Sunday, September 9, 2012

09/09/12, Sunday: Wow, didn't realize it's been that long since I've been on here. Lack of decent internet does make a difference though. We're at Lowe's right now, will be heading to a campground at Manheim, PA for part of this week, waiting for the Hershey show to start.

We've been in Lancaster, PA area  for the past week, touring the countryside basically. 

At York we toured the Harley Davidson factory. The basic tour was free; there is a steel-toe tour which is $35 each and you get to keep a safety vest. That is 2 hours, the free one is 1 hour. Needless to say, we chose the free one. I thought it was interesting, I've never been in a factor tour before. All of the bikes that they make there are already sold; so no problems there. We weren't allowed to take pictures in the factory itself. York isn't a really RV-friendly town. There are signs posted everywhere for no loitering, no overnight parking. We spent a night in a lot near a Home Depot, there was no room in their lot. The lot we were in had Staples, Family Dollar, Petco and a few others. We were there one night and the next day a policeman stopped by and asked if we could move on, as the lot is posted for no loitering. We did not see any signs when we came in; but are definitely looking for them now. 

The Lancaster area is amazing. There are covered bridges, Amish buggies, roadside food stands, barns in towns, old buildings, clothes hanging out on the line from house to barn. We were able to leave our RV at the Lancaster Visitor Center on the edge of town during the day and use the Jeep to drive around and sight-see. We got a map of the area and directions for the covered bridges. Some you can still drive through, some are off of the road and not used any more. A lot of the bridges had to be made higher due to a hurricane and flooding years ago. As you drive from small town to small town, there are ads all over for Amish tours and buggy rides. There's roadside food stands, gift stores, restaurants. Some towns are so small we didn't realize we had gone through a town, as there's buildings all along the road. We stopped at Bird'n'Hand Farmers Market. It's a large building with food and crafts. As soon as we stepped in, we both remembered being there when we were in Pennsylvania in 2007. This was where we had bought 1 of our rugs in the RV; and they still had them. There is a meat market there, all kinds of baked goods, candies, herbs. There are crafts and wood items. You have to check things though; not all of the items are made in Pennsylvania - some are made in China,  wherever.

We went to Intercourse Canning Company and Intercourse Pretzel Factory for tours. Nope, not much of a tour. The Canning Company you can watch in a kitchen area if they are making anything at that time. They had a video showing the factory, and there were samples from salsas to jellies. The pretzel place we waited for the next tour for half an hour, and then the person didn't show up, so the lady there was calling around to find her. The lady behind the counter took us to the back and told us about how they do the pretzels - still making them by hand - and gave us some dough to have us try making a pretzel like they do. They have a small business needless to day, but it works for them. They can't make them when the humidity is too high, or they don't dry correctly and become stale. 

We went to Wilbur Chocolate Factory and Museum in Lititz. There, again, we could see only in the back area if someone was making something at the time. They did have a video about cocoa beans and how the chocolate is made, which was interesting.You could hear the machines going in the upstairs area. They did have some chocolate samples, which we both thought were really sweet. Guess we're used to the cheap chocolate! 

The countryside is so interesting. You can have a house/barn in middle of town. Across the street can be a million-dollar home. There are are some really old buildings and some really expensive-looking ones. Most of the barns have openings for drying out the tobacco crops. We saw some Amish harvesting tobacco by hand. There is corn, tobacco and we think field peas all over. The corn is so tall. I stood beside some, tried to reach the top, and it was still over a foot taller than my arm reach. There are clothes hanging out on the clothes lines many places. The line extends from the house up to the top of the barn. The Amish buggies clip-clopping down the highway. Every road we were on was paved, and we took a lot of back roads. The buggies have a slow-moving sign on the back, along with lights. When we had the rainstorm yesterday, I was wondering how they handle that. It was so windy, the RV rocked, and cars were pulling off the road to come into the parking lot. There was so much rain and wind, they couldn't see.

We've been having some trouble with the electrical/dash/throttle. Curt traced it to a solenoid, and we were able to find an Advanced Auto Parts who ordered it for us and would get it the next day. Conveniently, they were right beside Walmart, so we stayed there overnight. That is probably one of the dirtiest Walmarts we have been to. The store itself was fine, except there were no carts to be found; they were all outside all over the parking lot. There were carts everywhere, garbage all over. There was another motorhome there when we got there. There is a security car that drives around. The next morning Curt got the part and put it in, but things still didn't work. Terrific. So, more research. He called Monaco and they said it was a front solenoid. Really? Two of them at one time? So, more checking things out and, sure enough, that's what it pointed to. Okay, now back to Advanced Auto Parts for another one. The guy at the counter said someone had just come in to get one this morning. We never order these. Curt said, yeah, that was me. So, another night at Walmart. By that evening we had 3 motorhomes and a travel trailer around us. Got our own little village going. The next morning Curt got the new solenoid and put it in. Things started working again, but our backup camera is messed up with all of this going on. So, hopefully, that will come back. 

Along with that, we've had a few rain storms; and when it rains out east, it rains. No messing around; it downpours. We have a leak in our bathroom shower area that needs to be fixed. So it looks like this week at the campground will be maintenance week. No matter how big or little your house or vehicle is, there is always maintenance.

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