My last days in PA draw near …
Well, today is Monday, Jun 18, and I will be leaving PA on Wednesday. As you can see above, I’ve got a new travel map on the RV. I’ve decided NOT to include places I’ve been camping in the past as I’ve done with all prior RVs that get new maps, but rather start fresh with a clean slate map to fill up in my retirement travels. So, I’ve got PA filled in – one down, 48 more to go (I dot not plan on taking my RV to Hawaii, but I do plan to take it to Alaska).
I did some more tourist things last week, including taking a bike ride on a trail at a local state park. Pine Grove Furnace State Park is part of the PA DCNR (Department of Conservation and Natural Resources). It is a 700-acre park located at the northern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains, located about 20 miles north west of Gettysburg. It features a small campground, two mountain lakes with white sandy beaches, a 2 mile bike/rail trail, and access to the Appalachian Trial. Built around 1770, its charcoal-fired iron furnace was a smelting facility during the Industrial Revolution. It produced colonial cast iron products such as wagon wheel iron, fireplace backs, and later locomotive parts. A beautiful park that was enjoyed by many while I was there.
I also visited the Museum of Motor Racing located in York Springs, PA – about 15 miles north east of Gettysburg on Rt 15. I have to admit, I’m not much of a racing fan, and know very little about it. But after seeing the museum, I’m sure those who know the sport and would recognize the names of many historical racers and their cars, they would really appreciate this place. It was an amazing collection of very cool cars and beautifully laid out and organized. The museum features everything from sprint cars, midgets, and stock cars to motorcycles, indy cars, and even a few drag racing beasts. Back in the heyday (1920s/30s), I was told there were upwards of 1,000 race tracks in PA alone. So, car racing has quite a deep heritage here. There is no charge to visit the museum (donations were welcome), and the vast majority of the cars were on loan to the museum by their owners. The place is maintained by those donations and by dedicated volunteers who have the pure love of the sport. They were very friendly and very accommodating to my lack of knowledge, and did their best to share their insights to get me educated. There are several tracks that remain, some in the local area, that feature demonstration races most weekends. So the sport continues to live strong in PA.
Father’s Day …
Both Samantha and Ashley came up on Saturday to spend the day, and celebrate an early Father’s Day. We had a wonderful day together, and I could not have been more pleased to spend the time with them. We hung around the campground early afternoon, went to the campground pool to cool off a bit, then headed into downtown Gettysburg. There, we had a nice dinner with outside seating, and could watch the hustle and bustle of this very nice tourist town. Being that we are Laliberte’s after all, we also played a couple games of Fluxx during our meal – which I’m happy to report, I won both games.
After dinner, we wandered through the streets of downtown Gettysburg, snapped a few tourist pictures, visited a few shops, then ended the night at a Cider Bar sampling a flight of 5 different concoctions – some good, some not so much. It was the perfect day and evening to celebrate Father’s Day, and I’m extremely thankful their work and social schedules allowed for us to get together. Thanks girls for a most wonderful day!
That’s it for now. My next stop will be in the Finger Lakes region of NY – around Keuka Lake. I’m looking forward to playing tourist up there, visiting the many wineries along the lakes, take another tour of Watkins Glen, visit the Corning museum of glass, and many other adventures. I’ll be there for four weeks, so I’ll have plenty of time to take in the scenery and enjoy the many amenities the area has to offer.
Till then, safe travels!