We had a few days away planned for last week. We went with our friends the Hildebrands who we have been social distancing with for a few weeks, we stayed in PA and we ate our meals in. We left Lititz at 8am last Tuesday with our day planned, starting with a visit to the Flight 93 Memorial
and then stops at 5 Somerset County covered bridges. We exited off the turnpike and the girls saw a bison farm and when I turned around to go back to see the bison I lost my brakes. Almost to the floor and we are sitting in the middle of nowhere. Found a garage, Bobs Garage in Manns Choice PA. We are so blessed, he took us in right away, made new brake lines but then we needed a master brake cylinder... we got out our lawn chairs and sat in the drive way for 5 hours... Gary and his sons were kind and they had a steady stream of neighbors stopping in to say hi, it was a look into the real rural America. Now our day 1 plans are shot and we still had 2 hours to drive.
We left the garage and went right to our VRBO house in Gibbon Glade PA again, in the middle of no where! But our house had a wonderful stream and was air conditioned! Unpacked, settled in, explored the property and had a nice dinner.
Drove into Ohiopyle (Laurel Highlands) and rode our bikes on the Great Allegheny Passage
. We did a total of 22 miles! I am trying to talk everyone into another vacation biking the whole 333 miles from Washington DC to Pittsburgh PA... The girls were almost in until I mentioned the need for shammy cream (for chafing!) I will be working on this!
Fantastic!! Followed the river and was shaded. I would do that again in a heartbeat! Back to our house for a quiet afternoon. The girls worked on a puzzle, John read and I worked on a little painting that I will be offering tomorrow. This house had no internet, no cell service, no TV. It was great to be totally disconnected from the world and the news.
Drove back towards Ohiopyle to the Meadow Run Trailhead
and did a 5 mile hike in the woods with the river near by providing a great sound. It had look outs at different spots. The water was very low so I am guessing the winter was too mild. We planned to go to waterfalls but heard there was not much flow. This was the longest hike we have done! Back to our house for an early dinner, steaks on the grill and birthday cake, celebrating Linda's 65th birthday. Stayed up late playing 500 rummy and then a rousing game of dominos.
Its time to leave, that was a fast 3 nights. The plan is to continue with 4 more covered bridges in Northern Somerset County. This was to be a little game, find the bridges and take a selfie.
Bridge #1 Walters Mill Covered Bridge That's Bonnie in the bridge.
Bridge #2 Trostletown Covered Bridge
We were now close to Flight 93 so we decided to stop in, none of us had been there. There were too many people inside the museum so we just did the outside stops. It was very moving. Quiet. A lot to take in. Beautiful job on all the symbolism. Worth the stop.
Bridge #3 Glessner Covered Bridge - this was our favorite!
Bridge #4 New Baltimore Covered Bridge (our least favorite) That's John in the bridge.
This little adventure took us several hours but we all actually enjoyed ourselves. Got us out of the van and walking around and in each bridge. We had a sheet of info for each bridge and driving to each took us all over the back roads.
We finished up with dinner outside on the patio at Jean Bonnet Tavern
in Bedford PA. This was the first we have had a meal out in 5 months. They had the tables spaced nicely and everyone had masks except while eating. Good meal. Then its 2 more hours to Lititz. This little outing just made us all feel somewhat normal! I plan to feature a few miniature paintings!
UPDATE: Tuesday, July 21
...tomorrow! At 4pm
is my Studio Tour for the Demuth Foundation
. It is on Google Hangout Meets so you need to let me know if you want to see it so I can send you log in information. Email me
! Its about an hour long and then questions at the end. PLEASE join me!!