Since it's abundantly clear I have no shot at breaking the women's speed
record on the AT I've decided to push less hard to knock out the remaining
miles. I'm still aiming for 120 days or the end of August but if it takes longer,
It's more important now to enjoy the remaining miles and local opportunities
(history, culture, architecture, etc.) as we pass through interesting areas of
So it shouldn't surprise anyone that I "weenied-out" on Friday morning and decided
to take a zero day. There are two reasons: my brother and sister-in-law,
Bill and Marge, came to visit us from Ohio and I wanted
to spend as much time with them as I could; and I didn't want to drown in a creek
somewhere or get struck by lightning on the ridge of Stony Mountain.
The remnants of the recent hurricane that hit Florida (Cindy) struck in this
area late Thursday afternoon. I finished my run/hike just in time to miss the
deluge. It just poured for a couple hours and continued steadily all night and
until Friday afternoon. Local towns reported 3-4 inches of rain. Roads were flooded, creeks were overflowing, power lines
were down. Just didn't seem prudent for me to get out there and run through
creeks and on top of ridges!
Thursday Jim moved the camper to the Lickdale Campground, a nice private
campground near the I-81/I-78 intersection. The cost is reasonable and it's convenient to
the next couple sections I'm running. We were also pleased with the private campground where we stayed near
Carlisle, Western Village RV Park. We can recommend both of them to others.
Bill and Marge got a room at the Best Western across the street from our
campground; the location couldn't have been better for visiting each other.
Friday we decided to drive down to York, PA (about an hour via freeways) to tour
the huge Harley-Davison plant. The company also gives tours on weekends but visitors
can see more employees at work on weekdays. This day was particularly popular
with visitors and we were fortunate to get in on the next to last tour at 2
The guys really loved this place! We could sit on various models in the
visitors' center and see different stages of production. Before the tour we
watched a fast-paced video about the history of the company and scenes
from the production line (assembly of the bikes) that we weren't able to tour on this day. Then our group of about a dozen folks followed a tour guide around
part of the plant where steel parts are cut and stamped, painted, and chromed.
My brother has his eye on a retro version . . . Fortunately, Jim's already
been through the motorcycle phase and doesn't want another one. That's Bill and
Marge on the left in the photo below:
Since we're in Pennsylvania Dutch country we decided to have supper Friday
night and breakfast Saturday morning at a home-style family restaurant near our
campground, Funck's Family Restaurant. They feature PA Dutch cooking, most of
which we really liked. They're on PA 422 in Palmyra.
Saturday we did a large loop through the countryside to see Amish farms and
houses, buy fresh fruits and vegetables at stands along the road, walk around
the charming 18th Century town of Lititz, and visit two chocolate factories.
We were charmed by Lititz and its shops. We had fun posing with the mannequin
in front of one shop (photo above) and Jim and Marge posed in a fancy out house
next to one store. Who says middle-aged folks can't be silly??
All of us are chocoholics so we had to step inside the Wilbur Chocolate
Factory in Lititz. We got to watch several women make molded chocolates, enjoyed
the antique display of candy-making molds and other equipment (below), and
browsed among the numerous selections of candy to buy. I got a one-pound
bag of milk chocolate and dark chocolate "medallions" for only $2.00.
For lunch we had delicious sandwiches, Italian Wedding Soup, and a large
chocolate milkshake (me!) at Glasmeyer's Sandwich Shop across from the Lititz
Springs Park - highly recommended. Good food, low prices.
We also visited The Shaker Shoppe south of Lititz, which makes hand-crafted
Shaker furniture and accessories on-site. The items are very beautiful and very
expensive. I've always loved the simple lines of Shaker furniture.
We just had to visit Hershey, PA since it was close. None of us had been to
Hershey World before. It's a free chocolate information-overload experience a la
Disney World. Their tour is a ride through the chocolate-making process, which
surprised us. We each got a new candy bar with peanuts at the end of the ride.
Parking and entry are free; you have to pay for any goodies you want to buy
(toys, candy, clothes, etc.). The place was packed with families with kids, as
well as older folks like us.
We relaxed back at the campground over grilled chicken and freshly-picked
corn on the cob, red potatoes, and tomatoes we'd purchased earlier in the day.
Then it was time for Bill and Marge to leave for their motel and for us to
get ready for another day on the Trail Sunday.
I've been hoping to meet Andrew Thompson as he flies south on the AT trying
to set a new speed record. He reached the PA line on July 6 so he's probably
already gone through this area. If I'm lucky I might see him on the Trail