Thursday, August 09, 2007

Small Town Life in the Shenandoah Valley

Location: Edinburg, VA

Edinburg, VA, lies at the foot of Skyline drive, and must play a pivotal role when the dictionary definition of "quaint" ("oddly picturesque") needs a bit more clarification ("Look, Mom, they're talking about Edinburg!")

It has a traditional Main Street, complete with flower pots and olde-timey street signs. It has boutiquey shops that are hoping that they will be smack dab in the middle of a "revival" in, oh, five or ten years. It has a parade route (i.e., Main Street) and I know that because there are signs that say one cannot park on Main Street Thursday 5 PM to 10 PM because it is a parade route. I have not been able to find any evidence of an actual parade, however. They do have an "Ole Time Festival" during the third week in September -- but it seems a bit excessive to put the signs up this early. Do they have a non-publicized festival now that is only for residents? Are the signs just left over from last year? Or are Edinburgians diligently practicing their parade skills each Thursday so they will truly march-as-one come September? I will try to find out, but the weather forecast for Thursday evening is pretty grim, parade-wise, so it may remain a mystery.

Edinburg does have a watertower. Really. A neat one, I'm sure, but I haven't seen it yet. I know it's special because they feel it merits a place of honor at their website. You have to admire the chutzpah of a town that still creates a web entry even though the high points of the town are the water tower, the library, and the fact that someday there will be a Cultural Center.

And the campground where I am parked has a very nice cardboardy flyer that lists, as an amenity, "Impeccably clean, modern rest rooms" and, inserted among the obligatory photos of the campground office, pretty flowers, and RVs happily parked next to a creek, is a photo of the inside of the restroom -- just in case you needed proof (FYI -- the restrooms really are the cleanest I have ever seen).

The campground is peaceful, with Great Blue Herons and waterfowl populating the creek. The town is small, neat, and the yards are often decorated with concrete bunnies, lawn gnomes guarding flower beds, mailboxes that look like barns or pigs, and artsy wind-powered ornaments. One resident found a unique way to display those ceramic houses that seem like such a good idea when we see them in the store but quickly loose their charm when we have to dust them -- on the house, of course!

But this is the Shenandoah Valley, famous for Skyline Drive and numerous caves and caverns. It's been around for a long, long time, and a little quaintness fits right in.

No comments: