Monday, June 24, 2013

Tour Day 2 - Rural Pennsylvania

Today we left the urban sprawl of Manhattan, northern New Jersey and Philadelphia for the serene rolling hills and quaint small towns of rural Pennsylvania. This part of the trip was delightful and relaxing, especially the beautiful drive through Amish country. The photo below is a beautiful long bridge spanning the Susquehanna River between Columbia and Wrightsville.

Our first stop of the day was the Haines Shoe House; a famous roadside landmark along the Lincoln Highway. We were able to tour the inside of the house and spent time on the grounds having a picnic lunch. The house was built by a wealthy shoe peddler named Mahlon Haines. It is sort of a "quad level" house with about 1,500 square feet of living space inside, believe it or not.

Our next stop was at Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium. I'm not sure what the two have in common but it was a fun stop and we were able to replenish our supply of essential candy.

Pennsylvania does a nice job of "signing" the Lincoln Highway to help keep you on the original route. This particular sign shows the old LH tying back in to US-30, which it generally follows east to west in this part of the country. The two roads sometimes share the same geographical space, but often do not.

We saw this great looking old farmhouse along the way.

The tour group spent the night in Chambersburg, but we went about 60 miles further down the road in order to stay in the iconic Lincoln Motor Court in Mann's Choice, Pennsylvania. This 12-unit court is a throwback to the early days of auto travel and it was one of the specific stops that Sharon and I had targeted for this trip. It isn't for everyone, but we really enjoyed staying here.

The next picture is of an old 1910s-1920s era building across the road from the Lincoln Motor Court. According to the motor court owner, the building was once a restaurant, gas station and overnight lodging. More recently it has been a bar/restaurant but has been vacant for a few years. And it's haunted, of course.

In the beautiful historic town of Bedford sits a couple of great items of Americana: Dunkle's Gulf art deco gas station and the coffee pot built in 1927 by Bert Koontz, designed to attract people to his adjacent gas station. The coffee pot was saved from the scrap heap through the efforts of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor in 2004.

We are going to hang out for a while this morning and let the rest of the group catch up with us. Lunch is scheduled in a very historic tavern located here in Bedford, so we'll join them before heading toward Pittsburgh.


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