Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Pennsylvania - Day 4 - Reading/Hershey

French Creek State Park, PA
Wednesday, 4 April 2018

We made it through the night okay because it didn't get down all that low - somewhere around 40° or so, I think.  It was cold but not impossible, mainly because I broke down and ran the generator several times before bed and after getting up so I could operate the heater and get us up to a tolerable temperature inside.

I had been planning to stay a second night at that Walmart so I could spend today poking around the Capitol and other sights.  But the forecast this morning called for rain this morning followed by temps at or below freezing tonight plus a wind advisory: winds up to 50 mph were expected around noon in Harrisburg, which would make the cold seem much much more so.  Plus, snow is predicted for Saturday and Monday.

I decided I had to have plug-ins and a more sheltered location than a wide open parking lot next to a highway.  I already had reservations at this state park for tomorrow and the next night so I just added tonight on to that.

Nice little park.  I'm sure it's gorgeous in spring and summer, and likely fall as well, but right now it's still winter because the weather isn't giving spring a chance.  But at my site I can get a phone signal and a wi-fi signal and several TV channels (meaning weather reports)!  Almost all the comforts of home.

The forecast this morning said the weather system was moving quickly across the state, so I left mid-morning to try to get ahead of the winds.  I didn't want to be driving at highway speeds with 50 mph winds, no matter what direction they were coming from.  And I got lucky.  We hadn't been here half an hour before the wind picked up and now it's making the RV sway a fair amount.  But at least we missed it on the road.

Google offered me 3 choices of route, all of which involved interstates and 2 of which involved the turnpike (I hate paying for driving on a road).  I took a look at the map and came up with a 4th alternative - a US highway that probably used to be the only highway before interstates were built.  And directly on that road is Hershey PA, only about 20 miles from that Walmart and a place I wanted to see.  Actually, I wanted to go to the Museum, but it turns out the admission charge is $11.50 for seniors, and I didn't see why I should pay for their advertising.  Actually, I'd probably have paid $5 for it, but they not what they wanted.  And what I really wanted was a tour of the factory, but that apparently doesn't happen for the public.  Anyway, I took a photo.
Hershey, The Museum on Chocolate Avenue  (it is, too)
There's a Chocolate Workers Local of the AFL-CIO.  I saw their offices.  Who'd'a thunk it?

Because I was taking the scenic route, I drove through lots of little towns.  In PA they're called villages.  Bigger places like Gettysburg and Chambersburg are boroughs.  These terms must date back to the 1700s.  So in these villages I saw houses that looked like this photo I took in Robesonia (bet you never heard of that town).

When we're spending the day driving, we've got a routine: after a few hours, I stop, let the cats out of their crate so they can use the box, take the dogs out so they can do their bathroom thing, and then fix food for all of us.  These breaks usually take about an hour, all told, so I've learned to just add that on to my estimate of how long a trip will take.

Today's break was in Birdsboro; I stumbled on a parking lot (I never figured out what it was there for) in a semi-residential neighborhood so I had someplace comfortable to walk the dogs.  It seemed every other house had a resident dog so they had plenty to sniff.  A lady was shaking her carpets and came over to pat the dogs.  She said she's been living there since 1989 because it's where she could afford to buy a home and now can't afford to live anywhere else.  A manufacturing plant a block away is owned by Brown's Feeds, which makes food for every animal except dogs and cats, it seems.

I noticed that all the houses had storm doors on, but what I haven't seen before is that the storm doors were all set 6"-8" away from the regular front doors.  Not exactly an Arctic entrance but not replacing a screen door either.  Odd.

You may remember I mentioned the Christian Motorcyclists Assn. a while back - the campground host at one of the Florida parks is a member.  Today I saw a license plate (PA doesn't have front plates, only rear ones, so there's lots of room for creativity) for the CMA, and an additional note about the Tribe of David, including the 6-pointed Star of David.  That seems really contradictory to a Christian association so I looked it up, and I guess they don't see the conflict.

Absolutely everywhere I've been so far in PA I've seen help wanted signs.  All kinds of jobs.  Really - all kinds.  I don't know what they pay or what kind of safety net PA offers its residents, but businesses sure want workers.
today's route

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Kate! Your friend and mine, Janice, told me about your blog and I've enjoyed reading your entries. What a cool adventure you're on! Thanks for documenting the country for the rest of us. By the way: once it's over, if you feel like self-publishing your blog as a book, I offer editing, layout, and printing services in Austin. You can check us out at Keep up the great work, and have fun on the road! --Jess