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Today was the first official day of the Founders Tour and already I’m exhausted! But in a good way.
I should start off by saying that I’m a bit of a gypsy this week as I didn’t bring a car. Instead, I’m hitching rides with whomever has an empty seat. This morning I was extremely fortunate to get a lift from Monday’s tour planner Jerry Black who’s driving a very comfortable 1948 Plymouth. This proved very convenient as Jerry already had the route memorized, so I didn’t need to navigate, leaving me free to gawk out the window at the beautiful scenery.
Our first stop was at Laurel Lake, part of Pine Grove Furnace State Park for a coffee stop. Along the way I marveled at the forests full of mountain laurel in peak bloom. It was a leisurely drive on winding roads through the mountains.
From there, we headed to Meadowbrooke Gourds. I had see their beautifully crafted gourds in stores around Gettysburg before, but I certainly gained a new appreciation for their products after going on a tour of the factory. Each little gourd is a work of art, painstakingly crafted by hand by dedicated and highly skilled employees who truly seem to love their jobs.
After that, we were off to lunch at the Penn Township Fire Hall for some Pennsylvania Dutch pot pie. A round of applause should be given to the ladies in the kitchen who worked so hard to feed us all. The food was delicious!
By this time the rain clouds had rolled in, but it never got worse than a steady drizzle for a few hours, and it certainly didn’t seem to deter anyone from getting ice cream when we arrived at our final stop: the U.S. Army Heritage Education Center. It’s a wonderful museum currently with indoor exhibits on the end of WWI, the Soldier Experience throughout history, the War on Terror. It also has multiple outdoor exhibits stretched out over a mile long walking trail. Yes, a few souls braved the rain and walked the entire trail (I only made it about half way).
It was a long day, but lots of fun, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store tomorrow!