Posted by Laura Gaylord on Saturday, October 22, 2011
Friday the 21st, was the perfect afternoon at McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks
for hosting a stop-over for the 1000-mile North Carolina "Mountains to the Sea"
trail hike and fundraiser by the Fortunate Sons...learn more on their site
Patricia McRitchie said she and Sean are both from military families (Army and Navy) and are happy to be able to participate and give back in some way. Their winery is located directly on the trail, and they are hoping that each year the turnout and support will grow.
Many came out to enjoy food, wine, music and meeting the
marines who came in the night before...ahead of schedule.
All were interested in the cause that raises money for the
non-profit Semper Fi Fund http://semperfifund.org/
that benefits those marines wounded in
battle. For example, money is needed for those who require
a ramp at their home, or a specially equipped car for double-leg
amputees to drive.
Pictured here are Rick Brandana (Marine), Scot Ward (author
and scout/organizer) and Dave Seymour (Marine). These
two Marines are stationed at Camp Lejeune, but happen to
originally be from Michigan, and are with Echo Company.
They began their hike and are the 3rd of six teams taking turns
tackling this beautiful but challenging trail. Not many have done
the entire hike, and Scot Ward (who has finished this trail 4 times)
says it normally takes him 82 days to complete it...but these Marines
are doing in 42 days...he said, "I can't believe it, they are sprinting
through these hills!" Not all was easy however, as last Wednesday
they had to hike the entire 22-miles through pouring rain! Rick says he can't
believe how beautiful these mountains are and that this was the first
time he's been on a long hike such as this, but he and Dave were
thankful to be part of the event and hope to raise awareness for this cause.
Elkin Valley Trails Association was there to provide information
on the trails in our area. Their long range goal is to build a
hiking and mountain-bike trail to Stone Mountain State Park,
as a segment to the Mountains to Sea Trail. This will merge with
the Overmountain Victory Trail, and the proposed Yadkin Valley
Riverfront Greenway to make Elkin a hub for hikers, mountain-
bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts. For more info, please
contact Bill Blackley at 336-835-4630.
ALSO, if you are interested in reading more about the Mountains
to the Sea Trail, you might want to read Scot Ward's (pictured
above with Marines) book, "The Thru-Hiker's Manual for the Mountains
to the Sea Trail of North Carolina" (East-Bound 2010) at
www.Thru-hiker.us or contact him at 561-319-2564. Scot participated
with the Marines to help guide them with his trail expertise, as well as
offering a way to thank them for their service. He helped schedule events,
stop-overs and lodging for the hikers during portions of the hike.
Tags: "mcritchie winery" "fortunate sons" "us marine semper fi fund" "north carolina mountains to sea trail" "scot ward" "elkin valley trails association"
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