"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Showing posts with label Amish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amish. Show all posts

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Pennsylvania's Dutch Country


Pennsylvania's Dutch Country

We needed a place to stay on our way to Vermont. Lancaster County's Dutch Country met the approximately 200 miles criteria we prefer to drive. New Holland, PA was experiencing a heatwave as we arrived. But the Amish people were hard at work in the fields bailing hay using Sperry New Holland balers that are horse drawn and clearing their fields as we turned on the air conditioner.
 Not a bad view from our campground.
 New Holland, PA
We woke to a hot air balloon floating over the farms. The people staying at this KOA have been so friendly and stop to visit when they see  where we are from (Colorado) and sitting outside. 

This weekend is the rhubarb festival and most of the campgrounds were totally booked. We found the local KOA with views overlooking the farms had room for us.  Does it seem wrong to sit and watch people working?
 The Amish arrived in Lancaster County in the 1600s and 1700s long before the Revolutionary War. Nearly all of the farms in this part of Pennsylvania are Pennsylvania Dutch. Most came from Switzerland and Germany.
We were glad when the wind was out of the north. any other direction would remind us that this is dairy country.  We got up at 6 am and out the door by 7:30 for a bike ride since it was already 76 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.
This Amish family was putting their hay in the barn after bailing it.
Sitting by our trailer we could hear the sound of the horse's hooves and wheels of the carriage before watching them go by. Driving on the backroads was tight when passing at times.
This is a huge tourist area with most of the focus on food, shopping, covered bridges and watching the Amish. We decided to ride our road bikes on the narrow hilly roads often following a horse drawn carriage. 

Horse parking in front of the hardware store.
 Many of the horse trotting in from of the carriages are retired race horses.
I liked the teeter totters in front of the Amish school.

 We made a stop at the Mennonite/Amish Visitor's Center to learn more about their lifestyle, religion and  immigration. Many of the homes had their laundry out drying on clotheslines with a pulley system.
 Forge Poole Covered bridge

Intercourse, PA

The Rhubarb Festival ran on Friday and Saturday. Everything closes down on Sunday.

These ladies were canning the rhubarb preserves.

 With all of the bakeries and roadside farm stands, we had to make a conscious effort to avoid indulging too much.
By the way, according to Roadside America, Intercourse has the highest number of stolen town signs in the country.

Lititz, PA

The temperatures dropped 34 degrees to 60 with high winds. Rather than bike ride, we drove to the town of Lititz to visit three small museums. 
We toured the Lititz Museum. The historian there shared a good deal about the town and their religion. She is Moravian and was quite knowledgeable and pleasant to visit with.
The little town of Lititz was established in the 1750s. Only Moravians could live in Lititz, and the church owned the property on which a house could be built. Congregation members had to adhere to strict rules of living that were clearly defined by Moravian church leaders. This system lasted for just over one hundred years when the now-bustling town of Lititz was opened to all. Because Lititz was a tight-knit religious community, many early Moravian material goods remained here.
It was a closed community (providing everything they needed themselves) until the Revolutionary War. The Brethren's house was used by order of George Washington to take care of  injured and sick soldiers in 1778 from the local battles. This brought problems to the community. The people had not been exposed to many of the diseases and became sick themselves. The community remained closed until the era of the railroad.

We visited the Wilbur Chocolate Company for samples.
Since it was Saturday, all of the small museums were open and staffed. The railcar museum's docent was quite interesting. He grew up in this town as the trains started running through there. He talked about the effects of WWII on the trains and steel industry. 

A wheelchair from the Revolutionary War time in the Moravian museum.
We also toured the Moravian Church Archive Museum which had some great items and history. Across the street from the Moravian girl's preparatory school was the Sturgis Pretzel Company, the first commercial pretzel company in the US. We skipped the tour and went straight for a pretzel.
Moravian Church Square
There are rolling hills in Dutch County but the Amish just march their bikes up and over them. They are definitely a hard working people.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tennessee with Davy and Jack

 We have been moving slower and driving 50-160 miles each time we move. There just seems to be so many good places to see and the food to eat.  Stick with me. This is the end of the Natchez Trace.
Sinkhole that was used by travelers during rain
Cutting through the northwest corner of Alabama, the terrain changed and there were
more opportunities to take short walks on the trails. We stopped at Rocky Springs for
an interpretive walk and watched the springs bubbling up through the rocks in the bottom of the creek.

Sweetwater was another nice walk where the Chickasaw would stop for fresh water. We left the Trace shortly after crossing the border to head east. It would be too easy to get off track and just keep
wandering in an attempt to see everything there is out there. But we need to get to South Carolina.

When we arrived at David Crockett State Park, where most of the campers are locals. Our neighbors serenaded us with her guitar at night and was quite good. We loved their stories about living in the back hills of Tennessee. 
There is a town 10 miles north from us with an Amish village. They
pick you up at the farmer's market and take you to their village in a carriage. Unfortunately
for us, we were here for Easter and leaving the next day. We hear the produce in their
farmer's market in the summer is so good.
I missed getting a picture of the Amish couple on their ride through the park in a horse drawn carriage. I had told Mike an hour before that I need to remember my camera while taking a walk. I might miss something.
Davy Crockett owned this land with a Grist Mill until it flooded and he lost it. As we walked along the trails we sang "Davy Davy Crocket king of the wild frontier." If you don't remember it, Don't worry. That was a long time ago and kind of lame.

Staying on the back roads has been a treat with a chance to see some small towns. It is
easy to get lost since many of the signs are missing (the post is still there). Thank goodness for GPS. We have to pay attention to the gas gage and keep it above 1/2 a tank. Once we had to take
smaller winding back roads to fill up.

The dogwoods were really blooming in Tennessee.

We took a walk along the Davy's Walkabout Trail and imagined him in his coonskin hat and
musket. We found this guy on the trail on our morning walk before heading to Lynchburg.
Does the song Tennessee Whiskey ring a bell?
We didn't have internet to check on what was ahead, but did have a Tennessee travel guide. On the front was a little distillery 20 miles off our route. Who are we to question a sign?  
We signed up for the Angel Tour even though this is a dry county.  Jack Daniels found ways around that to produce his whiskey legally. We had not reserved a place before arriving. Fortunately, it was a Monday and they had room for us. Sunday they had 30 people on each tour. We had 15.
Another sign?

The tour guide was delightful and irreverent in her story telling. The 1 1/2 hour tour flew by. In no time we were sitting in the tasting room.

The original REO Speedwagon
The mineral-rich Cave Spring Hollow, which Jack purchased for $24, holds the spring water that Jack Daniels uses for his brew.
Jack leaves home at 13 years old and is taken in by Reverend Dan Call. He learns the art of whiskey making from the preacher.
Every bottle of Jack Daniel’s sold around the world is made with the water from this source. Considering all the whiskey that’s come from Jack’s $2,148 investment with the land he purchased after the cave, we’d say he received a pretty good return.

Jack's office. He never went to work before 10 am until one morning he arrived early. He couldn't remember the combination to the safe and kicked it, breaking his toe. He didn't have a wife to make him go to the doctor. Gangrene set in. He had his foot amputated, then his lower leg, then died when his upper leg was being removed. The moral of this story?
Don't go to work early.

While touring the processing areas of the distillery, we had to leave our cameras, cell phones and other items that could cause a spark off. I guess that could be a problem with all of that 140 proof alcohol.

This looks like a small amount to taste but more than enough for me.

Frank Sinatra always traveled with 2 cases of No 7. He never knew when a party would break out and wanted to be ready. He was buried with a bottle of Jack. We got to taste the special production made for Sinatra's 100th birthday which sells for $100 per bottle.

After tasting Old number 7, we headed over to Miss Mary Bobbo's Boarding House for lunch. We did not have reservations. As we walked in, they were seating a room and had room for us. They were serving fried chicken, roasted pork and all of the fixings family style. I was partial to the spiced apples with a bit of #7. A hostess sat with us while we all ate and told us stories about Miss Bobbo and Lynchburg.
  Miss Mary operated the boarding house until her death in 1983, just shy of her 102nd birthday. Several local high school students work here for two years and if they meet the requirements, They get a 2 year college scholarship provided by Jack and the state of Tennessee.
We enjoyed the company of other travelers as we ate and then waddled out together down the three blocks of Lynchburg to our vehicles.

We climbed back in our truck to finish our drive to Chattanooga after a fun day.
A little Tennessee Whiskey for you