Day 11: Amish Country and Firsts

We’ve spent the last few days working our way west across Pennsylvania. We left the Delaware, skirted the suburbs, crossed the Schuykill river and today dropped down to the banks of the Susquehanna.

We enjoyed a night in a hotel in the ‘burbs – after a few days of eating lentils and pasta on the camp stove, we were particularly excited to raid the buffet at Whole Foods. We resupplied our larders, picked up more gear at REI, and pigged out at Five Guys before departing the suburbs for Valley Forge National Park.

Since then, we’ve mostly traveled through farmland. The last two days have been in Lancaster County, which is apparently Amish country. It’s been bucolic (in the manner of a high-concept GE television ad): corn fields; a farmhouse with cotton dresses out to dry; even the occasional horse-drawn buggy. Coming from Brooklyn, of course, I wonder why we turn one visible religious minority into a tourist attraction, while another we don’t? But cultural weirdness aside, it’s been very charming, and the riding has been moderately challenging but beautiful. Highlights from the countryside have included: some fantastic farmstand tomatoes and corn, a llama farm, and a cop asking us if we had seen a buggy missing a horse.

We’ve had a few firsts over the last couple days – our first time getting drenched, our first lame day of riding, and our first (and second) flat tire. Each time, it’s felt good to step back and acknowledge that even those these things suck, we’re still learning, and they’ll get easier to deal with. It’s nice that we’re traveling for long enough to actually build those skills. We both already feel stronger on the bike and savvier while camping, and I’m optimistic that we’ll continue to learn.

2 Replies to “Day 11: Amish Country and Firsts”

  1. Love the writing as always! I am picturing an big agri ADM ad with those big cornfields 🙂
    Hopefully less days of drenching for you!

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