Friday, July 08, 2011

The Green Dragon Farmer's Market & Auction

Here is where we spent the day.

Green Dragon

About 7 am, the trucks loaded with hay started rolling in. The hay auction is conducted at 9:00. There were a dozen or so trucks of all sizes, and perhaps a dozen bidders. The bidders are, I suspect, from the many dairy farms in the area. When the bidding is over, the buyers empty truck, or wagon, pulls up to the loaded truck and the hay is transferred by hand, bale by bale.

There are hundreds of vendors here selling things like locally grown sweet corn, blueberries, cabbage, tomatoes, etc., beautiful hand made furniture, delicious prepared foods,homemade pickles, soft pretzels (my personal favorite), every kind of homemade canned goods you can imagine, on & on. We thoroughly enjoyed the day. At least we did until early afternoon when the storms moved in. It's been raining steady since then. Not much of a day for all the vendors who were set up outside.

Starting at 6:30, there is a small animal auction. I saw goats, sheep, chickens, caged birds, rabbits, & pigeons being sold. A sign says no dogs or cats can be auctioned.  I wonder why you can auction a rabbit but not your neighbors nasty cat?  The sellers & buyers seemed to be exclusively Amish.

Our grandson, Finn, is collecting the "state" series of quarters. There is a coin collector at the market. He sells the state quarters for fifty cents each. I was able to get almost all the quarters Finn's missing, except for Maine. He didn't have any Maine quarters. I bought him the book for the new national park series of quarters which began production in 2010 and will run through 2021 as well as the first four quarters. That will give him something else to collect. When I was a kid, I collected stamps. A few years ago I gave Alex the stamp collection for when Finn gets a little older.

The bidders are the guys wearing the  straw hats & dark pants.

The parking lot for the Amish horses.

The VW is from California. Where else?

We're staying here tonight then heading to the house we rented for a week on Penn Lake to meet up with our three daughters & families.

Penn Lake rental

Thursday, July 07, 2011


After the storm passed by, mostly south of us, the weather cooled off and we all sat outside until about 9:00 just chatting about this & that and watching the fireflys. We remembered how, as kids, we would catch fireflys in a jar. We were wondering what Gopher thinks about all this traveling. Her life is much more varied and interesting then your typical dog. I let her run loose this evening and threw her ball for her for a while. In her own way, she contributes a lot to our travels.

By the time the mosquitoes drove us inside, there were ten RV's camped here.

This is a picture of our campsite. We're tucked into a nice group of shade trees with a run just behind the trees.

A run, crick or stream? A gap, notch or saddle? Which is it?

We're parked next to the Red Run at the moment. That got me to thinking about the difference between a run, creek, stream, etc. The following is from Wikipedia. Now I know. Mostly it's a regional difference in what such things are called.

"Kill in southern New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey comes from a Dutch language word meaning "riverbed" or "water channel", and can also be used for the UK meaning of 'creek'.
Run in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, or Virginia can be the name of a stream.
Branch, fork, or prong can refer to tributaries or distributaries that share the same name as the main stream, generally with the addition of a cardinal direction.
Branch is also used to name streams in Maryland and Virginia.
Falls is also used to name streams in Maryland. Little Gunpowder Falls and The Jones Falls are actually rivers named in this manner, unique to Maryland.
Stream and brook are used in Midwestern states, Mid-Atlantic states and New England.
Crick is used in some parts of the United States."

Earlier on this trip we passed through both gaps & notches. I was wondering about that as well. Here again is Wikipedia.

"There are many words for pass in the English-speaking world. In the United States, pass is very common in the West, the word gap is common in the southern Appalachians, notch in parts of New England, and saddle in northern Idaho."

Yesterday & earlier today we just poked around here & there. Stopped by a roadside stand and bought some zucchini and sweet corn for next weeks family get-together.
Took a look at an old covered bridge that is being refurbished. Right now, we're "camped" in a field by the Green Dragon Farmers Market & Auction. We've been here before. It's one of those places we enjoy returning to time & again. You can pull onto their site anytime after noon on Thursday and stay until noon, Saturday. No charge. Right now it's us and one other RV. We'll be heading out first thing Saturday to meet up with the girls.
I have a weather alert app. on my iPhone. I keep getting these Air Quality Alerts. Code Orange means that "air pollution concentrations within the region may be unhealthy for sensitive groups including children, people suffering from asthma, heart disease or other lung diseases and the elderly." The main recommendation is to not breath any more then necessary, don't exercise, etc. Mostly this comes from coal fired plants in PA & WV. A truly clear day in the Susquehanna Valley is quite rare.
Just now I got a severe weather & flood watch warning for this area. Hopefully, it will pass us by. We're parked in the shade next to a small run/stream/brook, or whatever. If it starts to rise, there is some nearby high ground we can move to. Right now, the MyRadar app., shows the majority of the storm to the south but the thunder is very noticeable.
iPhones & such can get addictive real quick. A year ago I couldn't imagine what I would do with one if I had it. Now it's become a valuable travel tool.

Another nice day. As long as we don't get washed away.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

On to Lancaster,PA

Independence Day was slow; not much happening in the park. The guy finished painting the house, a few fellows blasted away at the firing range, but not much else.
There is a lumber mill just outside the back gate of the park. At one end are several huge piles of logs, at the other stacks of finished lumber bring air dried. There are a number of State and National Forests in the general area. That tends to be the source of a lot of the logs. A common sign seen upon entering a national forest says "A land of many uses". The Allegheny NF contains over 600 operating oil wells. As you drive around the park, you would never know it. Never saw even one. Oil was first discovered in this part of PA. Today I learned that Pennsylvania means Penn's (as in William) Woods.

In the mid-70's I was the manager of a lumber yard.

Years ago it was very common for farmers to rent a side of their barn for advertising. Hadn't seen one in years.

Tonight we're staying at the Old Mill Stream Campground just outside of Lancaster. $45/night. This is the first, and most likely the last, commercial campground we'll stay at on this trip. Mostly we avoid them but there are no reasonably convenient public campgrounds around here. We were here about five or so, years ago. When we pulled in we saw another Lazy Daze. Turned out to be our friends Paul & Helen Huyser from Vermont. Paul & Helen are two uncommonly nice people. The sort of company we enjoy. Paul doesn't have much to say but Helen can talk the ears off a brass monkey. As the day wore on another LD pulled in, they yet another. Quite amazing really. After all, this isn't the Southwest, it's PA. We all went out to dinner together at the Good & Plenty Restaurant. Seating is family style on very long tables with benches. Dinner was fried chicken, mashed potatoes and several different types of veggies. All served on platters set down on the table. Just like at home, you just asked someone to please pass the corn or whatever. A fun way to have dinner.
Did a load of laundry and cooked a big batch of apple/pear/cranberry/pecan crisp; our favorite desert.Every night after dinner we have a small bowl of fruit crisp topped with a scoop of yogurt. A healthy, low calorie desert.
We enjoy PA Dutch Country. Tomorrow we're just going to poke around here & there.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sunday, July 3rd

Not much activity in the park today. One guy showed up to paint the house and one guy was blasting away with a 22 at the firing range. I talked to the painter about the house. It was built about 1880 by the farmer who owned the property where the fairgrounds is today.
The campground hostess walked down to say hello. When I called last week to see if there was room in the campground over the 4th, she answered the phone. After she had spoken, I said, "You're not from PA are you". She answered, "No sir, I'm from Mississippi". No surprise there. I enjoy hearing the southern accent; it reminds me of home. As we travel the Country, we're always running into the different regional accents. Sometimes I need to listen real carefully to understand what's being said but have no problem understanding Mississippi. A year of so ago, we were in Canada. I was talking to a Canadian camping neighbor and said I was still brushing up on my Canadian. Eh? He said the "Eh?" was actually a very localized expression. It almost surely meant the speaker was from Ontario and probably not far from Toronto. Interesting.

The American Nomad

I asked the campground lady what brought her to PA. Her husband is a Cherokee Indian and they have a house in Oklahoma. By trade, he's a truck driver and she's a secretary. Not much work where they live in OK so they work on pipeline construction projects all across the country. Right now there is a natural gas line being built nearby. The park is being used as a staging/supply/living area. She works part time for the pipeline company and part time as the campground hostess. In return for hosting, they get a free campsite.
Later in the day, a couple from Georgia stopped by to chat. He saw my Florida Gator license plate when we drove in. He's also working the pipeline. He said in GA, it's not easy to find a job that pays much above minimum wage so they go where the good jobs are. This job should last until next summer. Neither he nor his wife, have ever lived in a cold & snowy place and are sort of excited but also apprehensive about it.
Last year we were in South Dakota and ran into the same thing. There is an oil boom in the Dakotas. People from all over the country head there for work.
One benefit of high oil & natural gas prices is the large number of good paying jobs created.

Today was cleaning & maintenance day. I even gave the camper a bath to get off most of the bugs & road grime. The washing turned out to be a double edged sword. The camper's clean, but the water is so hard, it left water spots everywhere as it dried. When we get home, the polish will remove the spots. When we're traveling, once a week everything gets cleaned & all mechanical and automotive systems inspected.

Another wonderful day, including the weather.