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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Onward to Wellsboro, more or less



After three days of not seeing Gettysburg, it was time to push north again to our first weeklong rental which we'll refer to either by its nice pseudonym, "Kettle Creek" or its naughty one, "Tse-Tse Fly." And although it was finally not raining, we weren’t too pissed off because we wanted clear weather for our drive, because we know nothing of central Pennsylvania. My mom took me on vacations in the Poconos when I was a kid, or we drove straight through on the Turnpike on our way to the Midwest, but we never stopped anywhere west of Lancaster County. And the government shutdown continued, so the nice weather wouldn’t have done us any good as far as seeing the Park. Idiots.

In fact, I almost forgot something very interesting that happened because of the closure. The one day we drove around, looking at barriers and traffic cones in a downpour, we came across a local news station van and they began to wave and yell, so we stopped. Turned out they were looking for a story of folks who had traveled a long way only to be shut out of the Park. Joyce leaped at this opportunity to give the federal government a piece of her mind, and then we got to see ourselves on the local Harrisburg evening news. All I had a chance to say was, since this wasn’t our whole trip, it wasn’t entirely ruined. Joyce was very funny and did a good job, although they edited the swearing out.

Now, I say “Wellsboro, more or less” because we don’t wish to be sued for libel, so all names will now be changed to protect the blogger and her family. There are plenty of little towns within reach of Wellsboro, which is real, and our town, “Johnny-Town”, could be any of them. No one needs to know exactly which town or rental we stayed in, or who the owner is. Actually “Johnny” was extremely sweet, but just a tad too eccentric, even for us.

Maybe I should explain what the hell we were doing way up there in the Wilds of Pennsylvania, as the area is called. We were looking for leaves, elk and general scenery. I put all that into a search for dog-friendly lodging and came up with “Johnny’s” place. The leaves were supposed to turn there first, so we went there first, after which every subsequent stop would take us back south where we belong, (according to our arthritis) again. Our arthritis gets a vote on every location we ever visit, determining whether or not we return, or what time of year. So, charming as Wellsboro was, we have seen enough to satisfy our curiosity and our leaf-cravings.

So, going from Spa-Gettysburg to Wellsboro, more or less, requires so many changes of route that I didn’t even attempt to check it before telling Sam where to take us. She got us into Gettysburg via a lovely, scenic route and we hoped she would now do something similar. Sometimes we weren’t on a segment of the route for more than 500 feet when we would have to turn again, and again, and again. Some of this was due to construction, and some to the fact that except for the Turnpike, there are very few direct routes anywhere. It’s kind of like Illinois. And going up into the Wilds, you definitely leave the Interstate way behind.

But even with all that to consider and endure, we arrived quite early in the afternoon at our rental cabin, the “Tse Tse Fly,” in “Johnny-Town.” And to find out why we chose this pseudonym, you’ll just have to read on, but the weather was great and the sun was out, and here’s the cabin. Yes, that's Van O'White, out front, now 22 years old and still going strong.

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