Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – "Into the Great Wide Open" (1991)

Out in the great wide open
A rebel without a clue

Here’s something you don’t see everyday – a miniature horse hanging out with a group of human beer drinkers:

(I have no idea whether that animal is a pony or a miniature horse, but an experienced equestrienne of my acquaintance says it is a miniature horse.)

I didn’t see a horse trailer in the parking lot at Gunpowder Falls Brewing — which is where that photo was taken – so I asked the horse’s owner how his four-legged friend had gotten there.

“He rode in the backseat of my car,” he explained.  ‘We got some funny looks at the McDonald’s drive-through when we stopped for some burgers and fries on the way here.”

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The Gunpowder Falls taproom can be found just off I-83 in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania – just a stone’s throw north of the Mason-Dixon line.

It specializes in German-style lagers – the day of my visit, you could choose between a pilsener, a helles, a dunkel, and a märzen.  Unlike most breweries, there wasn’t an IPA in sight (which was fine with me.)

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I visited Gunpowder Falls Brewing after an afternoon spent biking on the York County Heritage Rail Trail – which follows the right-of-way of the Northern Central Railway.

I parked at Hanover Junction and rode to York and back – that’s roughly a 25-mile round trip.

Historical marker at Hanover Junction
In November 1863, President Lincoln took the Northern Central to Hanover Junction, Pennsylvania, where he changed trains and continued to Gettysburg to deliver the “Gettysburg Address.”

In April 1865, a train carrying Lincoln’s body passed through Hanover Junction and York, Pennsylvania, en route to Springfield, Illinois.  President McKinley’s funeral train passed through Hanover Junction and York in September 1901, as did President Harding’s funeral train in August 1923.

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The most interesting feature of that part of that part of the rail trail is the 370-foot long Howard Tunnel, which was built in 1838 and is the oldest rail tunnel in continuous use in the United States.  

Some sources say that the Howard Tunnel was named in honor of John Eager Howard, a Revolutionary War hero who later served as Maryland’s governor and as a member of the U.S. Senate.  

Approaching the Howard Tunnel
Other sources say the tunnel was named for Henry Howard, a young railroad engineer who oversaw the construction of the tunnel.

All I know is that it’s so dark in the tunnel that you can’t see a damn thing as you ride your bike through it.

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Collusion Tap Works is a year-old brewery in downtown York.  

Downtown York is nothing to write home about, but Collusion was a pleasant surprise.  It was serving no fewer than 24 varied draft beers, all made on the premises.

The Collusion tap room
Collusion offered a half-dozen IPAs – including “Constant Flex” (a Vermont-style IPA), “Fuzzy Scrumpit” (a peach and guava IPA), and “Homunculus” (a potent double IPA).

More to my taste were the equal number of dark, low-IBU offerings.  Among them was a tasty schwarzbier (German for “black lager”), a cappuccino porter, and “Breakfast Cartel,” an imperial brown ale brewed with coffee, chocolate, and maple syrup – it was the closest thing to breakfast in a pint glass that I’ve ever enjoyed.

Collusion's logo
Throw in a Berliner weisse, a sour Norwegian farmhouse ale, and several “beers that taste like beers” (including a couple of wheat beers and a traditional Oktoberfest märzen) and you’ve got a beer list with something for everyone.

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Tom Petty went into cardiac arrest in the wee hours of October 2, and died later that day.  He was 66.

The late Tom Petty
Petty sold more than 80 million records.  An amazing 26 of his singles reached the top ten on the Billboard “Mainstream Rock” charts, and six went all the way to #1.

“Into the Great Wide Open,” which is my favorite song of his, peaked at #4.

Who among us hasn’t been a rebel without a clue at some time in his or her life?
Here’s “Into the Great Wide Open”:

Click below to buy a copy of the song from Amazon:

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