Relaxing and Recharging in Cross Roads PA

Relaxing and Recharging in Cross Roads PA

To paraphrase the mathematician and author John Allen Paulos, “Uncertainty is the only certainty there is…”

We’re just about ready to return to the open road, after an unplanned extended stay in my hometown. Thanks to the kindness and generosity of my parents, we once again rolled Cecil into their driveway and set up home for a few weeks longer than intended, due to some needed temporary medical treatment. Shortly after arriving here for our planned visit, I was diagnosed with neurological Lyme disease after spending a few nights at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. I’ll most likely write an entire post dedicated to this topic in the near future, but the short story is the treatment involved an extended dosage of intravenous antibiotics which required us to remain stationary until the treatment was complete. I have since fully recovered, so no need for alarm – we are ready to continue exploring our country and the great outdoors.

We have a brief one-night stop planned at Caledonia State Park – a park we’ve visited many times in the past, but never overnight with the RV – before heading west to visit with a friend and then onward to Ashley’s hometown. Our planned two-week visit to Cross Roads blossomed into a five-week layover, and while the extension was unexpected, we were able to spend more time with family and friends and participate in more activities than we would have otherwise. Ashley had time available to engage more fully in one of her hobbies, producing various pickled goods using the lacto-fermentation technique. Our RV refrigerator now has small containers of pickled ginger carrots, traditional sauerkraut, and preserved white potatoes with onions that we didn’t have when we arrived. She also has a young sourdough starter happily bubbling away, which we sampled recently in the form of crumpets and honey pancakes.

Our stay in Cross Roads coincided with the York Fair, which we attended one evening along with my parents so Ashley could experience “America’s First Fair” for the first time. I remember going to the fair as a kid with my parents, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, walking through the livestock exhibits, sampling fair food, and listening to live music. While the fair has certainly changed in the years since I attended as a kid, the agricultural roots of the fair are still prevalent. Fruits and vegetables of all varieties are displayed in one huge exhibit hall, with the proud grower taking home a Best in Show ribbon for select specimens. An entire wall is covered with jars of jams, jellies, pickled produce, and canned goods all submitted in hopes of earning a prize. Still other halls are filled with paintings, knitted goods, sewing projects, and other handmade one-of-a kind items.

First prize for the largest pumpkin was awarded to the giant on the left – 710 pounds!
Alpacas just hanging out
Jams and jellies as far as the eye can see…
Just a small sample of the rides before the crowds arrive

 

The first York Fair was held in 1765, thanks to a charter granted to the people of York by Thomas Penn to recognize and celebrate the flourishing town and successful industry in the area. The fair originally existed as a two-day agricultural market, but has since morphed into a ten-day extravaganza with the usual carnival rides, food vendors around every corner, and concerts scheduled throughout the event. The York Fair website has a more detailed history available for anyone wishing to learn more.

With the RV parked in Cross Roads, we made a couple of weekend trips to Elizabethtown to spend time with my sister and her family. Ashley and I always enjoy stopping by Folklore Coffee in the center of town, and we recommend you do the same if you’re visiting Elizabethtown and in search of an excellent cup of coffee.

Folklore Coffee in early fall

The town also boasts two breweries – Moo Duck Brewery and Funk Brewing – both great choices if you enjoy craft beer, with Moo Duck being the more laid-back of the two, and Funk slightly more upscale and located on the main street through town. During one of our visits, I even enjoyed splashing in a puddle before taking a break to watch the birdies resting on the radio tower wires.

Puddle-splashing is hard work. Time for a bird-watching break!

One of my closest (older) friends from college turned 40 while we were in town, and we were lucky enough to celebrate with his family at the Reading Liederkranz during their Octoberfest weekend. We caught up and reminisced over authentic German beer and food while soaking in the cultural event. Yet another college friend just happened to be at the event, which was a pleasant surprise and an excellent photo opportunity. (BONUS – check out his band Hambone Relay if you like organ and guitar driven funk, you won’t be disappointed.)

The birthday boy on the right, and our lederhosen-wearing friend in the middle.
Traditional maypole dance
Lots of steins on display (for sale)

Ashley even taught the kids how to play IceDice, after our initial round of the game caught their attention. I had some fun of my own later that night engaging in an epic Nerf battle with people more my size while the adults sat around acting civilized.

The girls are currently in the lead
I will never outgrow Nerf

Not only did we enjoy delicious German food, we also had the opportunity to attend the Greek food festival hosted by a local church a few times throughout the year. The event features an impressive variety of traditional Greek food including gyros, spanikopita, pastitsio, and souvlaki, not to mention a huge assortment of baked goods and tiny porcelain cups of strong, sweet coffee. As we were leaving, we even caught a few minutes of a dance performance presented by the children of the church decked out in traditional clothing (sorry, we didn’t snap any photos of this).

Too much sugar at one time, but it was delicious

In addition to trying to lend a hand with some chores and projects around my parents’ home, I also joined my sister for a volunteer day with the non-profit organization she works for and has been active with over the years. While I didn’t do much more than carry some boards and drive a few nails, I was glad to be outside working and spending a bit more time with my sister before Ashley and I depart on the next leg of our journey.

My sister, working on her selfie skills
No, I didn’t hit my thumb
Proudly posing with a borrowed nail pouch (thanks Dad) and my socks and shorts.

We’ve finalized our plans through Thanksgiving, stopping in the mountains of Virginia for a few nights and eventually working our way through Asheville, North Carolina and further on to Sharpsburg, Georgia before the fall weather picks up too much of winter’s chill. We’re anxious to get back on the road and adapt to whatever uncertainties life might have in store. Look forward to more articles about campgrounds, parks, and sightseeing over the next couple of months as we further explore the RV lifestyle and more of what our country has to offer. Don’t forget to sign up for the email notification if you’d like to know when new content is posted, and follow us on our various social media accounts if that’s your thing. Feel free to share comments on the website or contact us through email on the “About Us” page if you prefer. Thanks again for reading and we’re glad you’re along for the journey!

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