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Amish Day 2

September 9, 2012

I was up and out early to get my walking in before the bad weather was due later this afternoon (and I was not quite 100% successful with that!). I drove all around the Amish countryside, and the horses and buggies were out in full force. For one of my walks I parked near a huge hardware store, and there were more buggies parked than cars! They tie the horses to hitching rails, and the hardware store even had a 4-buggy “garage” that they could pull into. There are lots of different kinds of buggies and most are pulled with one horse, usually trotting briskly. Many smaller towns have roads with a wide shoulder which is kind of a buggy lane. But I also saw quite a few kids (and a few adults) on a thing that looked like a cross between a bike and a scooter – 2 bike tires with a scooter platform instead of a seat. They can get going pretty fast on those. When I passed buggies, I could see carpeted interiors, nice wood dashboards with numerous knobs – they have headlamps for driving at dusk or dark, and flashing red lights in different patterns on the backs which they activate in dark or rainy weather. And a lot of them seem to add windshields of sorts when it was raining.

It was hot again, and Tula and I walked in 3 different towns in 1.5 or 2 mile chunks, and we knocked off 5 miles by noon. I got alarmingly low on gas (I’m so absorbed with scenery I sometimes forget to check – I have made a mental note of that!) and was happy to run across a busy Turkey Hill gas station (lots of those around here). And what do I see set up on the sidewalk near the pumps? Cub scouts and a couple moms selling popcorn to raise funds for their pack – I couldn’t resist – that had to be my donation of the day. I bought 2 individual bags of microwave popcorn that I’ll be able to use somewhere along the way for $1 apiece, and they were surprised and happy to get a little more than that in payment. I’m having such fun with this! And it’s a good program – there’s an Eagle scout in my family 🙂

I was hungry at this point, and earlier in the morning I had driven by some group of people starting to grill chickens for take-away meals. I managed to find them again, and bought a meal – good BBQ chicken, chips, roll, a bottle of iced tea and a whoopie pie (sort of like 2 pieces of chocolate cake with fluff in between) – they seem to be popular around here. I had to find a place to eat it because they were only selling take-away meals and even I couldn’t eat that and drive at the same time. I soon came upon a pretty community park and ate there, and then noticed their walking paths so we walked another mile after finishing lunch. It was actually a really pretty park, and the there were lots of different trees and each one had a memorial plaque by it – kind of a nice remembrance for loved ones. I wanted to finish off my last 2 miles along the country lanes, but I had to drive around for a while to find a place to leave the van. The roads are so curvy and narrow outside of town, that I can’t just pull over – there are literally no shoulders. And I became aware of gray clouds in the distance. I finally came to a church and although I wanted to explore the cemetary (lots of German names) I knew I had to finish my walking and thought I would be able to beat the rain. I left Tula in the car since I figured she’d probably had enough for the time being, and walked a mile down Zeltenreich Lane (so many fun names!). I talked to an old Amish guy working in his garden – he had veggies for sale but mostly squash which I can’t use, and passed a father and sons shelling corn with some kind of generator-powered equipment. Earlier I had passed lots of farmers out in the fields with either draft horses or mules pulling plows (and 1 young boy trying to get some stubborn mules to pull a fertilizer cart and they weren’t budging!) And I passed homes with soap shops, rope shops, quilts for sale, harness repair, buggy repair – so much to see! Anyway, I finished the first mile, turned around to head back to the car, made note of rapidly approaching clouds and picked up my pace, and with about 1/2 mile to go, the rain started – at first kind of gently, but it quickly turned into a torrential downpour, and I got totally drenched – my shoes sloshed with every step – the country lanes are not meant for that kind of rain! So I misjudged the rain by 10-15 minutes, but I finished my 8 miles! Luckily I had towels in the car, and I was very thankful to not have a drenched dog in addition to my drenched self (she was sound asleep when I got back to the car!).

I was also happy to have dry clothes back at the motel and figured I had good timing with my 2 night stay. But, I also wanted to first stop at the Bird in Hand Farmer’s Market – I had noticed that the night before – a big enclosed building and it was open on Saturdays. So I drove there and sloshed in (there were other wet people too!) and enjoyed looking all around. Strangely, only one counter had produce – everyone else was selling meats and cheeses, lots of baked goods, candy and fudge, popcorn, sandwiches, etc. Many of the people selling goods were Amish, and I heard a lot of German. I bought some “bologna” which to me looks like some kind of sausage (which technically I guess it is) cut in cubes and some cubed cheese, and a piece of the “bologna” wrapped with veggie cream cheese – a few little munchies to be part of a light dinner later. And I found what I wanted to try – a piece of shoofly pie! I had no idea what was in it until I talked with the lady selling it, and I’m not generally a fan of molasses which is a main ingredient, but I just this minute tasted it, and it’s probably a good thing I haven’t discovered this before – it’s very good! There was a little note in the bag that says the main ingredients are molasses, brown sugar and cinnamon. They don’t need refrigeration, which made them very popular in homes without refrigeration. People could bake the pies and set them on the windowsill to cool, but because they’re sweet, they attracted flies and “much time was spent shooing these pests away from the cooling pies.”

I made it back to the motel, and enjoyed a relatively quiet evening getting caught up on writing and record-keeping and emails and all.

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  1. tagging along on your journey by reading your posts! indeed a small miracle we both figured out how to blog! what a fantastic adventure you have started on….

  2. kiki4558 permalink

    tagging along on your journey by reading these posts…no small miracle we both seemed to have figured out this blog stuff! what a fantastic journey you have started on….

  3. Hi Nancy…you are a lovely storyteller! You start my day off right!

  4. Tonia Shenkel permalink

    I look forward to reading about your adventure everyday. It sounds WONDERFUL. Thanks for sharing with us all 🙂

  5. Mary permalink

    Really enjoying this. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  6. Leif Nygaard permalink

    Just wanted to let you know, I enjoy reading your updates each day!

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