New Holland - Canon Elph-107We are on our way south–part of the snowbird migration to Florida—with stops in North Carolina and Georgia.  Unlike most snowbirds, our Florida stay will be brief because we are eager to be out West again.

We left Massachusetts with the leaves just starting to turn and morning temperatures dropping into the 30s.  Time to go.

Good bye Boston

Good bye Boston

Our first stop was Connecticut, where we again visited with family and prepared for the trip.  Fall is the loveliest time of year in New England and, although we did not stay for the whole season, we got a good taste.


Covered bridge at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, an 1830 outdoor museum. We took my Mom there for the day.

Zoe found her calling as a farm dog.  She’s never been happier.

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Surprisingly, with all of the rolling around that Zoe has done on this trip, she has not had any ticks.  And despite all of our hiking and time outside in fields and woods, we have not had any, either.  Ticks were one of our big concerns for this trip because we knew we would be in the heart of Lyme Disease country.  Plus, we hate them.  In my anti-tick zeal, I even bought light-colored, non-patterned sheets and blankets for our trailer so that any stray ticks would easily show up on the bed.  But, not a tick in sight.  I heard it was a mild tick year in New England.  Whatever the reason, we’re happy.  Let’s hope that our luck continues.

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After leaving Connecticut, we revisited Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County, an area we loved when we came through in June.  Here is our previous post.

The two visits made interesting bookends on the farming season, with fields just planted in June now ready for harvest.  In the spring it was a frenzy of activity.  School was out and the Amish children were busy on the farms in the day and outside playing in the evenings.  The farmers and horse teams were working until late at night, haying, plowing, tilling, and fertilizing.New Holland -Phone Pics-100

It was much quieter on this trip, with school in session and the corn, alfalfa, soy, and tobacco still in the fields.  The big Belgian work horses were grazing in paddocks, getting a rest before their harvesting work begins.

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The manure smell was more pungent after the summer’s heat, battling one evening with the smell of skunk and woodsmoke. Not a place for the odor-sensitive.

Horses returning to the barn after spreading some liquid on the fields--it smelled like liquid manure.  The glassy water on the left is a homemade swimming hole.

Horses returning to the barn after spreading some liquid on the fields–it smelled like manure “tea.”  The glassy water on the left is a homemade swimming hole.

Stink bugs were everywhere, trying to get in the trailer, buzzing around like little armored drones when they succeeded.

The Amish women were harvesting pumpkins, gourds, tomatoes, beans, eggplants, potatoes, peaches, pears, and apples, and selling them at farm stands, along with a variety of fall products such as home pressed cider, home canned goods, apple butter, and pumpkin whoopie pies.

A dangerous bounty?

Hickory nuts

Hickory nuts


Every morning we looked down on a thick fog below our hillside campground, which slowly dissipated as the sun rose.


The sky was always changing, with impressionist cloud swirls.


IMG_3036Landscapes out West tend to be in-your-face beautiful, undeniably stunning to even the most crusty old beauty-hardened individuals.  Lancaster’s beauty is more subtle and nuanced, sneaking up on you and catching you by surprise.  Turn a corner and there’s a line of corn against a streaky sky or silos poking up from the mist.

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On the weekend, the campground was full of retirees on end-of-the season trips or snowbirds heading to warmer weather.  It was mostly a big-rig Class A crew, staking out their spaces with happy hour flags and pots of chrysanthemums.  Many were rushing around to flea markets and the enormous local smorgasbord buffets.  We preferred a slower pace, walking the roads, and taking in the beauty and glimpses of Amish farm life going on around us.  It’s a special place.

Good roads for riding--motorcyclists are everywhere in Lancaster on the weekends

Good roads for riding–motorcyclists are everywhere in Lancaster on the weekends

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Parking for Sunday service, bicycles on the right, buggies on the left.

Parking for Sunday service, bicycles on the left, buggies on the right.

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Visiting with the grands

Boston Minuteman Campground

Lovely Boston Minuteman Campground–our first stop in Massachusetts

Our daughter and grandbabies drove up from North Carolina and spent the week with us and a multitude of cousins, aunts, uncles, and other assorted relatives and friends.  We all stayed for several days at a lake house in Plymouth, Massachusetts, thanks to George’s sister, and his cousin, who kindly made the cottage available as a gathering place.

We did not do anything noteworthy to the outside world while we were there–we just visited. It’s exactly what we wanted to do.  We did a lot of sitting around and talking while the kids played in the lake. We played in the lake some, too.

We watched the super moon rise over the lake.

We watched the super moon rise over the lake.

Waiting for the kayak

Waiting for the kayak

We did take a quick visit to the Cape (Cod that is) for fried clams.  It was our first foray in our quest to find the best full-bellied fried claims in New England.  They were not bad, but not great.


Getting acquainted with a gull

Getting acquainted with a gull

On our last morning, heading out of town, we had breakfast at a good old-fashioned diner.  The roof leaked over my seat, with large, slow drips of water hitting me in various places throughout the meal.  I finally had enough and changed seats when it dripped in my orange juice.  The meal was delicious, with real scrambled eggs, burnt home fries, buttery corn bread heated on the grill, and Mickey Mouse pancakes for the kids.


We then brought the whole North Carolina contingent to Connecticut for more visits.  My brother and sister-in-law were nice enough to put us up even though they were in the midst of a move.  We were introduced to the horses at the farm …


IMG_2352… and cooled off in the pool.



And then they headed back to North Carolina.  It was week packed with playing, eating, swimming, talking, drinking, driving (not together), and hardly a second to even think about blogging.  The next week and a half will be much the same and then we will be slowing down again.