View Full Version : Completed my MST Thru-hike 9/19/10 - 11/14/10

11-16-2010, 14:16
I'm back at home after 8 weeks of hiking from Clingmans Dome all the way to Jockey's Ridge. It was an epic adventure full of great scenery, good people, interesting wildlife, history, and exciting treks and detours on brand new trails and trails that aren't officially part of the MST, yet!

I am unwinding a bit, but I have posted my photos online. There are over 1800, so they're split into two albums. Here's the links:

I also kept a mini-blog at: http://wolfpackcruiser.blogspot.com/

I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to enjoy this long walk. I've been very fortunate and blessed in my young life to thru-hike two long distance trails in two years.

I also appreciate all the work the Friends of the MST have done to get this trail over half-way completed on foot paths. With my detours, I hiked approximately 600 miles on trails, beaches, and forest roads, with approximately 400 miles on the BRP and back roads. I was able to hike the brand new section in Watauga County just days after the ceremony was held to open that trail. I also used trails in Pilot Mtn State Park to link up with the Sauratown Trail and get off the roads. And I hiked along trails that aren't mapped yet along the Eno River near Durham and the trail that's under construction and nearly complete along Falls Lake. The lack of a bridge over Little Lick Creek caused a bit of a problem, but I hiked to the edge of the land and back down the blue-blazed trail to a road where a friend met me with his car. I spent the night in town and went back to the road and blue-blaze on the other side of the creek ("creek" is a misnomer, it's over 50 feet across this arm of Falls Lake). I walked down to the other edge and back onto the white-blazed MST!

I could not have done this trail so easily without TABA's guidebook. Especially on the road walk east of Raleigh, I used the manual for turn-by-turn directions, churches and other places that had fresh water or allowed camping. I met some great people who helped me out in the eastern part of the state.

I ran into two others who said they were thru-hiking, but I was doubling their daily mileage and I never saw them again. I had some friends hike sections with me or come out for a day hike. I was able to hike the trail on an extremely small budget because of all the friends, family and strangers who helped me out and gave me places to stay. I stayed in motels only twice, and one was after I had summited Jockeys Ridge and spent the night in Nags Head. Camping is an issue. This is not the AT, yet, where there is a corridor in which you can set up your tent almost anywhere. The State Park and BRP rules for camping will have to change as this trail becomes more popular with thru-hikers. The kind of camping thru-hikers do is very different from the kind of camping that the rules are set up to control.

I'm very excited for the future of this trail. It has potential to be great! It is an excellent way to experience the wonders of North Carolina.

Tennessee Viking
11-16-2010, 14:21
Congrats Wolfpackcruiser. I will be sure to notify the rest of the FMST.

Tennessee Viking
FMST-Falls Lake Task Force

Big Dawg
11-16-2010, 17:27

11-16-2010, 17:31
Congrats, man! Looking through your photos. Awesome job.

11-16-2010, 19:53
Congratulations Wolfpack, It truly is a wonderful adventure. I am happy that you got to experience the best of the trail. Keep on adventuring and sharing your stories.

11-16-2010, 22:56
Thanks for the post wolfpackcruiser! Loved the photos. Got a question for you, what kinda tarp were you using? Thanks.

11-16-2010, 23:05
Congrats to you sir!

Kate Dixon
11-17-2010, 09:41
congratulations Wolfpack Cruiser! We're delighted to be able to add you to the list of people who've completed the trail. (Don't forget to fill out the form that's on FMST's website!)

11-18-2010, 22:28
Thanks everybody!

I sent in my completed form to the FMST today, Kate.

@hikerinnc, I used a Zpacks solo hexamid tarp shelter from Zpacks.com, it weighed under 4 ounces, minus tent stakes, and it kept the rain off pretty well. Luckily, I didn't have too many nights (less than a dozen) where I had to worry about rain when I set up camp. It's very thin cuben fiber fabric, and there was a little misting coming through in the heaviest rain, but I had a montbell sleeping bag cover to keep me dry underneath. I seam-sealed it, and the seams stayed dry. I'm considering mixing seam sealer with mineral spirits to coat the entire tarp. I opted for no bug netting, and I rarely would have needed it this fall. I threw on some deet when it was warmer and the mosquitoes were fairly thick. I was also able to stake it all the way to the ground to keep out the wind when it was strong. It made a small, warm cave when I set up the long side against the wind. I felt a little exposed, especially when I was camping in church yards near roads, but for the most part I was thrilled with it.

11-21-2010, 12:38
Saw you when you were hiking thru Down East NC (Bettie to Cedar Island NC) and told my wife I bet you were hiking the MST.