View Full Version : Erwin News

Jack Tarlin
04-12-2005, 22:23
While it troubles me to bring this up, as I thought the subject was dead and closed, I've heard some disquieting things from several hikers while I've been in Erwin, and I think it's important to mention this:

In recent days, several hikers, upon arriving at the Chestoa Bridge near Erwin, have been informed of various mis-leading or outright false things about conditions at Miss Janet's hostel in the center of town:

*Hikers have been told that there is no hot water at
Janet's, or that the showers and bathrooms are not
functioning or available.

*Hikers have been informed that Miss Janet's was full when
this was not, in fact, the case.

Here is the truth of the matter: While Janet was having trouble with her downstairs bathroom several weeks ago, this problem has been completely taken care of: The main downstairs bathroom has been completely and beautifully
renovated, mainly by Janet herself, and has been up and running for several weeks now. There is absolutely nothing amiss with the hot water, showers, or plumbing. So anyone in recent days who is telling hikers about plumbing problems at Janet's is either woefully mis-informed, or more likely, is outright lying, in order to get
hikers to avoid her establishment.

And while her house has been full most nights, this is NOT always the case. Anyone who has any doubts about this should call her place (423) 743-1932 when they get to town, and they should NOT blindly accept news about her occupancy or room availabily when this information is supplied by others, especially other hostel owners or employees. In point of fact, hikers have been mis-led and outright lied to about the level of services and availabilty of service at Janet's, and this is a sad and pitiful thing to see. There is NO need whatsoever for this sort of backhandedness to go on in Erwin or any other Trail town, and I very much regret having to comment on this subject yet again, as many of us were hapy to see that in recent months, this sort of thing had effectively ceased. As before, this sort of behavior will ultimately backfire, and will only hurt the people spreding mis-truths and lies about other businesses.

To sum all this up: Hikers are once again being mis-led and lied to about facilities in Erwin, and this is being done out of spite, malice, and jealousy. There is NO NEED for this sort of thing to happen in any trail town, and this kind of behavior is universally rejected by the hiking community. The way to improve one's business is to take care of one's customers and their needs, and not to spend countless hours coming up with new and imaginative ways to traduce or malign your competitors.

I trust that hikers planning to visit and lay-over in Erwin either this year or in the future will keep this in mind when deciding where they wish to stay and which businesses they wish to patronize.

Telling tall tales about the facilities available at your competitors, or outright lying to hikers by telling folks that other places are full, is dis-honest, underhanded, and just plain wrong. IF you are told that the plumbing is out of order at Janet's you've been mis-informed. If you're told she's full,you should call and confirm this for yourself.

These sorts of negative campaigns have not worked in the past in Erwin, and while many of us thought this sort of nonsense was over and done with, it will not work in the future either.

SGT Rock
04-12-2005, 22:26
Miss Janet rocks.

04-12-2005, 22:37
thats right miss janets is a fine place to stay and if she is full there is the holidy Inn Express a little more pricey but there is a pool....

04-12-2005, 23:59
These sorts of negative campaigns have not worked in the past in Erwin, and while many of us thought this sort of nonsense was over and done with, it will not work in the future either.
Does she sell camping in the yard and a shower when the house is full?

I have no interest in the other hiker-oriented places in town, and can't afford the Holiday Inn.

Jack Tarlin
04-13-2005, 08:46

There's no tenting at Miss Janet's due to town regulations.

Her hostel is open all day, and many folks leave their packs on the porch while they run their town errands....Miss Janet doesn't care whether they plan to overnight or not. Folks that want to stay the night claim a bunk, usually by putting their bedroll on it.

Around dinnertime, Janet does a head check, and if she's full, she'll take folks anywhere they want to go....to another hostel, motel, whatever. She doesn't care. For the folks who couldn't get a spot that night, there's usually a "waiting list" in the kitchen, in case any of these folks want to take a "zero day" the next day at Janet's. These folks are pretty much guaranteed a spot the next day unless the weather is awful and nobody leaves. (This is why Janet rarely takes reservations, as she never knows from day-to-day how many folks are leaving and how many are staying; she doesn't want to "promise" anyone a spot that may not be there when they arrive; also, in the
past, folks have tried to "reserve" rooms and then haven't shown up, which deprives someone else of a spot. Anyway, it's pretty much first-come first-served, til the place is full).

People come and go all day, and not all of them spend the night. Janet doesn't care; the level of hospitality you receive is not connected to the ammount of money you're going to spend; she really could not care less. People are welcome to use the bathroom, shower, laudry, internet, tho it's expected that they leave a donation in the box in the kitchen to help pay for the cost of these services.

Anyway, Frank, hope this answers your questions, and that you get to check Janet's out for yourself before long.

04-13-2005, 09:10
Thanks for the Erwin Update, Jack!

Will be seeing MISS JANET April 28th & May 7th.

I will pass along the good news. :D

see ya'll out there: Apr 28-May 5 (w/"the Model T crew") Hot Springs-Erwin
May 6 & 7 Carvers Back to Erwin (Sobo)
May 8-20 Damascus-Pearisburg

The Solemates
04-13-2005, 09:15
...here we go again...

04-13-2005, 09:25
[QUOTE=Jack Tarlin]Frank:

There's no tenting at Miss Janet's due to town regulations.

How can the "other" hostel in Irwin allow tenting then. Is it outside the city limits ??

Just curious ...


Jack Tarlin
04-13-2005, 11:45
Good question, but I'm assuming you're right, and that the zoning is different out there. Either that, or she's acting out of concern for her neighbors.

04-13-2005, 11:51
Good question, but I'm assuming you're right, and that the zoning is different out there. Either that, or she's acting out of concern for her neighbors.======================================== =
Well ...as much as I don't like fences/walls around yards, maybe that is one solution. There's room in Janet's back yard for tents so as long as she's willing and it doesn't pose a neighborhood problem that may be one way to increase her capacity a bit.

That said, I'm sure this isn't the first time the topic has been raised so I may be whipping a dead horse. Just seems like what's good for the goose is good for the gander (talking in terms of tenting at the "other" hostel and at Miss Janet's).

Just a thought ...


SGT Rock
04-13-2005, 12:00
I wonder if someone volunteered to put up a privacy fence for her if it would open that area up for tenting? Not that I have the cash, but maybe it could be worked out.

Jack Tarlin
04-13-2005, 12:11

I'll ask her when I see her, but I'm quite sure that if she was able to have people tent, or if she WANTED people to tent (assuming it was legaly permitted), then she'd have people tenting even as we speak. The fact that there has never been tenting there leads me to believe that 1) It isn't allowed, at least not in that part of town, and/or 2)She doesn't want tenting for any number of reasons. Janet is in a residential neighborhood, and has neighbors on both sides of her backyard (as well as a church and day-care center across from her front door). Only one of those adjoining backyards has a fence. All it would take is for one tenting idiot to be seen taking a leak in the yard, getting high, coming out of the tent semi-naked scratching their balls......this is the sort of thing that gets in-town hostels closed. Even if backyard tenting in Erwin WERE permitted, it's probably just as well that nobody's doing it right now. There are too many idiots out there, and there's too much chance of an unfortunate incident that would get Janet in trouble with neighbors and town officials. And if you think I'm wrong, here are some of the fun things I've personally witnesed there: Idiots getting high in the yard when Janet was on a shuttle, oblivious to where the clouds of resultant smoke were going; also, idiots who decided it'd be fun to "streak" around the house on April Fools Day a few years back, despite the fact that North Elm Ave. is a busy street and that there's a church right across from Miss J.'s front door. In short, sooner or later, some fool would do something to provoke a formal complaint or police visit, so even if tenting WERE allowed in downtown Erwin, I think it'd be a lousy idea. She has a tough enough time with the idiots IN the house or on the front porch without complicating matters further.

04-13-2005, 12:15
Thanks Jack ...and you're probably correct. I personally have NEVER witnessed hikers doing any of the things you mentioned (NOT ...!!) but it's probably best that things stay quiet and calm on Elm Street.


yogi clyde
04-13-2005, 13:16

The same misinformation greeted me last year.
Luckily, having read Whiteblaze, I went to Miss Janet's, and it was one of the high lights of my trip.

P.S. Don't miss the ice cream at the old drug store/soda fountain in town, it is a great deal.

Happy Trails

Yogi Clyde (member of the Ice Cream Social Club)

04-13-2005, 13:30
miss janet is a real sweetie:) neo

04-13-2005, 18:25
Miss Janets Place is Awesome:clap :clap :clap


Big Dawg
04-17-2005, 09:35
I just spoke w/ Miss Janet last night to schedule a drop-off (section hiking from Allen Gap to Erwin) for next week. She seemed really nice & easy going. I've been looking forward to meeting her because of all the great things I've read on Whiteblaze. Unfortunately, I won't have the opportunity to stay at her place, but when we set up the drop-off time for approx. 10am, she said "if you can get here by 9am, then you can eat breakfast w/ us." How nice is that?!!:D

04-17-2005, 09:56
Get there earlier.

Janet is a real class act. I'd encourage you to consider spending the night after your hike before climbing into your car. Your body will appreciate the opportunity to relax and unwind at Miss Janet's.

One Leg
04-17-2005, 12:57
In '04, I spent some time at Miss Janet's, along with my family. One night (very late at night) while there, our dog got loose (our fault).

We set out trying to find the dog, driving quietly through the neighborhood trying to find the dog. We didn't even make it back to Miss Janet's before every cop in Erwin had responded to a "slow moving van through the neighborhood". We explained the situation to the cops, they were understanding, and we ultimately found the dog.

I can only hope that, if I ever have to live in 'cramped quarters' such as a neighborhood, that my neighbors would look after me the way those folks look out for one another.

She's an awesome lady, and has awesome neighbors. We, as a hiking community, should honor that when making the decision to stay there, and not leave a bad taste in the proverbial mouths of her neighbors.


Mountain Dew
04-21-2005, 16:34
three cheers for Miss Janet !!! :clap

04-21-2005, 17:07
Jack, thanks for starting this thread and setting the record straight. I'm starting a long section hike next week and planning on staying at Miss Janet's and sending a maildrop there. She e-mailed me and said that's be fine.

04-22-2005, 12:23
There are many great places along the trail but very few have the feel of Miss Janets. She is just a special person and probably gets more return visits than 1st timers. Best stop on the Trail IMO, but then, I love Miss Janet!