We observed Memorial Day by going to the Memorial Day parade and ceremony in Strasburg, Pa. This reminded me of the small town parades of my youth, where I was one those kids in the marching band. This is a form of celebration that seems to be fading fast in the suburb America of today, where there is little real community left.
As the parade progressed the observers exchanged pleasantries with their neighbors and small children just joined in the parade. Afterward, everyone gathered for the Memorial Day ceremony in the middle of town, with the parade units returning to this center location for the proceedings. It was short but clearly sincere and meaningful to those attending.
We think it was a good way to spend this day of remembrance.
On the way home, we took the back roads and found one of the several covered bridges in the countryside.
The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is located in the historic town of Strasburg in the heart of Amish country. We spent most of an afternoon wandering the huge exhibit hall learning about the railroads and their impact on life in the state since the railways’ early start until the present time.
The museum is well laid out and I can imagine a true railroad enthusiast spending many happy hours here. Even for the just mildly interested, like us. We managed to spend several hours looking at the trains and other displays.
They have examples of equipment from the earliest days of the railroad right up to the modern equipment. They even have a version of a railroad simulator, which was a traveling railroad car called the “instructor car”.
It is well worth a few hours to a few days of your time depending on your level of interest.
We have spent a few days driving around the country side and taking in a few of the eccentric America icons mentioned on the web along with the scenic views. Also stopped at a motel made up of numerous railroad cars and is next door to the toy train museum. Looks like it would be a fun place to stop over, especially for the kids.
We also hit many of the gift and other stores designed to separate you from you money and once again-different attraction-same stuff.
We are camped in the middle of the Pennsylvania Amish country within walking distance of downtown Intercourse, Pa. We are also temporary neighbors of several Amish farms. We are able to look back in time and watch their daily activities without ever leaving the campground. The women and children come by the campground offering fresh fruit for sale and we can observe some of the fruit picking directly behind the motorhome.
It is also planting time for many of the summer crops and the farmers are very busy dawn to dusk tending the fields. Just as I remember growing up on a farm myself, this is a process the whole family is expected to take part in. While this is certainly not the lifestyle most would chose to live, it is fascinating to watch at a leisurely pace.
We will continue to explore the area for the next few days.