The next morning, we got up at a decent hour and headed over to the southern entrance of Shenandoah National Park...
...and this is what we saw. We even stopped and spoke with the ranger on duty and she confirmed it was like this the whole way. So, rather than drive the scenic route without the scenery we opted for the interstate and headed towards my brother and sister-in-law's place in central Pennsylvania.
Angie, snug as a bug in a sofa sleeper!
We got to David and Pam's house just in time. A few minutes after we got there, a cold front blew in and we even saw some snow!
Luckily, it didn't stick. Their yard was Kipper heaven!
My big brother, David, took me to nearby Canoe Creek State Park for some kayaking one day.
Pam and Dave also showed us all over town. My Mom was in town too!
Quite a courthouse they've got!
Great little breakfast spot, "Creamery and Crepes".
Inside they had great food and some great artwork done by the local high school students.
Dave and Pam were looking for a couple of items for the house so we tagged along to this little consignment shop that they really like.
I can see why! The place was in a really cool old department store and had all kinds of deals.
Angie and I loved this little bar. It would look great in LeTigre, don't you think?
Another of Dave and Pam's favorite places to shop!
I love these old appliances! They'd probably decrease LeTigre's gas mileage though, so we passed.
Nope, that's a washing machine. When's the last time you saw one of these? Only $80!
This clock was amazing but I don't know where we'd put it...
This is just kind of creepy.
We took the opportunity to do some LeTigre maintenance while we were in town. Angie just loves going to get the oil changed!
Note the picture of "Horseshoe Curve" over her right shoulder...
(P.S. Right now, Angie is wondering why Greg included this picture.....)
In addition to doing some van maintenance, I did some work to our bikes. The chains were frozen solid with rust from the beach and I thought I was going to have to replace them, but I tried using some lighter fluid I had with us to clean them and it worked! I just dipped the chains right into the bottle, agitated it a little, and wiped them off. A little WD-40 afterwards and they're as good as new!
Another great little coffee shop we went to for lunch.
With more art from the high school. Hey, there's Lucille Ball again!
We spent a lot of time around this table eating some great meals (thanks Pam!) and getting caught up. We hadn't seen David, Pam, and the kids in almost a year! We also got to see Pam's folks, Anna and John, for a couple of days too.
There was even a little surprise birthday celebration for me since my b-day is next month!
Pam's Dad, John, is a big train aficionado and I'd heard from my Dad about "Horseshoe Curve" so we went one morning and checked it out. It's a little climb up to see the trains go around the curve...
...or you can ride this little funicular up the hillside.
Hard to see in this photo but the front end of the train is to the left, the caboose is to the right, and the curve is behind me. There's 120 feet difference in elevation from one end to the other.
Here's an old aerial photo that helps illustrate what I mean. Before they figured out how to build this, there was no way to get across the Allegheny Mountains to Pittsburgh via train. Cargo would be loaded onto canals and then put back on another train to complete the journey.
GP9 diesel-electric locomotive on display. John pointed out that this was basically a hybrid ahead of its time. A train is circling the curve in the background.
There's a great little museum on site about the curve's construction and history.
The curve was so important that during WWII it was almost sabotaged! In addition to the headline, read some of the smaller ones, they're pretty fascinating.
We also had the privilege of getting to see Pam perform with her choir. They are a very versatile group and did about a dozen pieces from many different genres including some in French and Hebrew!
We happened to be there for the choir's 25th anniversary performance so there was cake afterwards to celebrate!
Pam posing with her adoring fans. It was a great concert!
John, Paul, and Helen getting their fill. These kids can really eat!
It's rare that we can all get together like this so we took the opportunity to get a family photo.
What a great lookin' group!
Kipper made a new friend with "Biscuit"
Then, sadly, it was time to say goodbye. Thanks to everyone for such an wonderful visit!
We love you!