DAY 1/282 MILES/454 KM When I was a young child, road-trips with my parents always seemed to start on the New Jersey Turnpike. Those trips basically consisted of overcoming shortcomings with our family car—a radiator that invariably overheated, as well as suspension that made me carsick—and being amused by Burma Shave signs. They also entailed lunch stops at Howard Johnson’s restaurant, which meant, for me, a desert of hot fudge sauce on ice cream roll.
Today’s first day, driving to Lancaster, PA, home of the Amish community in the US, involved nothing like that. What was once green belt around the turnpike with views of farmland has turned into one huge conurbation that stretches almost into the confines of the Amish farming community. And as the grey of threatening weather added little to the sense of getting out into the country, I could not lose the feeling that time and man had encroached on something once charming.
Having said that, I am happy to be here in Lancaster, PA, on the first day of our trip. The day went without mishap and had a number of laughs—not least of which was us trying to get our seven weeks of luggage up to our room. We just were too elated not to have the restrictions of an airline. Added to that is the wonder that a sect of people can maintain their own restrictions on
lifestyle in this day and age. But more on that later…