RVing in the Amish Country of Pennsylvania
Our journey to Hanover, Pennsylvania took closer to six hours to complete rather than five, but we finally arrived at Codorus State Park, site #145 on the edge of the tree line bordering a large open field. The space was a challenge because the back-in paved site was not level. We had to raise the front of the RV over 5% to clear the hitching ball so it was imperative we have our tire's chocked correctly. The auto leveling system in the RV didn't like the angle we went to, but we managed to get the trailer off the ball, the truck out and Trinity leveled. The site is quite spacious and we have very few neighbors.
Just look at how low the goose-neck hitch is to the ground relative to the truck.
After arriving in the late afternoon on Saturday, we stayed close to home for the evening. Our plans for Sunday, August 27 included attending a local gathering of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in the morning with the rest of the day spending time with Karen's second cousin Kristyn and her husband Lloyd. They were driving from their home in Greencastle, PA a hour and half away to visit us at our campground. We enjoyed meeting Lloyd, hearing their story about how they met, their passion for Christian missions and their trips to the Dominican Republic and Jordan. Our time together lasted from lunch to the evening after dinner and "parting was sweet sorrow". We have all of the appropriate contact information now so we can keep in touch with this delightful couple.
Monday, August 28 we spent exploring the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland just 16 miles south of our location. Diesel fuel was 40 cents cheaper in Maryland so we got fuel at Sunoco and groceries at the Walmart in Maryland before driving back into Pennsylvania to stop at the Camping World. For dinner at camp, Karen had made a casserole with the leftover rotisserie chicken and Penne pasta that turned out marvelous. We spent the remainder of the evening watching half of the 4 plus hour Director's Cut of the movie, Gettysburg.
Tuesday was our day to explore Amish country in York and Lancaster Counties. We drove to the city of Lancaster and visited the Central Market in the downtown. There I met a Amish farmer selling fresh vegetables and we had a wonderful conversation talking about his farm and our travels.
We then drove some of the back roads through the corn and soybean farmland looking for signs of the Amish inhabitants.
The farmlands of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country are among the most productive in the nation. Many of the farmers here are different from most Americans – different by choice. They are Amish and Mennonites, also known as the Plain People.
Amish people have been using horses since the days when only horses made horsepower. In comparison to our fast-paced society, the simpler, family-centered Amish culture holds a special fascination for many of us. The Amish trace their heritage back hundreds of years, and yet, despite all the time that has passed and the many changes that have taken place in society, they still live and work much as their forefathers did. For the Amish people, family, farm and faith are top priorities.
The Amish are devout in their faith, believing in a literal interpretation and application of Scripture as the Word of God. They take seriously the Biblical commands to separate themselves from the things of the world. They believe worldliness can keep them from being close to God, and can introduce influences that could be destructive to their communities and to their way of life.
Today, there are over 25 different Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren church groups in Lancaster County, all holding to slightly different traditions and their own interpretations of the Bible. The more traditional groups are called ‘old-order Amish.’ They do not permit electricity or telephones in their homes.
Every now and then we'd spot the classic black Amish horse drawn carriage traveling down the road with yellow flashers. Near the end of the day we drove to a large farmers market facility called the Brown Cow where we met a larger group of Amish shopping and speaking their Pennsylvanian Dutch language. I picked out some unique grocery items like Cheddar Horseradish cream cheese spread, Molasses cookies and a carrot roll cake. We paid with a check because they don't use credit cards.
We also stopped to see if we could get some last minute tickets at the Sight and Sound Theater near Lancaster where, nearly 50 years ago in rural Pennsylvania, a dairy farmer went from producing milk to producing live entertainment with a purpose. Now with two state-of-the-art theater locations, an online streaming platform and a film studio, Sight & Sound brings powerful stories from the pages of Scripture and history to life on stage and screen.
Each year, their locations in Lancaster, PA and Branson, MO draw nearly 1.5 million audience members to experience the Bible coming to life on stage with massive sets, live animals, and spectacular special effects. Still family-owned, the heart of Sight & Sound is to see loved ones come together for a shared experience that leaves them with a lifetime memory.
We were fortunate to secure two tickets for the 11 AM production of Moses on Thursday, August 31.