Woke up at 7 am—had gone to bed at 9 pm—refreshed and ready for another good day on the trail and doing some sightseeing in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Our hostess at the B & B, Pam, fixed us a delicious breakfast of blueberry waffles, scrambled eggs, link sausage, fresh cherries, cantaloupe, blueberries, milk, and orange juice. Very nice. We ate with another couple who had also stayed there, who were from Pennsylvania (I think Harrisburg or close to Philadelphia) who had ridden down from York yesterday and were going a little further south their second day and then turning around and going back to York on this second day. They said they were trying out the concept of riding more than one day and staying at a B&B, so they were interested in our adventures on other Hall of Fame Rails-to-Trails. They told us about other trails they had done in Pennsylvania: the Valley Forge Trail and one along the Susquehanna River sounded the most interesting. They also recommended a couple of food places for this afternoon when we had the car in Lancaster County.
So we left at 9 am and started heading north on the Heritage Rail Trail up to York, Pennsylvania. We could leave our panniers at the B&B because we’d be back that night, so the load on the bikes was a bit lighter. Plus, we had reached the high point of the trail and had a nice downhill ride for the first four or five miles. Good to go over ten mph again. We were pleasantly surprised to ride this trail because it was much more scenic than the Northern Central/Torrey C. Brown trail. It was better kept up, wider, went alongside actual train tracks that are in use occasionally for a tourist steam engine train. Additionally, a fence bordered the trail from the drop off to the river part of the time. All this made the trail a little more scenic. It’s a different river now—can’t remember the name of it, but it flows north, whereas the Gunpowder Falls River flows south into Chesapeake Bay. Really, it’s more of a large stream, but it was sort of wide. Several old homes also dotted the sides of the trail, which meant that roads frequently crossed the trail, which made us slow down while crossing and riding between the gated bars across the trail. That was okay.
Passed (and stopped for a water/trail mix snack break and pictures of novelty sculptures) at Hanover Junction, an intersection of the railroad—one track going to Gettysburg and one track going to York, although the Gettysburg track has been stopped short there. In November,1863, President Lincoln purportedly was on the train from Washington, D.C. going to dedicate the National Cemetery in Gettysburg and there delivered the famous Gettysburg address. He is said to have written most or maybe all of the Gettysburg Address while on this train. On certain evenings during the summer a speaker gives historical presentations on the porch of the train station. Tonight’s presentation started at 7 pm, though, so we would not be able to make it work with our itinerary.
We made it to York by 11 am and then had to ride on the regular streets over to the Enterprise Rental Car. That was a different experience, not only because of the increased traffic on part of this trek but also because we had to ride up a rather steep hill, which was done with the gears in 2 and 1 instead of 2 and 6, which I had been normally riding in. We got the car, Martha had the navigational information, and I drove forty minutes east to Lancaster County. I wanted to see some Amish country, as she and her husband Ed had seen this area a few years ago when we did a western Pennsylvania ride and Ron and I had chosen to go spend time at Gettysburg Battle land instead of Amish country. We had lunch at the Millers Smorgasbord recommended by the couple this morning, and though it was good food, it definitely was not Amish “flavor.” More like a nice buffet restaurant in any city. After lunch we drove through Intercourse and Bird In Hand—Amish town—and were able to see some Amish people and their wagons along the roadside and in a couple of shops we went into. One was a neat Quilt Shop called Log Cabin Quilts that had really nice quilting materials and finished quilts. But I have plenty of nice homemade quilts from my parents and grandparents, so I didn’t buy anything. We got ice cream at King’s Creamery, which was good, and then started back to York. I have to admit that I didn’t see as many Amish people as I thought I would. The area seems more commercialized and touristy than I imagined it would be, but it was a good break from riding, and now I can know that I’ve been there.
We arrived back at the Enterprise place at 4 pm and were able to get a driver to take us and our bikes in a truck back to the start of the trail in York, which saved us 30 minutes and stressed riding with all the traffic. So then we started back toward the Jackson House B and B. We stopped at Hanover Junction again briefly to talk to the station/museum person and then went on to Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, where we ate at a late 1700’s mill turned into a restaurant, the Glen Rock Mill Restaurant. Dinner was good again, and then we had three miles of uphill (200 feet increase in altitude) to the town of Railroad, where the Jackson House is located. Got back about 8:45 and then Martha did internet searching as we reconsidered our plans for Thursday on the way back to the airport.