Pennsylvania Dutch Country: Amish, Buggy Rides, Farms, Teas, Tours, and More!
Not far from the Sonic that I visited for the race is Pennsylvania Dutch Country, located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The Amish are typically known for making reliable furniture, their philosophy of community, and their abstaining from the use of electricity. But I know them for their pretzels, their mint tea, and their tours. Lancaster has one of the largest populations of Amish communities. Here you can visit a quilt museum, take buggy rides, and visit a working farm. You really get a feel for what life is like as a member of this community.
The Amish aren’t doing so badly for themselves since their farms supply major industries locally and nationally. For example, the milk from their free-roaming cows is delivered down the road to Hershey, PA to make all those delicious chocolates we know and love, like the Kisses, Resees Peanut Butter Cups and KitKats. One of their more unusual cash crops is the tobacco, which is sold to Marlboro. It’s actually grown locally and dried in the barns. You can even see it hanging from the roofs of the barns as you drive by.
I originally wanted to visit the Amish for the stage mission: portraits. I knew the drive over to PA wasn’t too bad from my home, so I decided to drive up with the LC-A in hand and ready for portrait mode. But my plan totally backfired! Due to religious reasons, the Amish don’t take pictures of themselves therefore most of them don’t want their picture taken by a complete stranger either. Well, I did what I could, asked as friendly as possible and one member of the community let me take his from a distance. So I guess my mission wasn’t a total loss.
It’s amazing how we live side by side yet we are so different. Wow! The land is breathtaking and the people are super friendly. It’s nice to get out of the hustle and bustle life style and go for a relaxing drive through Lancaster.