Tuesday, June 15, 2010


With our heads full of American Civil War history it was time to move on and enter the Amish farmland area of Pennsylvania. We found the ideal location; Intercourse in Lancaster County. Our campsite boasted "a relaxing setting where one could sit back and watch the cows come home." This was not a lie. Sites were set on a hill bordering a local farm where we watched an Amish farmer and his young son plough his fields with the aid of a team of mules. A short walk to town were the tour buses, buggy rides, shops, restaurants and promises of a taste of the Amish lifestyle. We instead chose the peddle option and climbed on our bikes to head out into the countryside.

Our first stop was Mascot Rollers Mills/Ressler Family House. It was a water powered flour mill built in the 1730's. The family acquired the Mill in 1864 and operated for three generations until it ceased operation in 1977. The Ressler Mill Foundation was setup by the family in 1967 to preserve the Mill and share with the public this part of history that was more than a business for this family. The house has been maintained in the way left by Anna before she moved to the Senior Home. We felt like we were introduced to the family and could feel their
presence today.

We continued to Bird-in-Hand Farmers' Market where local produce, cheese, meats and bakery goods were for sale. In our Pinksen style we purchased whoopie pies and a piece of shoo-fly pie to sample. Another item we purchased was pon pudding made from pork innards to try with our cheese grits. All turned out to be delicious. Pennsylvania was an even "drier" state than Utah. No alcohol was sold in the supermarket and we found one store that sold wine and spirits. Their beer was sold separately and the minimum purchase was 24.

Arising early we did a long run through the farmlands. Not realizing the Amish rose so early for Church we felt a little uncomfortable in our running attire passing the Amish families walking or buggy riding in their Sunday best. Despite our feelings we were greeted with wonderful smiles and waves.

Feeling well rested we travelled on a few more miles. One could not pass through Hershey, PA without stopping to sample and tour Hershey Chocolate World. Of course we had to purchase some dark chocolate for it's medicinal purposes.

We passed through Harrisburg for a night and by chance found Little Buffalo State Park in Newport, PA. Time to settle in for a couple of nights and hike the area around Holman Lake and the ridge. We had planned to also do some running but temperatures dropped and the rains came. We instead chose the option to stay bunked down in our cozy Moho and start planning for our return home.

However, our wheels kept turning over the rolling farmlands of Pennsylvania. A stop in

Cook Forest State Park gave us the opportunity to experience the Cathedral Forest with its old pine and hemlock. They were not the Redwoods of California but we enjoyed hiking there just the same. This was our quiet time to prepare for the return to our Canadian lifestyle.

Our last "adventure" was shopping at the Prime Outlets in Grove City. Charlene, not being a "shopper" faced the necessity of purchasing new clothes after a year of a limited wardrobe. So it was off to the border and our crossing back into Canada.

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