Jan 192021

We have hitch itch, but since we are not able to travel due to the pandemic, I thought I’d occasionally share some of our previous adventures, such as exploring the back roads of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, one of our favorite places.

This is the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country, and on every back road we traveled we saw Amish farms, usually with laundry hanging on clotheslines and livestock in their pens.

Amish farm best

Amish farm 2

This swaybacked horse looks like he’s seen better days, and is living out his golden years in retirement.

Swayback horse

We always love wandering around the back roads because we never know what we’ll find around the next bend in the road.

Lancaster County road 2

The Amish are enterprising people, and besides farming, they operate a lot of little cottage industries. We saw signs for fresh produce and flowers, eggs, root beer, handmade quilts, brooms, and furniture.

Brown eggs sign

We saw a lot of horse drawn Amish buggies sharing the road with cars and trucks. The horses amaze me because they don’t seem to be bothered at all by cars speeding past them.

Amish buggy 2

Amish buggy

The Amish also work their fields with horse powered equipment. Isn’t this a handsome team of work animals?

Amish horse team 5

Amish horse team

I didn’t know that the Amish grew tobacco as a cash crop until yesterday.

Tobacco rack

It’s harvest time, and we pulled off the side of the road to watch them cutting and stacking the tobacco on wagons.

Tobacco harvesting 3

Tobacco harvesting man 2

Just a couple of fields away, this fellow was harvesting corn.

Amish farm horse team

We passed several groups of Amish schoolchildren on their way home after a long day of lessons. Almost all of them seemed to be carrying coolers instead of lunch buckets like we did as kids.

Amish schoolkids 4

Amish schoolkids

Amish schoolgirls

This boy seemed to be in a hurry, running past all of his schoolmates. He must have had chores that needed doing.

Amish boy running

I got a chuckle out of some of the names of the towns we visited, including Blue Ball.

Blue Ball sign

If that name makes you uncomfortable, you probably don’t want to know that Intercourse is only a few miles away. How do you spell relief?

Welcome to Intercourse

For years people have been telling us that we needed to check out the Shady Maple Smorgasbord near Blue Ball, and I’m sure glad we did!

Shady Maple sign

Shady Maple

Can you believe that this is the lobby of a buffet restaurant and not a fancy hotel lobby?

Shady Maple lobby 2

Shady Maple lobby

And what a buffet it was! The selection was huge, including both New York Strip and Delmonico steaks, smoked pork chops, fried chicken, shrimp, and at least a half dozen other entrees, and more sides than I could count. Everything was fresh and hot, and the dessert bar was unbelievable.

But if that wasn’t enough, they also had a chocolate fountain where we could dip fresh strawberries, bananas, pretzels, and other goodies. Can you say decadent?

We arrived back at the Thousand Trails campground tired, with our tummies full and with memories we’ll have for a lifetime of our day of exploring.

Thought For The Day – The silence is part of the music.


Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Lancaster County Back Roads”

  1. Have been to that lobby oand good delicious. My husband is from Penn and we visited all around after he moved to Illinois. Alot to see Dr

  2. It seems that the Mennonite and Amish communities take more pride in the simple ways then many with all the modern conveniences. The quality of their food is unbeatable.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

  3. Wow. Took me back! I lived for 30+ years right down Rt 30 from the places you were photographing. Shady Maple IS a real pleasure, Blue Ball and Intercourse are right next to Bird-in-Hand, and the Amish are(were) regular customers at my Dairy Queen store in Strasburg. The Walmart there had a shed/barn and a hitching post for their rigs. Living in Tucson, now, I miss the green and the smells of the earth that are very different from the smells of the desert. But I don’t miss the traffic or the pace or the humidity!

  4. My husband was from Berwick, PA and many family members still live in the Boyertown, PA area. Been to Shady Maple a few times and toured the area. You can also see the Amish “working” in the RV industry in Nappanee, Indiana. We both used a talented woodworker, Carlye Lehman at Focal Wood Products, to customize desk remodels for our big rigs. We also saw Amish “driving” RVs at the local manufacturing plants like Newmar and Gulf Stream.

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