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Crazy Larry #1
07-05-2005, 16:01
Damascus, Virginia. What a concept.

This town is one of the most unique villages I have ever had the opportunity to visit and revisit. It is stated in several publications and on several websites as being the friendliest town along the Appalachian Trail. That my friend is not an understatement In fact it is more than friendly, it is just downright homey.

I have been here for five days hiking some on the Appalachian Trail, and some on the Creeper Trail. The Creeper Trail is one of the many rail to trail stories scattered across the USA.

The last time I was here was in 2001 around the time of Trail Days. Trail Days is an event that is a gathering of past, present, and future "Thru-Hikers" of the Appalachian Trail. It not only draws thru-hikers, but section hikers, wannabe hikers, and hikers from other trails and parts of the world as well. It is held in and around the second week of May of every year and if your a true blooded hiker, then this is the event for you. Just like there are biker runs, this here is a hiker run......

As was the case the last time I was here and preparing to leave for points beyond, i just do not want to depart. I have seen people that live here and from the trail, whom I have met in years past and have fond memories of. They welcomed me back to their humble community with a sense of belonging. Besides it's unique setting in a hollow with many breath taking views of the surrounding mountains, the people that live "in these here parts" are what make Damascus what it is. I can almost bet ya that you will find some person from alomost every walk of life either living here or just passing through on any given day.

Beaver Dam Creek, which flows past the Old Mill Restaurant is loaded with trout. I was hiking along its banks yesterday and ran into several fishermen having a good time hooking and releasing. Not me. if I was a hooking them, I'd be releasing them right down my wind pipe and right into the aquarium below my chest where they would swim to points unknown....

As I said before, to me the people is what makes this town so unique. Mt. Rogers Outfitters is a favorite hangout of past Thru-Hikers. There are a number of these folks who have purchased homes here and have become a vital part of this community.

Then the Methodist Church owns a "Hostel" where hikers and bicyclists who are biking the "Trans-American Highway" can rest their weary legs for a couple of nights, and take a shower.

The one place I really enjoy hanging out at in the mornings for breakfast is "Cowboys." It is where most of the old time local crowd hangs out and talks about everything from how to prepare "chittlin's" to how we should pull out of "Iraq." I'm telling you if you have the gift of gab, as I do, then these old timers will take you under their wings and let you become a part of their community for a time.

The "One Way Church" just recently purchased a building to build an outreach for the local youth, just to give them something to do. The youth center also serves as a food pantry on Thursdays. With the way alot of our youth are getting hooked on "Meth," I think there ought to be communities like this church taking an active role in giving the youth an alternative place to hang out and to just let go on a shoulder that has been there.

These kids are our future, and though I do not think that all youth get strung out on drugs, just to see their friends go through this will affect their lives. So it is important to provide someplace for them like this youth center. Places like this and towns like Damascus help build productive lives....

Larry Riddle

Sly
07-05-2005, 16:19
Who's Larry Riddle?

Footslogger
07-05-2005, 16:27
Who's Larry Riddle?===========================
...The Only Wanderer ??

'Slogger

Sly
07-05-2005, 16:32
===========================
...The Only Wanderer ??

'Slogger

Yeah think? I'm not sure if he's up to writing such a piece. :D Looks like a copy and paste, without the link, to me.

Crazy Larry #1
07-05-2005, 16:44
that be me, i write stories and thought i'd post this one just to see if you guys liked it. i wrote this for my hometown journal....now you know my real name....i just wrote the original...hey footslogger, ask mike from northwoods outfitters or john from ace hardware if they like my stories?????

Sly
07-05-2005, 16:59
Well, I'll be darned. Good job!

Crazy Larry #1
07-05-2005, 17:12
Well, I'll be darned. Good job!thankyou...

Footslogger
07-05-2005, 17:21
...hey footslogger, ask mike from northwoods outfitters or john from ace hardware if they like my stories?????====================================== ==
Don't have a Northwoods Outfitter any more ...but the ACE is still there. I'll track John down and see if he has any feedback.

'Slogger

Crazy Larry #1
07-05-2005, 17:29
========================================
Don't have a Northwoods Outfitter any more ...but the ACE is still there. I'll track John down and see if he has any feedback.

'Sloggerwhat happened to northwoods?

Belew
07-05-2005, 18:16
Why'd you have to go post something like that, The Only Wanderer?
You got me thinking about moving there again. I'm gonna go work on a plan
:-?

Belew

Crazy Larry #1
07-05-2005, 18:32
Why'd you have to go post something like that, The Only Wanderer?
You got me thinking about moving there again. I'm gonna go work on a plan
:-?

Belewwell, i definetly want to live there....if i ever make a decent living writing my stories, i plan on it....

Preacher Dude
08-15-2005, 16:52
Anyone know of a church in the area that is looking for a pastor?....or a group of Charismatics that might be wanting to start a church?

Crazy Larry #1
07-17-2014, 13:07
The year after I wrote this story found me on my back and the hospital here at Trail Day's 2006 with blood clots and diabetes. I have been here ever since and now own a hostel and some other business endeavors. My mind has not changed about this unique and quaint village.

Just this morning as I and Sally walked downtown I had so many encounters with the town folk that I felt I was in Mayberry. I have lived many places but no where have I lived where the folks were so much like a Leave It To Beaver family.

Damascus does not, or cannot cater to everyone but I have found my spot in life, this is where I hope to take my last breath, I do not want to go anyplace else.

CalebJ
07-17-2014, 13:10
Glad you found a niche to settle into down there. It's a fantastic town. My wife and I stayed at a B&B there last weekend and loved everything about Damascus.

No Directions
07-17-2014, 19:31
What a nice story. I have had the privilege of visiting Damascus a few times and I agree with your assessment of it. It's just a nice homey place. I love it there.

chiefduffy
07-17-2014, 21:06
Thanks for re-opening this thread, Larry. Love the nostalgia...! By the way, me and MightyMouse will be passin' through your neighborhood in a few weeks, hope to stop by and see ya for a minute. We will have the whole family, 3 generations, on the Creeper this year (but only me and MightyMouse on a section of the AT). Need anything from Florida?

JumpMaster Blaster
07-17-2014, 21:30
Crazy Larry! Glad to have met you a couple weeks ago.

Big Dawg
07-18-2014, 03:37
I couldn't agree more Larry! What a great little town!

Seatbelt
07-18-2014, 07:29
Larry, after spending a few days with you last summer, I would say that you have blended well with the community and are loved and appreciated! It's folks like you that make this kind of community what it is. Seatbelt.

Crazy Larry #1
07-18-2014, 09:56
Thanks for re-opening this thread, Larry. Love the nostalgia...! By the way, me and MightyMouse will be passin' through your neighborhood in a few weeks, hope to stop by and see ya for a minute. We will have the whole family, 3 generations, on the Creeper this year (but only me and MightyMouse on a section of the AT). Need anything from Florida?
Bluefin or Yellowfin Tuna!!!!

Crazy Larry #1
07-18-2014, 09:57
Larry, after spending a few days with you last summer, I would say that you have blended well with the community and are loved and appreciated! It's folks like you that make this kind of community what it is. Seatbelt.
Thank you.

How ya been doin by the way?

Seatbelt
07-18-2014, 11:27
Thank you.

How ya been doin by the way?
Fightin knee trouble this spring, it's getting stronger however. I'll be back your way this fall hopefully.

shelb
07-19-2014, 20:56
T.....this unique and quaint village....walked downtown I had so many encounters with the town folk that I felt I was in Mayberry. I.......so much like a Leave It To Beaver family.

That is cool! I look forward to making it there someday!