On our final day in central Pennsylvania, we had grand plans that did not match with the weather we woke up to. Part of living on the road is being able to switch gears and come up with a plan B (or C or D) at a moment’s notice. In my research of the area, I had come across a lot of information on covered bridges throughout Lancaster County, so I proposed that we take a daytrip around the area and just explore.
We did a little digging on the county website and found a great map with detailed location information for all the covered bridges. Based on a tentative route, we picked out 7 bridges to visit and started on our way.
Our campground was in the heart of Amish country, and this adventure immersed us even more. We saw many buggies, including one going over one of the bridges we stopped to see, and several farmers out harvesting with their horses in the fields.
Most of the bridges had plaques with their history adjacent to the bridge, so we got a little history lesson, too. It was really interesting to read about how these bridges came to be simply by a landowner taking his case to the county and presenting the need for the bridge. One of the bridges was built to connect a small village with a hotel to the newly built railroad on the other side of the creek. None of these bridges were terribly long or over huge rivers, but it was interesting to see how these bridges were truly lifelines for the farms, neighbors, and towns.
One thing we did not notice when we were finding all of these bridges is that they all pretty much look the same. It took scrolling back through my camera roll to realize that, except for the first bridge that is one of the only predominately white ones in the county, they were all red and of the same design. It was so fun noticing this after the fact because we truly had the best time hunting these treasures down and soaking in the environment around us. The fact that we did not notice until later helped me realize how much we were living in the moment and just enjoying the day.
Even though our original plans were sidelined, we realized we needed a day in the truck simply exploring and being together without a schedule. We spend so much of our time together, yet we do not always take the time to have the deep conversations we need for our family and our relationship. It is easy to get caught up in the mundane and every day and gloss over any issues or struggles. This lifestyle suits us well, but we are still adjusting to a smaller space, to less time to ourselves, and to parenting together 100% of the time. Communication is key to making any relationship work, and I am grateful we took advantage of the time together to have tough and much needed conversations.
We made a couple of other stops on our adventure, including at a fabric shop for me, where I decided on a whim to buy a panel to make a quilt (in the way future!), and a nice community park where we ate lunch, Little Bird and I took a nice walk, and Will was able to do a little fishing.
While our final day in Amish country was not at all what we planned, we had the day we were supposed to have. We read the plaques at each bridge about people wanting to build their community and connect with one another, and we took the time to do the same for us. It was exactly how we needed to wrap up the first leg of our grand adventure before heading back to our home base for a few days.