Yesterday afternoon while we were on our way to buy some corn at the Amish vegetable stand in our neighborhood, I blurted, "It's so nice today. Lets do something fun. ... Like go to the caves or something."
Without hesitating, Jerry enthusiastically agreed.
Central Pennsylvania is filled with all sorts of caverns and caves. With all of the traveling we do on back roads, I've probably passed the billboards reading "PENNS CAVES, TURN RIGHT" or "LINCOLN CAVERNS, 3 MILES" a million times. And every time, I think to myself, "I want to do that someday."
Well, after discovering a lack of corn, but some fantastic "fresh dug" potatoes and a gorgeous seedless watermelon, we dropped off our purchases at home, packed an impromptu diaper bag and printed out directions. Because, well, even though those signs are everywhere, actual route numbers never hurt.
As we drove, we joked that we'd probably be the only people there on a late weekday afternoon. But the place was packed. Not only was the parking lot filled with cars, the license plates were from all over: New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina. And as we walked the grounds -- which were absolutely breathtaking including a wildlife reserve with bison, elk, black bears, mountain lions and caribou, plus a gigantic old Victorian mansion and guest house -- the accents and languages of the visitors were even more diverse.
It just goes to show that sometimes you can have these amazing sights right in your vicinity and go years without seeing them because it's easy to assume the opportunity will arise at some point. Meanwhile, people are traveling in from hundreds of miles away just to get a glimpse of what you have access to everyday.
Well, no longer. Now when I pass those billboards, I'll have memories instead of thinking "maybe someday."