham, from the Pleasant Green Access of Eno River State Park to the Eno Quarry and back? It's a 4-mile out-and-back hike on a stretch of the MST tht climbs above the river, tunnels through mountain laurel, explores a pine forest and circles the quarry And, you can hike it this Saturday at 1 p.m. with a group from GetHiking! Triangle..

Learn more about Saturday's hike and sign up, here.

Hiking Tip: Layering

Finally, seasonably crisp hiking weather! Cool temperatures, clear skies - it's the hiking weather many of us long for. Yet it's weather you need to pay attention to as well. Most of you are familiar with layering: adding / subtracting layers of clothing as you cool down / warm up on the trail. The idea is to keep you warm, but not warm enough to work up a sweat, which can quickly cause trouble when you stop and that sweat cools and chills your body.

Where most folks are foiled in this regard is at the start of the hike. You show up, bundled up, waiting for the hike to get rolling. When it does, you likely fail to peel a layer (or two): the clothing that was keeping you warm standing idle is now creating a sauna effect, which you'll  feel five or 10 minutes down the trail. By then, you've likely got a nice sweat brewing. Instead, stay dry by shedding a layer right before you start hiking. You may be cool initially, but your hiking body will warm quickly. A moment or two of discomfort early will keep you happy throughout the rest of your hike. 

Learn more about layering  from this primer .

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.