Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Back from the woods

I have survived the trip to the backwoods of Lancaster County. The trip was educational to say the least. The hills and rivers are beautiful, the people are friendly and helpful, the farmland is some of the most idyllic I've seen. There are long views filled with carefully tended barns and silos, carefully contour plowed and planted fields, and pastures with live stock.

Then some idiot went and spoiled it by putting a nuclear plant on the river.

It's not ugly as plants go, it's just a huge concrete and steel pimple, inflamed by pavement, in a beautiful setting.

They do, however pay very well.

I got some chance to visit the Amish Country and learn about the people. I'm not inclined, nor qualified, to go on about their beliefs, I did enjoy my contact with then.

My favorite was the Shady Valley Bakery, a roadside stand with bread and pastry, beside the farm house. Pies for three dollars, bread for a dollar and a half a loaf, cookies and Apple Dumplings as inexpensive as the rest. They also offer Jams and Jellies along side pickles and produce. When you pull up and make your selection, someone will come out and take your money, though the father is most likely, you might get a son or daughter.

I was alone much of the time, The Love of My Life came up for a day, and to ride back with me. When you are driving alone it's sort of hard to snag the camera and snap a well framed picture. When we are talking digital, call it impossible. I do have some memories that stand out. The Amish girl silhouetted on a hill, waiting for...a friend. The field being plowed by a four horse team, across the road from the field being plowed by a 4X4 tractor. I saw many times, traffic waiting to pass a carriage on a busy road. It was pretty cute to see the hitching posts, at the modern supermarket, lined with carriages.

I always thought the carriages were primitive affairs, not so. They have foot brakes, and headlights. I saw some with four way flashers on the road at night. They have reflectors on the back to make them easier to see, and the interior is usually finished very nicely. If you look closely at the horses you will find they are not plow animals, most seem to be trotters that were bought from the race tracks. The gait is distinctive.

I think I can now say I've spent three weeks in solitary confinement. My truck bed camper has the required amenities, but not much room. I can touch almost everything with out standing up from the table. I think an upgrade may be in the works. A twenty four to thirty foot bumper hitch trailer, perhaps.

My camping rig isn't actually primitive. I drove my F-350 and pulled a Jeep. The camper is a twelve foot long slide in with a queen bed. The Love of My Life noted that we were adding insult to injury by passing vehicles on the interstate while carrying the camper and pulling another car.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I passed many vehicles in the family RV, but with it's 454 V-8 it's kind of hard to really realize how fast you're going. I need to add a tachometer to it so I can find my cruise zone of 1900 rpm. glad your back safe and sound