Days 103-105: Anniversary Road Trip Photos, Hershey and Intercourse, Pa.
Overall, I have to say that for such a loosely planned road trip, Boyfriend and I certainly managed to make it one of the most productive travel experiences we’ve ever had. We hit up D.C., where we ticked off most of the major memorials, caught up with several of both his and my old college and grad school friends, explored the American Indian, art, and space museums, and took over the White House’s Pokemon gym. We trekked through Assateague and Chincoteague, Md. and Va., where we chased wild horses, terrorized sandpipers on the beach, picked up several horseshoe crabs, and met Misty of Chincoteague’s latest descendant. Then for this last leg, we drove to Hershey, which proved a much more fruitful and stirring trip than what we’d expected would be just an amusement park visit to be. Mostly it was because on the way to Hershey, we encountered the Amish (a lifetime first for me), and decided it was a stop that couldn’t be missed.
Before we reached Pennsylvania, however, we made a quick stop in Delaware, which I’ve been curious about ever since I had to do a presentation on the state in the 5th grade. You know, as fun as it is to give Delaware flack for being microscopic and “bumblefuck”-y, Dover (which must be the world’s smallest capital city) is adorably charming. It’s easy to miss, but I think its downtown is worth spending some time in, if you’re in the area and can spare half a day.
When we finally reached Pa., we did our requisite Hershey chocolate history museum stop then swung back to Intercourse. After we actually followed one of those road signs to go buy fresh goat milk (a whole jug of it. I don’t think I’ve ever drunk so much milk in one sitting), we decided to hop on a buggy ride to an Amish farm.
For all the cheesiness of the vehicle, it didn’t disappoint. Besides riding around in a mule-pulled buggy with an affably chatty host, we toured the ins and outs of a farm and got good insight into this particular community’s farming farming practices and how it works around its restrictions on technology.
Of course, we also got to play with a bevy of farm animals. (Baby cows are to die for. Who knew they’re so licky?)
We also learned a valuable lesson, which is that everyone loves a good ear scratch, especially baby cows:
I know the Amish get a lot of flack for their way of life and the type of culture they’ve carved out for themselves in the midst of all this American modernity. I know I’d only ever had them portrayed to me as “odd” at best, “cultish” at worst.
But say what you will about the Amish, but their country is just beautiful.
My takeaway from the Amish: As much as I don’t like viewing other cultures with wide-eyed wonderment (it seems disrespectful and narrow-minded IMO), I couldn’t help my initial reaction upon seeing the Amish (I honestly couldn’t get over the buggies-with-taillights thing for a good half an hour). After my trip, I’ve only scratched the surface of understanding their way of life, but I honestly came out with a new sense of respect for the simple and self-sustaining nature of the farm, and their embracing and maintenance of the “old world.”
So fascinating. I have a lot of reading to do when I get home.