What a difference a week makes- from the ghetto of North Philadelphia to bucolic Lancaster County. But there's been one constant- funny experiences and outstanding hospitality. Well, so that's two constants, but I never said math was my strong suit.
When I was thinking of heading off the trail up in Maine, Amish country was one of the places I imagined hiking through that I otherwise would not see. Although I've been here many times before, it's always good clean fun to see the Amish. And for once, eschewing horse and buggy for that even older method of transportation, the human foot, I even had the odd sensation of feeling more righteous than the Amish. They may think they're so holy doing without zippers and cars and Court TV, but ha! I don't even bother with wheels!
Wait, wait, yes I do all the time when doing my very odd version of commuting, which I've been able to do out here in Lancaster County where I've been staying with our good family friends, Bruce and Lynda Limpert. I had already met up with their sons, Mark and Brad, who are good friends of mine, while passing through New York and Philadelphia respectively. And all four Limperts have gone out of their way to provide me with the finest in Pennsylvania hospitality, meeting me at odd hours, shuttling me around to random roadsides, and in the case of Lynda and Bruce, giving me a home base for four days. I should be quick to add that Jackie Banks, a friend of my good friend Nick Spike, was also an all-star for letting me base my Philadelphia operations out of her apartment for four nights last week. Kudos to all!
A few other funny happenstances: after taking a ride on the gloriously wholesome Strasburg Railway (I'm a closet train afficianado) and waving to Amish buggy after buggy, I finally put on my Ipod and up popped a George Carlin routine on fun and creative methods of capital punishment... "Here's an idea, take a high speed catapult and hurl the sucker into a brick wall!" So much for wholesomeness. Another funny moment happened when I was taking pictures of the sign "Welcome to Intercourse" for the funny signs album. I duly waited for all the cars to pass by so I wouldn't be viewed as having the fourth-grade sense of humor I do, but I think a number of Amish might have seen me. I wonder if they get the joke, or even if they're allowed to laugh. It might violate a tenet of Leviticus. Finally, I've invented a new sport, which could be seen as a variant of lacrosse. There is a sort of fruit lying all over the ground here which looks like a tennis ball with a bad case of acne. I stab these things with my poles and try and fling them at trees or street signs. It's a fun way to pass the time and remind myself how crazy I am. Or brilliant. You be the judge.