The Pennsylvanian Adventures of... us.

Howdy y'all!
For starters, how about a little trivia? Pennsylvania literally means "Penn's Wooded Land." William Penn founded Pennsylvania many years ago (before we were born, if I remember correctly) He received the land from the king of the nation he was from in payment of a debt that was owed to his father. Even though the king gave him the land, he still bought it from the Indians. The Indians liked him and defended him and the Quakers, so their non-resistant beliefs did not interfere with their well-being...
Y'all probably already knew that piece of information, so in the interests of keeping everything new and exciting, here's what's been going on with us for fourth of July weekend...

1. Camping

As the heading states, we did, in fact, go camping. In case you don't believe me, here are some pictures of our camping trip. :D I guess the "becoming an outdoor family" event really kickstarted something, considering we're camping with our cousins later this month! (+Abigail Francis +Deena Jacunski)
While camping, we went for a little hike on the Blue Rocks trails. Whenever the rocks were real bad, I would carry Leah over them. She thought it was fun having her own personal servant to hold her water bottle, daisy that she picked, (and whenever she could bear to let go of it) her "walking stick" she found.

Seriously, can you take too many pictures of such cuteness?!

The unique thing about this campground was the Blue Rocks. There was a huge stretch of boulders probably a mile / mile and a half long.

Joe, Samuel and I climbed to the top at the peril of our lives... but we survived. :D

Pennsylvania countryside from the top of the Blue Rocks. (Salinn, are you happy about all the pictures of PA? :-) )

We found a little "cave" in the Blue Rocks and improved it by stacking more rocks around it.

Another awesome thing about this campground was the abundance of Ford trucks. Need I say anymore? I think I like this campground already....

One of the campground owners' first vehicle. Good choice!!

Old Broncos!

I would have loved to buy every last one of them.

This beauty ain't for sale, but if she was... I'm first in line! :D
This old cadillac was a nice bonus.

FORD Mustang!

This '70 Ford F250 caught my eye as soon as we pulled into the campground (at 1:00 AM!!!!)

The only sad part is the engine is a Cummins... not a Powerstroke! On the plus side, she gets around 20 MPG. I guess a Cummins is easier to put in an old Ford than a Powerstroke.

2. Fireworks!

Who doesn't like celebrating our nation's birthday with a blast? We are no exception! :D We drove to Dorney Park and walked up to the area behind the parking lot to watch what had been described to us as some good fireworks. Words like "Awesome," "Wow!" and "Epic!" escaped our mouths as we watched several mini-grand finales. The true grand finale was earth-shattering. I think we almost lost all the cars in the parking lot. It was unbelievable. I honestly wish I could have videoed it. It was a couple minutes of chaotic perfection as firework after firework exploded into beautiful flower of color (and chaos!). For die-hard fireworks fans like Joe and Samuel, I'm sure it was a few minutes of pure bliss. :D
A few horrible pictures of the fireworks (no tripod and low light contributed to the poorness of these shots)

Also the simple fact that battery was dead ensured that there would be no video footage.

The reason my battery was probably dead... I played with the selective focus on my Moto X while waiting for the sun to set.

"This clover looks nice... I think I'll take fifty-bazillion pictures of it." <-- My thoughts while waiting for the sun to set.

Somehow she ends up being the main subject of all of our pictures...

3. Kutztown Folklife Festival

This had to be my personal favorite. This was like a fair of country living. Country living means country crafts, country cooking, and (of course) country music! Two classic gentlemen performing some bluegrass / appalachian mountain pickin' on the autoharp and banjo while telling dry, but funny, jokes , an ox roasting, a parade of old tractors driven by their interestingly dressed owners, leatherworkers peddling their unique wares (the leather stuff was my personal favorite), a gunsmith selling guns and knives he had painstakingly built, glassblowers sweating as they manufactured crystalline pieces of art, and Christian instrument makers and musicians describe a few of the things I enjoyed at this little fair. The best thing was wherever you went, there was enjoyable music. Bluegrass and country at the big tent, a lone fiddler at the Gallows Stage, a couple playing the bow psaltery and guitar in their tent, appalachian mountain instrumental music playing at the general store, and so on. Every time I heard music, I sort of just hung around there for a while. :D I'll let the pictures do some of the talking now...

Cooling stations - if you walked inside, they would mist you with water.


Leah petting the goats.

Leah and Ruthie resourcefully feeding the goats with food that had been carelessly dropped on the floor. :D

Cute little ducklings

I love rabbits...

Too bad the pictures came out fuzzy. :(

Slate Paintings

Beautiful leather work.

The lone fiddler...

I took this one for Pastor, likely one of the only people in our church who enjoys Shoofly Pie. :D

Lots of stuff was spelled in a Dutch way.


A Ford tractor I think?

Thatched roofing...

Repurposed spigot handles.

Repurposed propane tanks.

Sarsaparilla, Birch Beer, and Root Beer seemed to be real popular there. (It's not alcoholic, it's just soda)

A pottery wheel.


Quilling - little rolls of paper glued just right to look pretty,

Mom thought the clothesline was really cute.

This planter is made from recycled tin cans with an oxy-acetylene cutting torch.

The ox roast 
Army jeep.
I have a few videos of the some events at the folklife festival, so stay tuned!

4. Crystal Caves

Definitely not the biggest cave we've been to so far (Howe Caverns, Dixie Caverns, and a little cave nearby on some forsaken back road), but it was the first cave some of the little peoples had been to, so they were pretty excited! Most all of us enjoyed the fact that it was 57 degrees in this cool, subterranean environment. Few of us enjoyed that tourists were barred from entering the sub-passages, though. :) Crystalline streams flowed down the walls in something that resembled solidified milk. Only one body of water occupied the cave, it's sizing earning the affectionate(?) nickname, "Lake Inferior." The lighting in there was half decent, so I was able to take a few pictures.

An overview of the cave.

This probably should have been the first picture... it's the entrance to the cave.

5. Friends!

On the Sunday that we left the campground, we visited our friends at the Lehigh Valley Baptist Church. When I say friends, I mean everyone there. I really enjoy how it seems like you've been there all your life when you've been there one Lord's Day. Although I didn't get any pictures (my battery was dead), we had an amazing time fellowshipping with the Rogers family. We had met and visited with Mr and Mrs Rogers before, but this time we were introduced to Eliza, Susannah, Catherine, Abigail, and Anna (I think I actually remembered everyone's names without benefit of pictures!!!) We all enjoyed swapping stories involving dangerous motor vehicle activities - just kidding... well, sort of. :D 

All in all, we had a terrific trip, without incident, excessive restroom stops, or Wal-Mart!!! In case this post seems a bit disjointed, it probably is. I started it right after we got back from PA, but half way through I got a fire call and finished the post here and there ever since. I also know I'm forgetting something, but I can't remember what it is!!!! 
In Christ,
~"Cowboy" Nick


  1. I must say it sure was fun reading your post :). Yes, Leah does seem to get into most of the pictures!
    We are not the only ones ... remember the fair photographer took lots of the little girls feeding the goats too? That was a WONDERFUL trip :)!!! It has been a fun year of camping making up for those years our poor tent was left so neglected!

  2. Wow.......that looked like alot of fun. And you must of broken a record of how many pictures put up. I really enjoyed it all. :D

    1. Yessir! It was 109 pictures - that definitely counts as a record. :D

  3. TheronG7/29/2014

    I could have used some of those cooling stations in London - 80+ degrees several days in a row, though one day the sprinklers at Kew Gardens worked instead.
    A couple minor corrections: It is impossible to have multiple grand finales, even mini ones. By definition, only the last one can be a finale.
    Your "Dutch" is Pennsylvania Dutch, which was originally Pennsylvania Deutsch, and is therefore not Dutch but German.

    1. I never realized my writing was that bad. I feel... really ashamed of myself. Thanks for pointing those out... ;)

    2. TheronG8/01/2014

      You're welcome. I'm always glad to help other people correct their mistakes.


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"Cowboy" Nick

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