Posted by: bkropf | October 29, 2007

Amish Paradise

I showed up on Lancaster by train and had to walk about a mile to a coffee shop to wait for a pickup. Carrie, my cousin currently in Pennsylvania, picked me up and we drove through the towns of Bird-In-Hand and Intercourse watching Amish pass. Carrie, the wonderful person she is, thought I should borrow her car for the weekend to go Maine. After thinking a bit, it seemed like a good idea to me. Carrie’s brother, and my cousin, Darren, lives in Lancaster County also.  I drove over to his house for dinner and the evening. His wife, Lisa, made some amazing burritos. The best part was the homemade tortillas.  I think they were Bonnie’s recipe.  I had one or two plain they were so good. After a nice evening chatting we went to bed early as they tend to get up at 4am with breakfast at 6am. I drug myself out of bed bright and early to enjoy some nice breakfast burritos. Thanks to Darren, Carrie and Lisa for the hospitality.

So I am listening to the news as I write and it sounds like a couple in Houston has eight kids and four of the children tested positive for cocaine. All four were under the age of three. Are these really the type of parents that should be reproducing. A comedian once proposed only people with credit scores over 600 could be authorized to reproduce. After stories like this I could easily be persuaded.

Thanks to the early breakfast at Darren’s house, I was able to get on the road by 7ish. I drove toward Maine with authority, until I got tired from lack of sleep (I got drunk dialed by an old coworker but it was worth waking up for).  I pulled off and listened to some music and dozed a while. Then the remaining of the day was spent driving to Maine. There is absolutely nothing noteworthy. About the most exciting thing that happened is I ate at Jersey Mikes Subs. This is notable because my buddy Ler and I used to always eat at the shop by my house in Lynnwood and firmly believe them to be the best subs. Let me go out of a limb here, but I think ‘Jersey’ is short for New Jersey where I believe the chain started. The shop I stopped at was, get this, in New Jersey. In my mind I believe the sub was that much better in New Jersey. It was cloudy and boring driving all day but when I entered Maine the clouds parted and clear skies appeared. It was like I was made to enter Maine. Then I drove over a ridge and saw this gigantic object in the sky! I never knew the east coast had a larger moon than the west but upon sighting, I am a firm believe the moon is nearly 50% bigger in the east and somehow shrinks by the time it reaches the west. I swerved across traffic while trying to take a picture for proof of the larger moon only to get some blurry photographs of tail lights.

Why did I not just stop to take a good picture for evidence on the moon? Well, I had my first Couchsurfing meeting and I needed to get to the restaurant to meet the host by 9pm. Monica had emailed me in the middle of the day saying I would be able to stay with her and her fellow artists for the night. I met her at Sarah’s Cafe in Wacasset where she hosts. She gave me some Haddock Chowder to eat while the restaurant was cleaned. She lived in a really neat cabin in the woods next to a small farm. I forget exactly what the place was called, but the basic concept is that you can apply to live there for eight month sessions. If you get admitted, you can live there and create art as a part of a small community of artists. We sat and talked about travel experiences over a cup of tea. Then I was able to meet some of the other artists. My favorite was a women from the Bay Area in California named Misty. I went to bed while Monica worked a couple hours on her projects. My first experience Couchsurfing was a great success. Monica and her friends were extremely kind and hospitable. Thank you so much.

One fun story Monica had was traveling around the nation in a bus/motorhome with 10 strangers. They were filming a documentary called, “The Meaning of Life.” They drove around for two months stopping at roadside attractions and interviewing the creators, caretakers, or owners to better understand why they do what they do. Monica said two of the more interesting stops were Bishop’s Castle in Colorado and some other place somewhere. Bishop’s Castle was a castle built by this weird guy, imagine that. It seemed to be precarious and quite strange. Mr. Bishop seemed to be eccentric because when they interviewed him he started yelling at the camera that they couldn’t shut his castle down, etc. Seems like the backstory is one of his family members died while building the castle and the lot is zoned for a two story residential house, not a castle. The other place she mentioned was a mountain some guy is building. His life work is to make a mountain. Using donated hay-bales, stucco and paint, he lives in his car building a mountain. Sounds like it has been going on for years. I’m really curious how to find people like this, it would be funny to stop by and see them.

Some old man just asked me if I was working on an ‘air current.’ I really didn’t understand what he meant, so I just said no. He then walked over and pointed to my wireless card and asked if I was working on an ‘air current.’ I said no again, there were no wireless networks available. He left without another word. Weird! I wish I did have an air current to work on though because need to figure out where I’m going today.



  1. Wierd, as much of an internet nerd as I am, I’ve never heard it referred to as an “air current”.

    Where are the pictures!?

  2. Intercourse – shame on you. You should wash your mouth out with Amish soap.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: