Day 809: Real Chocolate at a Fake Factory, with a Side of Alpacas

Shabbos at Degel Israel was great.  Rabbi Shlomo Horwitz from Jewish Crossroads gave several excellent presentations.  After Shabbos the shul had a post-Havdalah bonfire:

Day_809_01

Today we visited Hershey’s Chocolate World, a Disney-style ride through a fake chocolate factory.  We only came because Trish remembered visiting here as a child:

Day_809_02

Day_809_03

Day_809_04

Day_809_05

Day_809_06

Day_809_07

Day_809_08

Day_809_09

Day_809_10

Day_809_11

After the ride, we visited the adjacent retail space:

Day_809_12

Day_809_13

Day_809_14

Day_809_15

Day_809_16

Day_809_17

Day_809_18

Before leaving, we watched amateur car racing in the adjacent parking lot:

Day_809_19

Day_809_20

Day_809_21

On the way back to the RV, we stopped at the Eastland Alpaca Farm to see the Alpacas.  B found a friendly farm cat:

Day_809_22

Day_809_23

Yup, alpacas:

Day_809_24

Day_809_25

See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 807: Harley-Davidson Factory Tour

This morning, we didn’t really know where we would spend Shabbos.  I was surprised to discover that several towns in the area have synagogues, so we called Degel Israel in Lancaster, PA and were invited to come for Shabbos.  We drove west to Lancaster and dropped off the RV at the synagogue.  We then drove west to York, PA, home of one of Harley-Davidson’s factories:

Day_807_01

Day_807_02

Day_807_03

Tricia’s shoes didn’t pass muster for a factory tour, so we had to drive over to the nearest Walmart to buy a pair of shoes.  Now Trish and B have the same shoes:

Day_807_04

Before the factory tour, we toured the museum:

Day_807_05

Day_807_06

In the factory, there are five production lines that the motorcycles pass through as they’re being assembled.  This is what the motorcycle looks like at the end of the first line:

Day_807_07

…and at the end of the third line:

Day_807_08

A variety of models are available for sampling.  I’m not a motorcycle guy, but Trish insisted on a photo:

Day_807_09

Day_807_10

Day_807_11

Day_807_12

Day_807_13

Harley-Davidson doesn’t allow photographs on the tour.  We saw huge steel presses that form fenders out of a single sheet of steel, robotic welding machines, the painting area, the road test machines, and the packaging area where fifteen motorcycles are loaded into a semi trailer on specialized steel pallets.

After the tour, we returned to the RV where I helped build the bonfire for the post-Shabbos event the synagogue is having as part of a nationwide program by The Shabbos Project:

Day_807_14

I went for a ride this afternoon by the farms around Lancaster:

Day_807_15

 

Ready for Shabbos:

Day_807_16

Good Shabbos from Degel Israel in Lancaster, PA!  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 806: Valley Forge NHP, Hopewell Furnace NHS

This morning I replaced the valve in the water pump selector switch.  The circular rubber gasket had failed, allowing the pump to draw air as well as water, so the pump didn’t work very well:

Day_806_01

We drove a few miles from Walmart to Valley Forge National Historical Park, where Washington’s army spent a winter with inadequate supplies during the Revolutionary War:

Day_806_02

Nice visitor center:

Day_806_03

Day_806_04

Yes, these are our children:

Day_806_05

Day_806_06

Day_806_07

We drove the self-guided loop road:

Day_806_08

At one stop, a group of reenactors manned a small cannon:

Day_806_09

Day_806_10

Day_806_11

Our next stop was Washington’s headquarters for that winter:

Day_806_18

Day_806_19

Day_806_12

Day_806_13

Day_806_14

Day_806_15

Day_806_16

Day_806_17

Washington’s bodyguard detail lived in these huts:

Day_806_20

Day_806_21

The kids completed their Junior Ranger badges and received their badges:

Day_806_22

We continued northwest to visit Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, where the history of early American rural iron making is preserved:

Day_806_23

Day_806_24

At the top of the furnace, charcoal, limestone, and iron ore were poured in to this hole to produce pig iron:

Day_806_25

This waterwheel drives the bellows that feed oxygen to the blast furnace:

Day_806_26

Day_806_27

Day_806_28

Day_806_29

Day_806_30

We were last here in May of 2005, so we tried to recreate a couple photos from that visit:

P1040169

Day_806_31

P1040164

Day_806_32

Day_806_33

The blacksmith shop:

Day_806_34

Day_806_35

Here at the bottom of the blast furnace, a plug would be removed, allowing the molten pig iron to spill out:

Day_806_36

Day_806_37

Day_806_38

Day_806_39

Day_806_40

Day_806_41

Day_806_42

The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their badges:

Day_806_43

Day_806_45

On the way out we watched this herd of sheep:

Day_806_44

We continued west to overnight at the Walmart of Morgantown, PA.  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 805: Independence NHP

This morning we left the RV at the Lower Merion Synagogue and drove into Philadelphia to visit Independence National Historical Park.  We found curbside parking and walked over to the site:

Day_805_01

The visitor center had exhibit space showcasing the many historic buildings in the park:

Day_805_02

On our way to Independence Hall, we walked by the excavated basement of the president’s residence, home to presidents Washington and Adams while the US capital was in Philadelphia from 1790 to 1800:

Day_805_03

Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed:

Day_805_04

Day_805_05

Independence Hall was built as the colonial seat of power for the colony of Philadelphia in 1753.  In this room, the colonial court presided:

Day_805_06

Day_805_07

In this room, the Second Continental Congress debated and signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  Washington sat up front:

Day_805_08

Day_805_09

The Constitution was signed with this ink set:

Day_805_10

One of the original printed copies of the Constitution:

Day_805_11

We also saw the Liberty Bell:

Day_805_12

Day_805_13

The kids handed in their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their badges:

Day_805_14

Day_805_15

No caption needed:

Day_805_16

We visited the building that housed the Supreme Court while the US capital was in Philadelphia:
 

Day_805_17

We also visited the legislative building.  Congress sat in this room:

Day_805_18

The Senate met in a smaller room upstairs:

Day_805_20

Day_805_21

Day_805_22

Day_805_23

We visited Carpenters’ Hall, meeting place of the First Continental Congress:

Day_805_24

Day_805_25

Day_805_26

On our way back to the truck, we visited the courtyard where Benjamin Franklin’s house once stood:

Day_805_27

This building was built by Franklin as a rental property:

Day_805_28

Inside, the building has been stripped to the outer walls, so flue paths, fireplaces, and floor locations can be seen in this three-story structure:

Day_805_29

We returned to the RV, hitched up, and drove northwest to overnight at the Walmart of King Of Prussia, PA.  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 804: So Long, New York

This morning, B finished up a scarf she’s been knitting:

Day_804_01

We hitched up the RV and pulled it forward, which allowed me to do some last minute removal of a dead branch:

Day_804_02

You can tell it needed to come down when it breaks apart like this when hitting the ground:

Day_804_03

After dumping our sewer tanks, we rolled down the driveway.  After almost four weeks, it’s great to get back out on the road:

Day_804_04

We drove southwest to overnight at the Lower Merion Synagogue in a suburb of Philadelphia.  Tonight, Trish worked on a rug hooking project using strips of wool instead of yarn:

Day_804_05

See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.