83: It could have been Paradise

(Somewhere in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  A “drive-by” shot.)

I was just thinking that when we went to West Chester I forgot to mention in my blog post that we passed through Paradise to get there.  It’s an old, bad joke.  At least in Pennsylvania.  The rest of the joke has to do with how you get to Paradise which is, of course, through Intercourse (another town in Pennsylvania).

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system…

(Home.  And the rental truck.)

We’re home!  Yay!!  Happy, happy, happy dance!

Looks like we got some serious snow here, doesn’t it?  It’s still coming down, praise Lake Erie.  As cold as it is outside, especially with the wind chill factored in, you’d think that old Great Lake would freeze over and shut down the snow machine.  It hasn’t happened so far.  We’re still experiencing snow squalls.  Some with sunshine.  I was hoping to see a snowbow but no luck today.

(M checking out the hill behind our hotel.)

We woke up to snow squalls in Somerset and gave a great deal of thought to spending another night there.  We went out and walked around a bit, mostly to see how well the hill behind the hotel had been plowed because getting down that hill might have been a major obstacle to leaving.  We didn’t want to end up sliding down it because at the bottom is a major roadway with major traffic.

(A snow squall, taken behind the hotel.)

I gave up and turned around about ten minutes into the walk.  It was FREEZING out there.  The wind was gusting, snow dervishes were dervishing, and my face felt like it would crack into a million pieces if someone were to tap it.  I was pretty well bundled up, too.  M braved his way down the hill and to one of the local convenience stores (Turkey Hill) where he talked to a few folks who had just left the PA Turnpike.  Word was, “the road ain’t so bad” so we decided to go for it.

(Riding down the highway.)

I am not normally a fan of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  This is why:

(A “Welcome to Pennsylvania” Philly Mummer.  Philadelphia, PA.  2007)

But I have to give credit where credit is due.  They do a fine job of clearing the turnpike during the winter months.  I was amazed at how well they did given the snow squalls that were blowing through.

(The PA Turnpike shortly after leaving Somerset — westbound after exit 110.)

See how good that road looks even though the visibility is bad because of the snow?  Pretty amazing, don’t you think?  Well done, Pennsylvania Turnpike.  We’ll discuss your toll hikes later.  Right now I am grateful to all of the good folks who made it possible for us to travel home safely on roads that stayed amazingly clear in spite of the snowfall.  Kudos and thank you very much for keeping us safe!

Once we hit Ohio, it was a different story.  We saw one snow plow on a long stretch where the road needed plowed and that guy was plowing the berm/shoulder.  The snow was coming down like crazy, though, so maybe it wasn’t worth it to send out more.  Going from the highway to local roads was even worse, but not so bad we couldn’t make it (obviously).

(Almost home.)

I’m just so glad to be home safe and sound that I am grateful to anyone who had a hand or thought in getting us here.  Thank you all!

We saw one accident along the way, on the PA Turnpike.  A white van hit the cement barrier in the median and then slid across the road and up a hill, ending up facing the wrong way.  We thought it was a snow plow raising all that snow and then realized it was someone sliding across the snow.

Calling the advertised number (*11) on the turnpike signs works as well as the advertised number in Colorado worked when a drunk driver was terrorizing the drivers on the highway there.  (I thought I blogged about that but it seems I didn’t.  Long story made short, there was a drunk driver weaving across the road who hit the guard rail a time or two and kept weaving back into traffic.  When I tried to call it in to their advertised number, I couldn’t get through.  Even 911 took so long to respond that the person driving had exited the highway by the time I got through.) In other words, it didn’t work.  I have a Virgin Mobile (pre-paid account) cell phone.  Someone needs to do something about the emergency system calling in this country.  Apparently you have to be in the Sprint network for these these things to work as that is the “error message” I’ve gotten both times.  I eventually got through to the 911 emergency network who put me through to the PA Turnpike patrol where a very polite gentleman took the info and thanked me.

All that aside, we’re home.  We’re safe. We’re grateful to be here.  The sun came out again while we were unloading but that didn’t last long.

(The barn today.)

I spent most of my outdoor time unloading stuff from the truck and walking around to take a few photos.  I tried to video the next snow squall but gave up when the lens started accumulating snow.

Now that we’re not having to drive in it, it’s a winter wonderland here in the Bogs.  The land is covered with a quiet white blanket.  M and I briefly thought about going sledding but…  it’s frigid out there!

(Today’s view of the pond.)

We need to test the pond, too.  Careening down the hill and finding the pond won’t hold any weight could result in hypothermia.

I’m off to do that dinner thing (cook, eat, etc.).  Thank you, thank you, and thank you to the gods and goddesses of travel for seeing us home safely.

It’s great to be home.  🙂


14 Comments on “83: It could have been Paradise”

  1. anhinga says:

    So glad you made it home in that blizzard. Thanks (I think) for taking us along on the harrowing ride.

  2. photobyholly says:

    So glad you made it home safely!! I would have been a nervous WRECK going through all that!!

  3. Thoroughly enjoyed reading that blog dear friend , loved the part about getting to paradise through intercourse , hehehe , looks like you have a bit of snow down your way , big difference to our summer here in Aussie , at the moment we have Oprah here in Australia doing her shows Australia down under , hell she has taken over all our TV stations and the country
    Much love
    Ian aka Emu

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Aussieian. And thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it. 🙂

      I’d heard Oprah was trying to take over Australia. I hope she doesn’t make too much of a mess while she’s there. 😀

  4. jenna says:

    Sounds like an emotionally long drive – bad for the ticker.

    Time for tea and kitties!

  5. Kala says:

    Glad to read that you arrived home safely. Winter is wonderful for picture taking as long as you don’t have to drive through ice and snow to photograph your subject.

  6. Brian says:

    Me thinks it’s time to hibernate.

  7. Marianne says:

    Wow, that was an adventure and one that would make me a nervous wreck also.

    I too, love that you have to go through Intercourse to get to Paradise. Who names these towns?

    Too bad about the emergency service. That would have been scary to see a car so out of control like that.

    • Robin says:

      Marianne: Well, Intercourse was founded in 1754 but was originally named Cross Keys after a tavern. It was changed to Intercourse in 1814, when the word “intercourse” meant social interaction, discourse, and fellowship. But it’s possible “Intercourse” was chosen because of two main roads that intersect there.

      Intercourse, Paradise, Bird-in-Hand, and Blue Ball are all names of towns in “Amish country” in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I’m not sure anyone knows why those names were picked but a lot of people visit that area just to say they were in those towns.

Thank you for visiting, and for commenting. I hope you'll join me at my new blog home, Breezes at Dawn.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.