Leaving the Poconos for Amish country, we moved to another campground near Manheim PA, with plans to explore the area for the next 10 days. After a relatively easy set-up, we sat down to relax when we got a call from Pastor Barry, who was vacationing nearby. Since we already had plans to meet him the next day, we weren’t surprised until we heard the reason for the call.
Being a railroad buff, Pastor Barry clued us into a couple of excursion trains in central PA. He had plans to see one of them, the East Broadtop, the day after our lunch together. It was going to be a long trip, so we hesitated at first, but finally signed up to join him. Meeting him very early on a Sunday morning, we drove an hour to Carlisle for the Carlisle UMC early service. By 10:30, we were pulling into the East Broadtop depot in Rockhill PA, another hour west.
You can take in much of what we saw in our videos from that day.
We had some opportunities to explore some different trails during our latest travels. In the Lebanon Valley, a rail-to-trail that led from the nearby town of Mt. Gretna to Lebanon and beyond gave us a chance to get some exercise on a mostly level shaded path. We hiked several miles around town, and were given a little history lesson of Mt. Gretna thanks to an eagle scout project with signs and recordings that told the story of failed amusement parks, excursion railroads and a nearby National Guard encampment. But one of the rewards of getting all that exercise is the treat in Mt. Gretna’s Jigger Shop Ice Cream. A local favorite for their elaborate sundaes, we made a few stops there to cool off with some of their creations.
Since our next stop would be Pocahontas, we took some of our time at Shenandoah River to spray our work clothes with Permethrin, hoping to keep the ticks and chiggers away both on our hikes in the park and when working around the cabins. The need to keep the bugs away was reinforced by Cathy’s recent bite during the East Broadtop visit. A painful yellow fly bite turned into a minor emergency when her arm began to turn red and swell. A week’s course of antibiotics did the trick, but a little more prevention is always a good thing to avoid a repeat trip.
Dave continued to communicate with Pocahontas about on-going work and planning for the fall project. We ordered some replacement hoses for the Cabin Work days and arranged from some deck work on one of this year’s buildings.
The East Broadtop railroad carried passengers as well as freight. One of its summertime destinations was the nearby Methodist Camp Meeting in Pogue PA, where there would be “Excellent Sermons by Prominent Ministers".