Pennsylvania Part I: Denver

We left the Walmart parking lot near Baltimore’s BWI Airport on a clear and dry morning without a roof or oil leak (we hoped). Both of us were extremely relieved to be back on the Lower 48 in 48 Tour. We happily crossed Maryland off the list and drove north to start our month in Pennsylvania. Our first stop was Lancaster County – a world of farmlands, antiques, and Amish folks. Aside from one daytrip to Philadelphia, we mostly relaxed at home. I spent a lot of time driving along the back roads looking for Amish people like they were aliens, and stopping at every Farmer’s Market I stumbled upon. Mike played golf one afternoon. We played backgammon during happy hour. On Saturday night we lived large and had dinner at a local smorgasbord. It was a fun and low-key stop.

A typical vista in Amish Country.

A typical vista in Amish Country.

The Philadelphia City Hall looks more like a foreign embassy or the capitol building in another country.

The Philadelphia City Hall looks more like a foreign embassy or the capitol building in another country.

After we made it to the Art Museum in Philly, we were pondering what else to see during our short visit. Then it dawned on me... the LOVE sculpture was somewhere in the city. We had stopped into a restaurant called Water Works for a quick libation, so I got the scoop from the bartender. We paid our bill and followed his directions on a trek through the city center. It was exactly where he said it would be!

After we made it to the Art Museum in Philly, we were pondering what else to see during our short visit. Then it dawned on me… the LOVE sculpture was somewhere in the city. We had stopped into a restaurant called Water Works for a quick libation, so I got the scoop from the bartender. We paid our bill and followed his directions on a trek through the city center. It was exactly where he said it would be!

Almost every single person on those steps was channeling Rocky that afternoon.

Almost every single person on those steps was channeling Rocky that afternoon.

There are tons of majestic statues and sculptures all across downtown Philly.

There are tons of majestic statues and sculptures all across downtown Philly.

This was the view from the parking lot of an Amish Farmer's Market that I found on a little country back road. If I had an actual house with a patio or porch, you can bet most of those hanging baskets would have been purchased and transferred to the back of my Honda!

This was the view from the parking lot of an Amish Farmer’s Market that I found on a little country back road. If I had an actual house with a patio or porch, you can bet most of those hanging baskets would have been purchased and transferred to the back of my Honda!

I felt a bit like a cheezy paparazzi lurking in my car trying to take a photo of some 'authentic amish people' from a distance. They draw lots of tourism dollars from visitors in the region, but I wonder how they like living in a fishbowl as they try to maintain their simple lives.

I felt a bit like a cheezy paparazzi lurking in my car trying to take a photo of some ‘authentic amish people’ from a distance. They draw lots of tourism dollars from visitors in the region, but I wonder how they like living in a fishbowl as they try to maintain their simple lives.

I also wonder how these beautiful horses like sharing their carts on the road with cars, trucks, and loud motorcycles.

I also wonder how these beautiful horses like sharing their carts on the road with cars, trucks, and loud motorcycles.

Since we started the Lower 48 in 48 Tour, we've road signs telling us to watch for moose, bear (in Florida), deer, and now Amish.

Since we started the Lower 48 in 48 Tour, we’ve seen road signs telling us to watch for moose, bear (in Florida), deer, and now Amish.

The parking lots in larger commercial areas have stripes for cars, and shelters for horses and their carts.

The parking lots in larger commercial areas have stripes for cars, and shelters for horses and their carts.

A couple of our buddies from the neighborhood tavern back in Woodbine told us we MUST go eat at the Sugar Maple Smorgasbord if we made it to Lancaster County. This is one attraction we could have skipped. It was owned by an Amish family, but most of the employees were just regular people. The food was okay. It was kind of like going to a casino buffet - but definitely not the Bellagio!

A couple of our buddies from the neighborhood tavern back in Woodbine told us we MUST go eat at the Sugar Maple Smorgasbord if we made it to Lancaster County. This is one attraction we could have skipped. It was owned by an Amish family, but most of the employees were just regular people. The food was okay. It was kind of like going to a casino buffet – but definitely not the Bellagio!

I would prefer to shop at a Farmer's Market, as opposed to a grocery store, on any day of the week.

I would prefer to shop at a Farmer’s Market, as opposed to a grocery store, on any day of the week.

Almost every farm in Lancaster County had a little self service produce stand by the side of the road.

Almost every farm in Lancaster County had a little self service produce stand by the side of the road.

If I took a picture of every farm house I fell in love with on this stop, you would be extremely bored with my comments.

If I took a picture of every farm house I fell in love with on this stop, you would be extremely bored with my comments.

Friday night fun = a few games of backgammon while watching all the other campers arrive.

Friday night fun = a few games of backgammon while watching all the other campers arrive.

Our campground was adjacent to a regular neighborhood, and there were houses behind our spot. However, the thick trees between us still made it feel like we were out in the wilderness.

Our campground was adjacent to a regular neighborhood, and there were houses behind our spot. However, the thick trees between us still made it feel like we were out in the wilderness.

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