Hiking and Biking Trail in Mendota

Today we had three auctions in Mendota and no bidders! This was a bit depressing.

It took me back a week or so to my trip to Damascus, Virginia for a ride on the Virginia Creeper Trail. I am not a person who likes to disappoint other people. I have this need to be “liked!” Ugh. I wish everyone’s feelings could be accommodated when considering a hiking and biking trail in Mendota. However, that is not possible, and it’s very difficult to see our community today and recall our community in the past when tobacco provided a sustainable family income.

If we have the opportunity to support a hiking and biking trail from Bristol to Mendota in the future and fail to do so, we are missing an opportunity to have family-owned, sustainable businesses — bike shops, river tourism and restaurants. If you live here and you have a son or daughter, this young person might have an opportunity to stay here…working and living in Mendota. Imagine. This is something we haven’t seen since Burley tobacco left our area. We will continue to have “the drain” of young people leaving unless we give them a reason to stay.

If I focus on what “could” be…I think of Damascus, Virginia. There are seven bike shops in Damascus. Here’s Adventure Damascus. I talked with “Pepper”, and Pepper told me that this is actually one of two bike shops owned by the same person. I think the other one is Sun Dog. Most of the bike shops close in November and reopen in March, but this one stays open year round. He says they work their tails off from March to November.

Adventure Damascus

I rode on the Creeper Trail twice in the past month. Most everyone I spoke with was from somewhere else. They travel over to Damascus to ride on the trail. Quite a few were also riding on the New River trail. They eat, too! I also noticed t-shirts being purchased. Those tourism dollars are sustaining these businesses. I rented a bike…it was right at $30 for the bike rental and transportation. Here’s another picture. They look pretty busy even though this was taken midweek.

Bike Shop 2

Places to eat…of course I took pictures of them!

blue Blaze Cafe

When I worked in HR at AGC’s Abingdon Plant, I used to call “In The Country” for catering. Great food. Bad picture…I took it from the car.

In The country

One of my favorite places is about 12 miles into the ride. I’m thinking bacon lettuce and tomato as I peddle into this area. It’s in Taylor’s Valley which reminds me of Mendota because there is no cell phone service. Nada.

Creeper Trail Cafe

The man who owns the Creeper Trail Cafe said that he used to rent this house out. I asked if it does a “little better” now. He laughed. He employs quite a few people, and they make fresh soup beans and cornbread as well as those great BLTs. Yum. He was so nice.

Creeper Trail Cafe

Bikes parked while people are eating..

Bikes in Grass

I remember a long time ago…more than ten years ago…when Oscar Harris asked me if I was “in” or “out” on a proposed hiking and biking trail. Definitely am out!!!

Have a great weekend. Thank you for reading RiverCliff Cottage.


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