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Pearisburg/ Narrows, VA

2011 June 2
by Elizabeth

After 5 days on the trail, we needed to resupply. So on May 5th, Survivorman and I were picked up by a great friend of mine (shout out to Carrie Kirkpatrick) who generously offered to schlep us all over Pearisburg. After many u-turns and references to google maps, we were able to get to Wal-mart for resupply, a local Mexican restaurant to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and to the nearby town of Narrows to stay at the MacArthur Inn.

Narrows is a pretty small town, but it has everything a hiker needs: a place to stay, a couple restaurants, a coffee house with free wifi, a post office and a place to resupply–all within a half mile. Unfortunately, Narrows is a little off the trail, but the proprietor of the inn (Allen Neely) is more than happy to come pick you up at the trail head and then drop you back off. We highly recommend skipping the hotels in Pearisburg and opting for the MacArthur Inn. The MacArthur Inn is a beautifully restored historic inn built in the 1940s. On the weekends, they frequently have live music over at the Blue Moon Coffee House as well as offer horse-drawn carriage rides and BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. The whole town shows up!

In general, the Inn is geared as a bed and breakfast and Allen will make you breakfast himself in the morning! His specialty is the "New River Mud Pie" – a name I didn’t find all that appetizing but turned out to be wonderful! I won’t ruin the surprise for you, but it’s worth getting.

While we were staying at the inn, a paranormal investigation team (H.A.U.N.T) showed up and set their fancy ghost-detecting equipment at the inn because apparently the place is haunted. One of the evenings we were there, John and I were hysterically laughing about some stupid movie and we heard someone out in the hall say "Anyone there??" I opened the door to our room and nearly gave one of the investigators a heart attack. He was lightly tiptoeing down our hall because he had heard laughter in what he thought was a completely empty hotel.

Allen was also very interested in ways he could attract the hikers when they were "in season." It sounds like he may be starting to offer a hiker rate, a slimmed down rate (bed, no breakfast), and possibly even a bunkhouse. I’m not sure what of that will or has materialized, but Narrows is worth keeping an eye on. In fact, we would like to go back there after our hike is over just to visit. Our experience at the MacArthur was so nice, we zeroed one extra day so we could go to the BBQ and live music! We thoroughly enjoyed the town, the food and the owner’s company!

One thing we picked up in Narrows is that "they know you’re not from ’round there if you pronounce every R in Narrows." It’s pronounced "Nars" by locals.


The MacArthur Inn



The inside is all beautifully decorated. Allen did the work himself.



Allen and Survivorman talking shop about hikers and the hotel business.



We couldn’t resist a picture of their van. We tried to be discreet.


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