Ozark’s to York PA 2016 Day 10

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ June 5, 2016/ BMW R1200RT, General Rants & Raves About Riding, New Orleans to Ozarks to York 2016, Touring/ 0 comments

Departure Location: York, PA

Time: 0900

Weather Conditions: Cloudy with afternoon showers expected

Daily High Temperature: 84

Destination: Hershey and Lancaster, PA

Daily Miles Logged: 126

State Visited: Pennsylvania

Today marked the last of our improvised days and as such, we set out to explore the area for two things that we knew were here… Hershey Chocolate and Amish culture.

Leaving the hotel was at a leisurely pace today and it will be the last time this trip that we have a base camp for more than one night.  Our bikes were not heavy laden with all of the usual gear which made the handling a little different from what we have been accustomed to for the past few days. We set our sights on Lancaster, Millersville and Elizabethtown in search of signs of the Amish.  It is sad to report that the only signs of the Amish that we encountered was the horse poop on the sides of the roads and a few barns along our path.  We did not realize that there would be little to no activity in their communities on a Sunday morning!

With disappointing results on our quest to see the Amish (pronounced AIMish from what I can tell…) in person, we set our sights on Hershey, PA to see where the chocolate comes from.  Our path to the factory was a pleasant yet short ride along HWY 283 to Cocoa Avenue and then to the front of the factory on Chocolate Street.

Not having a great deal of time to study what the options for activities were prior to our arrival, we elected to do three that seemed interesting to us: The Chocolate Tasting, The Trolly Tour, and Build Your Own Chocolate Bar.

My highlight here was getting to taste the roasted cocoa nib without the sugar, milk or other flavors…

The Tasting was fun and there were many parallels to wine tasting in that we were instructed to identify the primary and secondary aroma’s and tastes that we found in the four samples that were provided.  My favorite is still the Hershey’s Special Dark as a nice blend between the cocoa flavor that still has some sweetness to it!

The smoke stacks from the factory are visible from most places in town

It was fun to see the Hershey Kiss street lights along the streets in town

After the Tasting, we decided to grab some lunch and I chose the grilled chicken sandwich with mac and cheese.  Randall had the chicken tenders which were neither tender or chicken, we suspect! Jon had the pulled pork sandwich.  Randall said “These chicken tenders make me wish I had gotten the hot dog.”  We all had a great laugh!

I did a little obligatory shopping, (still haven’t found the perfect gift for Melody or Orion… ugh) while we waited for the trolley tour.  The tour was a bit too long in light of the fact that the A/C on the bus was not working properly and the tour guide was difficult to understand with his constant gesticulating and strange vocal inflections.

We learned that Milton Hershey and his wife Kate were unable to have their own children, so they took up the cause of adoption. This led them to start a school just for the orphan boys and the Hershey’s purposed it to treat each one as though they were their very own. To date, there has been 7 CEO’s for Hershey that have come from the Hershey School and orphanage. Well done sir… well done!

After the tour was completed, we began to discuss the wisdom of waiting around for the last activity or if we should make a b-line back to the hotel.  After some discussion, we decided to give our tickets to a nice lady and her two kids and hit the road.

It was plain to see that no matter what, the rain was coming and we were in for another dousing like two days ago.  Jon and I thought we would split the difference when we left and opted to put on our rain jackets without the pants… this does not work… repeat… this does not work.  Randall did not suit up at all.  We arrived at the hotel drenched, shoes sloshing and squeaking as we walked each step towards the elevator.  Get me out of these damp boots was all I could think.

We were invited to dinner at Matt’s sisters house a few minutes away from the hotel and his brother-in-law Butch prepared a terrific meal including Filet, Shrimp, Chicken, veggies, potatoes, olives, cheese, and fruit.  Dessert was a few bites of his mom’s fudge that was out of the world…

Tomorrow we tour HD land and then turn our rides towards home as we begin to close out our trip.  I think some of the prettiest riding is still ahead as we explore the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline drive…

-Steve

 

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