Tuesday–June 22, 2021
Location–Neighbor Mountain Trailhead, Skyline Drive, then to Open Arms Hostel & Inn, Alison Coltrane, Proprietor, (Edge of Town) Luray, AT Mile 949.1
I just love these old places, like Open Arms Hostel & Inn, Luray. Mid 20th Century two-story house, sits up from the street, main drag into town. Kinda modernized, kinda not. Old windows and doors, high ceilings, creaky floors, overstuffed furniture; nothing fancy. Things just sort of ended up where they are. Cats own the place–that’s a must. Yup, my kind of place!
Skyland Resort is a stone’s throw from Skyland Road North. Barry had us there right at five when the restaurant opened. A grand old 1940s establishment. Not ritzy but upscale. A bit pricy but what the heck. Barry and I both went for the fried trout–delicious. We passed on the blackberry tea, but shared a slice of blackberry ice cream pie topped with whipped cream. My-oh-my, how do you describe something that delicious!
Then on to Luray yesterday evening, Edge of Town Open Arms Hostel and Inn where we were warmly welcomed right away by Alison, hostel proprietor. We’re given one of the private upstairs rooms. Bath down the hall. So, tonight will be our second night at Alison’s. A big-time right decision by Barry; oh yes! Skyline Drive is right up the road from Luray, and Skyland Road North, not far from there. Barry prepares his usual breakfast for us (fried eggs ‘n cheese sandwiches) and he’s got me back on trail just after seven. Lots more climbing today, more rocks, and the rain (as forecast) arrives shortly. How does it rain when you’re in/above the clouds? Poncho goes on but wet is wet, and I’m soon soaked. I stop in at Byrds Nest #3 Hut a spell to escape the deluge, have a snack, then I’m right back in it. Barry hikes in from Panorama parking to greet and cheer me. A break at Panorama, oh yes–thanks Barry!
The day finally comes around as I hike it on in to Neighbor Mountain.
These sort of days, the tough ones, getting through them simply adds spice that flavors the mix, the stir of which creates incomparable memories…
Have great hopes and dare to go all out for them.
Have great dreams and dare to live them.
Have tremendous expectations and believe in them.
(Norman Vincent Peale)