Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Toto, we're not in Idaho anymore

Greetings from Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania!

I'm sitting in a charming motel in this charming town, reflecting on the fact that we're not in Idaho any more. Not by a long shot. But wow, it's beautiful.

So let's back up to Monday afternoon, when my flight landed in Salt Lake City. I couldn't take any photos of the leap from Spokane to SLC without leaning over the lap of the woman sitting next to me (I was in a center seat), so the photo documentary starts here.

The Salt Lake area had a lot more water than I knew about. Whether it's salt water or fresh water, I couldn't say. (I assume the big body of water on the horizon is the Great Salt Lake itself.)

Lots of dry, rugged mountains.

The sun went down as we ascended from Salt Lake City on the way to Dulles Airport in Washington D.C., so most of the flight was conducted in the dark.

In fact, we were above a cloud layer for the entire flight, so I saw no ground lights until we were close to landing.

Older Daughter picked me up at the airport -- that we actually found each other without a problem was something of a minor miracle -- and we finally limped to my friend Ann's house around 1 a.m. That "only" translated to 10 pm my time, but it also translated to 12 hours of traveling (Don and I left at 10 am to get me to the airport), so I was wiped. Ann, bless her heart, stayed up to greet me, then we all crashed.

The next morning I could see Ann lived in the prettiest neighborhood. I marveled at the abundance of deciduous trees, a rarity in North Idaho.

She has feeders in the backyard that attract squirrels...

...sparrows (I think this is a Harris's sparrow, but not positive)... jays...

...and best of all, cardinals! I haven't seen cardinals in decades, so every sighting was a thrill.

The nicest room in her house is the library. We spent hours in here, talking and catching up with each other.

Ann and I spent all day Tuesday visiting. Then this morning, Older Daughter and I finished packing her car to the rafters, and off we went on the beginning of our road trip. But before we left the city, Older Daughter took me to a stupendous used bookstore for a few minutes of indulgence.

The fact that I managed to limit myself to four purchases was, I thought, a model of restraint, consider the excellent prices and the size of the emporium. Oh, and it helped I didn't have my 30-page list entitled "Books to Buy Someday" on me (actually, I have two such lists on my computer), so maybe that was a good thing for my budget.

Then it was off through urban traffic, urban tunnels, past urban shipyards, and other urban sights...

...until we hit Pennsylvania. Then things became less urban because Older Daughter was taking me to Amish country.

Yes, it was way less urban.

We ended up in the venerable Intercourse, Pennsylvania (established 1754). Let the droll remarks begin.

Older Daughter took me to a tourist destination called Kitchen Kettle Village.

We poked around a variety of shops. One popular place was called The Jam and Relish Kitchen, where all items were made on site.

I ended up purchasing a small jar of to-die-for peach salsa, with a mental promise to try and duplicate the recipe myself when I got home.

Village Quilts featured beautiful designs.

Since we arrived in Intercourse late, the sun was setting as we left the tourist spot.

We found a place for dinner, then settled into a charming establishment called Homestead Lodging for the night.

We'll leave early tomorrow for another day of driving. I promise to update everyone each night!


  1. Welcome to Lancaster County!! There are lots of Anabaptists all around central PA! Its always fun to spot the different topped buggies, white, yellow, black and gray!

  2. Tree leaves look more like a Silver maple than an oak.
    Not a Harris's sparrow but a House sparrow.(

  3. Dont forget to visit Blue Ball just up the road!

  4. 9 days left. Just sayin'
    Love, Don

  5. Glad you are having fun. How cool that you get to see the back roads of America.

  6. I guess I didn't realize McKay's was that large. We have a couple here in Tn. Great place to waste an hour or 5...

  7. You haven't seen cardinals in decades? Wow. I think of them as being quite common because we have a flock of them at our feeders all year. We will see 10-12 males at a time in the winter plus all of the females. They are one of my very favorite birds.

    Have a lovely trip!

  8. So glad you got to see Lancaster County! I live in central PA and that's my favorite place to visit.

  9. Something that is very important about the southern route that I did not tell you. No one down here has a clue on how to drive on snow or ice!!!!! Be prepared for idiots to stop at the stop sign while going up hill and getting every one stuck. Be prepared for the car on the side road to pull out right in front of you just like they would on a dry road. It took me 2 years down here to figure this out and a few close calls!

  10. I know you are savoring every moment with your daughter. I wish I could do the same with mine. Safe and fun travels!

  11. Yup, thats a male House Sparrow. They're not native, and are utter pests. They kill native songbirds (including but not limited to Bluebirds and Swallows) and will often build their own nests right on top of the dead bodies of their victims.

    Looks like you're having fun! Hope you continue to enjoy the trip.

  12. We have a McKay's bookstore here in central NC, I'll echo the comment about it being a wonderful bookstore, they have a great selection and good prices!
    And the comment about southerners not knowing how to drive in snow and ice is definitely true for most of the folks down here!

  13. I'll second the comment about McKay's being a wonderful bookstore, we have one here in central NC and it is a great place- huge selection and fair prices.
    I hope y'all have a great time together!

  14. Yahoo! We're on a road trip! Thanks for taking us along.
    Montana Guy

  15. [pick up some white oak acorns to plant at home and wherever you end up they are edible [ask jackie at backwoods home magazine]

  16. What a wonderful trip! Glad you're having fun!

  17. Looks exciting! Thanks and drive carefully!

  18. Oh my goodness you were near me. McKays is my absolute favorite book store. (dangerous on the wallet though!). Safe travels back across the country.

  19. Ah, yes, it's still there after all these years ...

    I was wondering if Kitchen Kettle was still around, and apparently it's doing well.

    There was a restaurant near it (Kling House) that won my approval after having eaten one too many "authentic Amish" all-you-can-eat meals mit dumplings und mit many other heavy things, so hopefully you were able to stop for a bite to eat as well. :-)

    The lovely thing you missed at Kitchen Kettle was their red pepper jelly -- it's fantastic on crackers and biscuits (of the American variety) with cream cheese and butter.

    At least they'll despatch anything in jars without too much extra expense.