Friday, October 13, 2017

Mountain Ride – "Pennsylvania" (2017)

I’m headed up north
To Pennsylvania

The extraordinarily repulsive political consultant James Carville once described Pennsylvania as Philadelphia in the east, Pittsburgh in the west, and Alabama in the middle.

Glen Rock, which is a very small town in York County, PA, is smack dab in the middle of the middle of the state.  In 2016, voters there favored Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by a 3-to-1 margin.

The Rail Trail Tavern in Glen Rock, PA
I’m guessing that none of the few Clinton voters in Glen Rock were drinking in the Rail Trail Tavern – which sits just a few feet off the York County Heritage Rail Trail – when I stopped there for a cool one during a recent bike ride.

I haven’t been in a bar like the Rail Trail Tavern in quite some time – say, forty years or so.

For one thing, the Rail Trail Tavern welcomes smokers.  (When’s the last time you were in a bar or restaurant that allowed smoking?)

Smoke 'em if you've got 'em
As you can see from the above photo, the Rail Trail Tavern doesn’t take credit cards, and I was carrying only a five and a few singles when I parked my bike there last Friday and walked inside.  But Yuengling on draft cost only $1.45 a glass, so I had nothing to worry about – hell, I probably could have paid for a pitcher and had enough left over for a generous tip.  

The mug that Yuengling came in was fairly small.  But $1.45?  That wouldn’t buy enough beer to fill a shot glass in most bars where I live.

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Before hitting the Rail Trail Tavern, I had stopped at the Glen Rock Mill Inn, which was a mile or so up the rail trail.

The Glen Rock Mill Inn
The large brick building that houses the Glen Rock Mill Inn is the oldest building in the town.  It was built in 1837 as a woolen mill, and later converted into a grist mill, producing flour and livestock feed for well over a century.

The grist mill’s most famous product was June Bug animal feed.  There’s an old poster depicting a bag of June Bug feed in the Inn’s men’s room:

The Glen Rock Mill Inn opened in 1984, after Cecil and Mary Ann Artrip spent a million bucks renovating it.  It was about 4 PM when I got there – too late for lunch and too early for dinner – so I headed straight for the cozy bar and replenished my precious bodily fluids.  

The Glen Rock Mill Inn's bar
A pint of Yuengling set me back only $3.  That seemed like a real bargain . . . until I found out what the prices were at the Rail Trail Tavern. 

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Glen Rock is located about halfway between New Freedom, PA – where I commenced my afternoon’s bike ride – and Hanover Junction, which is ten miles north of New Freedom. 

On the return portion of my journey, I continued through New Freedom and rode another mile or so until I reached the Mason-Dixon line, which marks the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland.

My front wheel is in Pennsylvania,
and my rear wheel is in Maryland
The Heritage Rail Trail is open to hikers, bikers, and horseback riders – so keep your eyes open:

New Freedom is the home of Steam Into History, Inc., a nonprofit organization that operates excursion trains on the tracks of the old North Central Railway, which are adjacent to the rail trail I rode on.

Steam Into History trains are pulled by one of two locomotives.

One is a relatively modern diesel engines that once belonged to the Pennsylvania Railroad:

The other is a replica of a Civil War-era steam locomotive modeled after the one that pulled the train that carried Abraham Lincoln over the North Central’s tracks as he travelled from Washington to Gettysburg to dedicate the national cemetery there and deliver the famous speech that we know as the “Gettysburg Address.”

Here's that locomotive at Hanover Junction:

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Mountain Ride is a bluegrass band that’s based in Chambersburg, PA – which is just a hop, skip, and a jump from Glen Rock.

They have a lot of upcoming gigs at local wineries and breweries, so I’m sure I’ll be seeing them perform live soon.

Here’s a video of a live performance of “Pennsylvania”:

You can click here to purchase Mountain Ride’s album, Time to Roll.

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