Sunday, July 23, 2017
The summer crowd
Went to a great summer party Friday night. The weather finally gave us a break and we were not rained out for once. Perfect weather, good food, excellent people -what's not to love?
One of the nice things is meeting new and interesting people. One young woman moved up to this area for the easy access to hiking trails. The AT, the Appalachian Trail that goes from Georgia to Maine, is nearby. Besides the AT, there are a multitude of other stunning hiking destinations.
One of my daughters rents out a house on Airbnb. This time of the year most of her bookings are from hikers. After a long day hike it's nice to be able to have a warm shower and a place to put your feet up. They've access to a full kitchen, grill, and nearby restaurants. Beats the heck out of eating cold beef jerky in a damp tent.
Growing up the area used to be known by its stinky mill town. The mill is long gone, with about half the population. The jobs were dirty, but the pay was good. Of those who remain, many make their living off of those who come to enjoy the outdoors. Our one big remaining asset is our closeness to nature.
I think the population has pretty much bottomed out and is on the upswing. When the mills closed and people moved away, housing prices dropped a lot. For some people that's been an opportunity to buy a house in a beautiful area. The catch is that they've got to be able to make some sort of income. Many expenses are lower, but you still need money coming in. Some have found work in the growing tourist industry; others are self-employed. Many are digital nomads who could work anywhere there's a decent Internet connection.
There's nothing like a good summer get together around a fire to get to know people. Well, that and social media. It's a lot easier to find people with similar interests than it used to be.