"The Promise Of Things To Come" LeslieofTodd's Profile
July is a beautiful month in the mountains and valleys of Central Pennsylvania. The farms now look like patchwork quilts and home gardens are lush with growth. June was very stormy, with rain almost every day -- but this made up for a dry May. I'm sure that farmers, gardeners and visitors to Raystown Lake are all looking forward to some long, sunny July days. For me, it is a pleasure to be out, regardless of the weather.
This photograph was taken in the afternoon of May 27th on a drive through "Big Valley" which spans both Huntingdon and Mifflin Counties. Many Amish and Mennonites make their homes and farm in this fertile valley. It is a beautiful drive any time of year, one of my favorites, but old fashioned plows and Amish buggies must be watched for on the two-lane road. The Amish prefer not to be photographed -- but I sometimes will take a discrete photo when passing by. The variety of styles of buggies depends on which "order" the Amish family belongs to and the weather usually determines whether an open or closed buggy is in use.
Happy and safe travels to you!
In my 58 years I have lived in five states and traveled to many others in the USA and I've made multiple trips to the Virgin Islands, Mexico and Canada. I have always enjoyed visiting new places and have a keen interest in the culture, history and food of the places I've been and where I hope to go.
Back in 2006 I tore up my left ankle and had it repaired with a handful of steel screws and plates. That experience slowed me down considerably and forced my semi-retirement from selling recreational real estate around Raystown Lake in Central Pennsylvania. In the spring of 2012 I fell on the steps in my home and ravaged the tibial plateau in my left leg. Again, able hands sculpted a repair of stainless steel and I spent many months regaining my ability to ambulate.
Both accidents damaged my confidence as well as my body--and a poor body it is; MS has taken its toll since the early 90s and my spine is aging even faster than my brain! In 2013 I decided that I needed to do something to regain my psychological strength and test the physical progress that hard work in physical therapy provided.
I had never been to Europe but have held a life-long dream of traveling through France and I planned a journey that tested my ability to travel with mobility issues. I use a cane and have a noticable limp. I can cover some distance but I must watch my step and take my time and manage pain and fatigue. With the trip to France as my prize, I worked hard to gain strength to handle the rigors of travel. Every trip up and down the steps of my home builds a little more muscle and balances my gait. And the time spent on the computer researching and planning my journey was wonderful brain exercise. And I am learning so much I did not know. One of the greatest things I have discovered is the amazing community of travelers who are willing to share their experiences and expertise with others.
I look forward to the interactions with others who have also been bitten by the travel bug--both the able-bodied and the disabled. After all, it is all about the journey...
(Written just before the trip to France) This coming Tuesday (23rd April, 2013) I will be flying over the landscape in this photo; an aerial view of where I spend most of my time. I am on the cusp of departure for an eighteen day trip through parts of France by train. The trip is a life-long dream and also a life-affirming action. I stumbled onto Virtual Tourist back in February while I was playing travel agent and planning this trip. Since I signed on to Virtual Tourist, there has not been a day that has gone by that I have not been enriched by the contributions of committed travellers and armchair travellers alike. I have made friends, and I thank each and every one of you for all of the wonderful advice and support that you have given me. The bonds of friendship that are formed here on VT are something I can pack (with no additional weight!) and take with me when I go out into the world to explore. Very special thanks to those who have helped guide me when I was clueless, bouyed me when I flagged, and kept me out of trouble when I did get back out in the world.
(Updated March 20, 2015) In the spring of 2013 I made it to France. I went, I stayed for 18 days and I came home basically in one piece, vowing to never try that again. Once I recovered from it all, I booked a return trip to France for May of 2015, but a decline in my health required me to re-book the same trip for the spring of 2016; an entire month in France, most of it in Provence. Something to keep me putting one foot in front of the other, with the promise of continuing travels.
Coming soon(er or later)...a travelogue and tips concerning what REALLY happened in France! And more about beautiful Raystown Country in the mountains of South Central Pennsylvania. I write as about as slow as I walk. C'est la vie.
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