Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Road Trip, Day 5

Cocalico Creek Road Covered Bridge, closed, Cocalico Pennsylvania
Today started out oddly; I awoke at 6:30am, read a bit for about a half hour, then fell asleep again until nearly 8am. This threw our plans off, as I had the best of intentions to really get started early so that any sight-seeing and touristy type photography wouldn't interfere with the trip in general. So much for well-intentioned plans.

My beloved wife wanted me to see some of the covered bridges of Pennsylvania, so she obtained a locally produced map of the area that indicated a locally better known covered bridge just down the road from where we spent the previous night. After a few false turns we found the bridge, complete with modern day construction paraphernalia. It made me feel like I was still back in Florida.
Old Pensylvania multi-family home, Cocalico, Pennsyvania
One of the houses on the road leading to the closed covered bridge was this compact house that looks like a duplex. According to my wife, this is typical Pennsylvania house construction. The parents would add a new section and a second door for the oldest adult child, so that the adult child could have a raise a family of his own. The swing out front is a simple form of evening entertainment. Cocalico Creek was on behind me, so that in the evening someone could sit in the swing and enjoy the stream and the weather if it was reasonable.
Ephrata Cloister, Ephrata Pennsylvania
The rest of the morning and early afternoon were spent at the Ephrata Cloister. Because the day started out cloudy, the light was defuse, leaving the colors, especially the greens, a saturated, almost glowing color. This lent the area a wonderful ethereal atmosphere as we walked the grounds, first with a guide, and later by ourselves. I could have spent the rest of the day exploring the Cloister as well as Ephrata itself, but time was relentlessly moving forward, and we needed to arrive in Harrisburg by the end of the day.
After eating a local Pennsylvania lunch at a local diner, we headed for Amish and Mennonite country further west (towards the tourist trap known as Intercourse). Yes, I saw lots of Amish buggies on the road. No, I didn't photograph a single one. The only possible Amish/Mennonites I saw were this family harvesting corn with two teams of mules and a harvester.
The first team cutting the corn stalks
Detail showing gasoline powered portion
The second team following closely and picking up the cut stalks
After watching them go around a few laps, and after watching them watch me photograph them, my wife and I randomly picked a side road to drive down, arriving at a Mennonite church and school. While the Amish eschew most technology, the Mennonites embrace it. While I was there I noticed a number of Mennonite mothers arrive in SUVs to pick up their children from the school, and regular yellow school buses arrived to take the rest of them home. I was more interested in the nearby land, such as these two scenes next to the church.
We finally left Amish country and headed towards Harrisburg, stopping briefly in Hershey to pay homage to the chocolate addiction.
Today was the least day of travel so far, with most of the day taken up with many and long tourist stops. We finally made it into the suburbs of Harrisburg and found an inexpensive hotel for the night. Tomorrow the plan is to go by my wife's childhood home, then the church where her father was minister. Then we head north following the Susquehanna River into New York state and beyond.

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