One of the things you learn living on the road as we are, is how much you miss seeing your friends and family on a regular basis. However, that said, our "home on wheels" also affords us the opportunity to see the friends and family that live "clear across the US"! John & Linda are cousins of Jack's that we really enjoy visiting with. Lucky for us, they live in the pathway that we took going to the east coast and then coming back. This gave us the excuse to visit them twice!
Our first trip through PA, John drove us hither & yon so we could see all that Somerset County had to offer. Having done all that in June, we were able to just 'sit back and enjoy' ourselves this time in a wonderful campground he recommended, Pioneer Park. They both had to work (not everyone is retired) during the day, so we enjoyed the 'down time' reading, riding our bikes, cleaning, etc., while we spent many of the nights all together eating and catching up. We did manage to wander into a Flax Scutching Festival, and even learned what that is! (It's the process of turning Flax into linen).
John did suggest that we go see Fort Ligonier while we were here tho, so one sunny day we tootled off to see what it was all about. I wasn't all that excited about seeing 'one more war exhibit', but I went along for the ride. Boy, am I glad I did! What a great place that turned out to be.
A full-scale, on-site reconstruction of the 1758-1766 original fort. Eight acres of the original site of Fort Ligonier have been preserved, with the subsurface features restored and the above-ground elements reconstructed. It has all the buildings (officers’ mess, barracks, quartermaster, hospital, etc) fully equipped and with mannequins dressed in authentic clothing. Even on a week day, they had a docent there to explain and answer any questions. It was quite something to experience. Additionally they have an incredible museum that even has George Washington's original saddle pistols (he served here). Very nice.
Afterward, John had also suggested that we visit the town of Ligonier, and to be sure and stop in at Joe's Bar and take a look at his "upstairs stuffed (taxidermy) animals" Well...we did, and oh my goodness! Joe Snyder was (he recently passed away)a gentleman who loved to hunt, and evidently had the means to do it in style! It appears that he had hunted just about every animal, bird and reptile in existence and had them "stuffed" to share with the world. There was an old newspaper clipping where he was interviewed and shared his feelings about hunting and how it adds to the economy and keeping the animal population down (pointing out that where it's been forbidden to hunt the population has gotten out of hand and actually caused problems). Interesting...
The Somerset area is a pretty one, with many different sites to explore and indulge in (wonderful Mennonite food stores & farm stands). But best of all is the family that lives there. We'll be back...
If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/
...on the road in the east, Marie