Our Summer Vacation – Night 2
Less than 24 hours after our arrival, I was in love with Damascus, Va. Know what pops up if you Google “Friendliest Town on the Appalachian Trail”?
That’s right. Damascus, Virginia.
About the only thing I did NOT love about Damascus was our AT&T phone service. There was none. That made reestablishing contact with my wife after my bike ride a challenge. Our only method of contact was for me to find wi-fi, send her a text, and hope she also was someplace with wifi.
Off I walked to the Food Town grocery store, a known wi-fi hot spot. That’s where my wife, my brother and I had an economical and tasty breakfast that morning. In Damascus, virtually everything is within walking distance. Even Mt. Katahdin, Maine – some 1500 miles to the north – is within walking distance for determined northbound thru-hikers passing me on the sidewalk.
From a rocking chair in front of Food Town I reestablished contact with my wife. She was miffed because she had driven back to the bike shop where she THOUGHT I would be, unaware that I had actually switched to another bike shop with an earlier shuttle to Mt. Rogers.
Did I mention the phone service sucks?
It was now time to check in to our home for night 2, described as a “secluded cabin next to a rushing mountain stream.” We had booked it on Airbnb, our very first time using that service.
My wife was a little grumpy as she pulled up to the curb in front of my Food Town rocking chair to pick me up, but that would soon change. Our “secluded cabin” turned out to be right next door to Food Town and it improved her attitude considerably. It was hidden down a driveway in a grove of trees overlooking the Virginia Creeper Trail and Laurel Creek, the same creek I had followed down from Mt. Rogers on my bike.
The interior of our cabin was beautiful, but the deck was magnificent. Hidden in the treetops, the deck overlooked the Virginia Creeper Trail and the swift, noisy, much bigger Laurel Creek just after its confluence with Beaver Dam Creek. I could, and did, sit there every idle minute soaking up the “sounds of silence, Mother Nature-style
Look & Listen for yourself. We had TV, but who needed it? Bravo, Airbnb!
For dinner, we picked up Jed, Orlando, & Free Bird and headed to the Old Mill Inn a few blocks from our cabin. On the way we made stops for our passengers at the drug store & post office. They could have walked, but “riding in a car is a bit of a novelty for us now” observed Free Bird.
Our table for dinner was, by choice, very noisy.
Too soon the evening came to an end. After dinner we dropped Jed, Orlando and Free Bird off at the Appalachian Trail Town Inn, and headed to our Cabin. 9 pm is jokingly referred to by weary hikers as “hiker midnight”. It’s might also be called, not so jokingly, “Baby Boomer” midnight.
Back to our Cabin beside the Laurel River, we were quickly awash in sensory delights. From our comfortable perch on our deck, a stone’s throw from the water, we relaxed to the soothing sound of water rushing over and around the rock-strewn creek bed. As the air cooled and the evening light slowly faded to darkness, the words of a country song came to mind:
If heaven was an hour, it would be twilight.
No argument here.