Saturday, April 20, 2013
There's a small highway in Pennsylvania that has garnered lots of attention from a certain subculture. This simple highway runs less than 6 miles through Delaware county. Located within miles of the Philadelphia International airport and I-95, the route is often traveled. But the popularity of this road is due to it's route number. 420 has become synonymous with the marijuana community as a slang term for a time to smoke. Needless to say the signs have disappeared quite often in the last few years. Lucky for us we were able to get at least a few pictures.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
In 1684 a group of Pennsylvania citizens approached William Penn about constituting a tract of land for themselves. The 40,000 acres they wished to have would be used for a separate county where only Welsh would be spoken. They received what they asked for, yet refused to set up any governing bodies. Their small Welsh community quickly and quietly faded away. The township of Radnor, located along the main line to Philadelphia, was once originally part of this Welsh tract. Today they still continue to honor their lost legacy through a few odd memorials.
When the I-476 turnpike decided to route through the suburban township of Radnor, the locals vowed to not let it destroy their hometown heritage and charm. They instead used the opportunity to beautify, as opposed to vilify. The township agreed that this was a perfect time to help exemplify the towns mysterious past.
The township had a massive 23 foot high cairn placed on top of a local hilltop, allowing passing vehicles to get a glimpse of a wondrous secret. Large cairns are located throughout most of Wales, many dating back to the Neolithic and Bronze ages. Nearby a extravagant dragon made of stone was constructed along the highway as well.
Though what the municipality decided to do at Unkefer park seems to be the most mystical. A circle of stone monoliths was constructed. These large boulders were unearthed while highway construction was being done. The township wanted to make use of the massive rocks instead of having them hauled away, which may have cost them more. As mystical as these attractions seem they are all part of this towns rich history.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
March madness is coming upon us! A time when even those who know nothing about sports have a chance to be the office hero. The annual college basketball tournament definitely generates a buzz around the country. Folks everywhere are filling out several brackets in hopes of picking all the unpredictable upsets that occur every year. All this excitement is certainly more prevalent in college towns, particularly those schools who generally have outstanding basketball programs on a consistent basis. One city that fits this bill perfectly is Syracuse, New York.
The whole city seems to be on hold whenever their beloved Orange are running the floor. The citizens all adorn navy blue and orange apparel. They take their basketball very seriously here. And they should, a former owner of the previous NBA team, the Syracuse Nationals, helped to revolutionize the modern game.
In 1954 the Nationals owner incorporated using a 24 second shot clock during a scrimmage. He used a formula he created based solely on box scores of NBA games. Through the 1950's the league was in general suffering from lack of attendance due to teams acquiring a lead, than continuously passing the ball to run the clock down. The NBA adopted the clock for the 54-55 season resulting in higher average scores and eventually larger attendance.
If you have ever visited Syracuse in the winter months when basketball season is in effect, you'll barely see anyone in a city of over half a million. Of course if you find yourself outside during this time, you to will be looking to get back in, at least to get out of the cold!
Thursday, March 7, 2013
After purchasing your tickets you ascend the staircase and begin your experience. You initially learn the history of the local dairy and the family that started this corporation. Learning along the way how the family utilized the local farmers, as well as changed their strategies as our nation grew and demanded more convenience. Following the history lesson the tour begins to become a bit more hands on.
The next area consists of an old delivery truck; with an operational horn, a cow you can test your milking skills on, as well as interactive phones retelling delivery stories from decades past. Also included in the interactive area is a small theater which shows a short film giving you insight into the local factory. Various hands on games, activities, and playthings. But best of all are the infinite samples you can try. Test your taste buds with their delicious ice creams, while you wash it all down with refreshing iced teas.
One of the coolest activities the Turkey Hill Experience offers is the chance to create your own flavor of ice cream. You get to add your own mixing's and toppings. Creating something completely outlandish and possibly nauseating, or create a special flavor you always wanted to see. Not only do you get the chance to create your own new flavor, but you also get to design the packaging for your brilliant idea. Best of all you even get the opportunity to create your own commercial to help advertise your new crazy concoction.
You can check out my flavor and commercial here.
Friday, February 22, 2013
Wow! So recently my hometown of Lititz, Pennsylvania was named America's coolest small town. Something most our residents already knew, but it's nice to have an official honor to go with it.
So what makes Lititz so cool? For starters Lititz is home to a lot of firsts. The first all girls boarding school was started in 1746 and still rests on Main street. Also on Main street is the first hard pretzel factory in America. Other local local sweet spots dot the small town including Candyology, Cafe Chocolate, and of course the famous Wilbur chocolate factory.
Many other specialty shops that line the streets include a few thrift shops, a fair trade store, a market specializing in exotic meats, as well as a British pub. Also nearby is a wolf sanctuary, as well as the picturesque Lititz spring park. There's plenty to keep you busy in this tiny town, but it's not necessarily our unique shops that make us so cool.
Most will tell you what makes this town so cool is it's community. The folks in this town support their town and their local business owners. Lititz holds 2nd Friday celebrations every month where the shops stay open longer and musicians line the alleys and parking lots. Lititz certainly isn't the first town to do this, but the community really gathers around and shows their support no matter what the weather conditions.
Several annual festivities are quite popular around town and gather rather large crowds. The Chocolate Walk, Independence Day celebration, and the recent Fire & Ice festival, are just a few of the popular events you can find around town.
Friday, February 15, 2013
There are many strange mysteries associated with the Indian Echo Caverns, located near Hershey, Pennsylvania. In 1919 a couple of local youths in the area were exploring the cave, when they stumbled upon a mysterious box, decorated with strange designs. The contents inside proved more mysterious. Inside the box the boys discovered random coins from throughout the World, some possibly minted as early as 480 B.C. Also included was some jewelry, moon rocks, and instructions on making diamonds from lightning. (BTW it doesn't work!) The young man who discovered this intriguing chest held onto it for many years until he decided to share his discovery with others. Eventually the proprietor of Indian Echo Caverns purchased the abstruse trunk and it is now on display in the gift shop.
If these young men had been exploring the cave a hundred years before they may have encountered quite a surprise if they bumped into William Wilson. Between the years of 1802-1821 William made the caverns his home. After his sister was executed for the murder of her two children, the man began to seclude himself from society. It's believed a pardon was granted from the state to William's sister, but he was unable to deliver it in time to halt the execution.
From that time on Wilson went into a state of delirium, withdrawing from society and retreated into the caves to spend the last decades of his life. It's believed he kept an account of his life spent in the cave and the stories have been published in the book "The Pennsylvania Hermit" Read book here.
The mysterious box the young men discovered is not believed to have been left behind by Mr. Wilson. But some believe William Wilson may have left something else behind...his spirit. In several neighboring counties where Wilson lived previously. his spirit has been seen on horseback galloping to the local jailhouse. His sister Elizabeth is believed to haunt the areas around the cave, though it's believed she was never in the cavern. While clearing trees to make room for a parking lot, several workers claimed to witness a young female spirit wandering nearby. These tales may seem like modern folklore, and perhaps its not the spirit of Elizabeth or William Wilson. But long before either of these tales came about, the Susquehannock Indians who occupied the cave were awfully dreadful of the Rainbow room. Even to this day over a dozen witnesses have spotted the apparition of a Native American man holding a severed head.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
It's believed the early Susquehannock Indians who settled in the area were the first to discover the Indian Echo caverns. They would use the cave as refuge during harsh weather. The cave would also be used to store food during the warmer months. The tribe vanished from the area during the 1670's leaving the caverns unoccupied. During the next century saw an influx of European trappers.It's believed these men discovered the cave during their journeys of the northeast sections of the United States.
In 1929 the cave opened up for commercial tours. At first thousands came in droves to catch a look at the beauty of mother nature, sadly the great depression was looming around the corner. The cave fell on hard times and was purchased by the bank. However in 1942 a nearby Hershey resident purchased the property and the family has maintained it since.
The cave consists of several large rooms and also narrow passageways. Red lights line the areas where you may to watch your head. And during our tour they turned off all the lights and illuminated a room with just the brightness of an old torch. Offering you a glimpse into how travelers in the past viewed this wondrous creation.
Indian Echo is a cave full of amazing features. Sometimes even appearing otherworldly. Goliath stalactites, massive formations, constant growth, crystal clear lakes, and stunning natural colors all make up this beautiful subterranean area. Let's hope it's enjoyed for many more centuries to come.