Time to Start Planning on Travel…We Took Our First Drive!
As our guests know, we have been closed since March 15th, and even though the Governor of the Commonwealth has released hotels and B&B’s/Lodges from restrictions, we are still keeping them in place, although we’ll carefully lift some and begin welcoming guests on a limited basis by the end of the month, and even through June. More on that in a future May blog posting. For now, in this travel blog, we want to tell you about “our first country drive”…or at least it felt like our first one, even though it is something we “used” to enjoy regularly, BC “before Covid-19”.
We haven’t left the property in about 10 weeks. Nobody in or out of the Inn. Friends said, “go for a drive, get out of the house,” but we were afraid to due to “what happens if there is a break down?” “What happens if we need to buy gas, and have to be in public to buy gas or handle a gas pump handle?” So, we stayed put…didn’t go anywhere!
We felt like “grownups” getting to leave the house and drive about on our own. This past week, we started up Rosalie’s car (Craig’s won’t start, hasn’t been turned on since February—a mistake!), which still had a full tank of gas from back in early February. We took a drive on our favorite country road, Swopes Valley Road, which is up in the mountains, just north of the Inn.
For our guests who want to enjoy a country drive, we have pre-printed directions for them directing them to the entrance, which is just south of Pine Grove, Pa. It is a twisty-curvy road, which ends up on top of the Blue Mountains. On the way, you drive past a mountain brook far down the slope of the road on the right, and tall cliffs reaching skyward on your left. You see mountain homes, bright red barns, fertile fields. One home inspires us…we turn a corner, and there is a red barn with an American flag suspended from the corner nearest the road…almost right out of “Norman Rockwell.”
Two major tail heads are here…one is the Rails to Trails, which will one day connect with the terminus near Annville Inn. The other is the DCNR (Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources) trail, which is a short distance east of Rails to Trails. It has a beautifully designed parking lot, and easy access. Both trails run parallel to the Swatara, aka “Swattie”.
We soon hope to take what we call the “Mountain Road.” This road is a short distance north of Swopes Valley Road and is even more twisty and windy, except for a few straightaways. It runs past covered bridges, a large Indian Temple, and through both wetlands and highlands. It is very isolated; we do not recommend it at dusk or inclement weather. Very little cell service. Beautiful drive, and it ends on Rt. 60, near Hamburg, PA. It is the beautiful way to go to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, which we’ll describe in another blog post. Many of our guests go to Hawk Mountain. Some go via the Interstate and arrive in about 45 minutes. Others take our Mountain Road recommendation and arrive in about an hour. This would obviously be a “day trip,” and something fun to do during Covid-19 shutdowns if you are one who enjoys “motoring out into the countryside.” Take a picnic and call it a day’s adventure!
Our guests are “chomping at the bit” to return to Annville Inn and the Hershey/Lancaster area. We are already booking reservations in June through to the end of the year. Call now, we’d love to hear from you!