I want to make some censuring comment like TV and movie ratings--for around the bend audiences only--or something like that. The story I am about to tell and the pictures posted will seem like something from another planet to most of my readers. Let me just say that the RV lifestyle is not anything like the long-distance hiker lifestyle. Viewer discretion may be advised.
As a point of reference, like RVers and their rallies, hikers have their special events, as well. There are several, of course, and the different long trails have their own events. Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia is one of the primary events along the Appalachian Trail. It is scheduled each year in the middle of May to coincide with the time that most thru-hikers starting at Springer Mountain in Georgia would reach Damascus on the Virginia state line.
|Three of the hikers we gave a ride a couple weeks ago|
|Warren Doyle telling his stories|
Many of the people in attendance have walked here from north Georgia, but there are also many, many thru-hikers from former years, as well as any Joe Blow with an excessive compulsive interest in the AT. And we’re here. What can I say. Most people, including those hiking or who have hiked the Trail think you have to be just a little (or maybe a lot) crazy to be out here. That would explain a whole lot of what you see in the photos.
|The latest and greatest in light weight tents|
|T-shirts for sale|
|The vendors "tent city".|
At 2 PM the Hiker Parade started. That was the highlight for me. This event had your basic parade elements--police cars, fire trucks, color guard, and horses. The main body of the parade, however, consisted of the hikers. There were hikers who are on the trail currently, as well as hikers from previous years. Most just had on their hiking clothes, but there were a few who took the opportunity to dress up. Sometimes their costumes reflect their trail names; sometimes not. You never can tell with these folks.
The parade is more than a parade--it is a major water fight. The spectators came armed with water guns and balloons. A few hikers were armed, as well, but mostly they just got soaked. Thankfully, the weather was good--sunny and hot--for such and event. We just happened to pick a spot along the parade route that was 2 storefronts from the gang that was on the roof. Somewhat of an unfair advantage, I’d say. About the time the parade marchers got in front of my camera lens, they could see the rooftop gang which included a water hose.
|Ready for the parade to start|
|This guy is a little more serious|
Except for the long drive there and back, it was a fabulous weekend. Tomorrow, we’ll be back on the trail again, ourselves.