Sunday, December 31, 2006

Logan Run

Today I made the trek down Corridor "G" to check out the Logan/Chapmanville hot dog scene. I've had quite a few emails from folks down that way that claimed two different hot dog joints had the best hot dogs in the state and I knew that one of them must be wrong, so I decided to see for myself. I'll be posting reviews over the next few days.

The Logan area sure has changed since I was last there. It's been quite a few years since I'd been - before the Corridor was completed - and I was surprised to find a large shopping plaza with a Wal Mart and all the trimmings right there beside the main road. Then I took the new access road into town and was completely disoriented when I finally made it to town. Once I got my bearings, though, I found the main part of Logan really hasn't changed much in the past 20 years or so. The streets and buildings seem to be suspended in time and almost nothing new seems to have been built in years. All of the development is out towards the Corridor where the traffic is.

I'm always surprised by the terrain of the area. The mountains, while not as tall as they are in the eastern part of our state, are impressive due to the steepness of their slopes and frequency of their ridges. It looks as if all of the hills have been squeezed together like an accordian bellows until every direction you move is either uphill or downhill. This time of year when the trees are bare you can really see how treacherous the topography is. It's a wonder that anything is ever built in the county. Virtually any prospective building site is either on the steep, rocky hillside or beside a river that floods nearly every year.

But the thing I remember most about Logan is the friendliness of its people and I found it to be much the same after all these years. One particular incident today illustrated perfectly the kind of people that live in Logan:

I had just got into town and, as I said before, I didn't quite have my bearings. I was looking for Morrison's Drive In, a place where I had eaten before and pretty much knew where it's located, but I just needed to get pointed in the right direction. A young couple were walking across the street and I rolled down my window and asked them if they knew where the restaurant was. They came over to the car and began agonizing over the question. After a few minutes it was clear that they really didn't know where it was, but they continued to offer suggestions of how I might find it. As I pulled away they both had hangdog looks on their face as if they had failed humanity because they were unable to be of perfect help to a stranger. I felt as if they might both lose sleep over their inability to help me find my way. That's the way people are in Logan.

Once we found Morrison's, another encounter with some local bikers who had stopped for lunch was equally as charming. When I asked them if Morrison's was the place to eat around town they went out their way to tell me the places in town that had the best this or that. One of them even admitted that he thought that Parkway Drive In (my second target of the day) had better hot dogs. They gave me directions to get to Parkway even though I already knew the way. I got the feeling if I had asked that they would have fired up their bikes and escorted me there.

Logan and the surrounding area has its challenges to be sure. But it is a beautiful place and it's beauty is much more than skin-deep.

Oh, and they have some pretty darn good hot dogs, too. More on that soon.

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