So you read about him, or her in the news, the intolerant, the self righteous, all knowing American. Brandishing their weapons at the perceived trampling of their rights. We have them in Canada too. Angry people, just plain angry, sometimes they think they are funny, but they aren’t, they’re simply assholes.
We knew we’d get commented on for mask wearing just didn’t expect it at the first stop. Ran into a small corner grocery/gas store to get some fresh things we couldn’t take across the border when a greasy looking forty year old clerk/delivery driver told me he wanted to rip my mask off and give me a big kiss after holding his hands up in the shape of a cross asking if I had covid, where is my vomit emoji? I wanted to tell him I wasn’t the one he should fear, well, maybe not…It is a good thing humans are not mind readers. I was thinking if I could rip off his testicles, as he shouldn’t breed anyway, and shove them down his throat until he choked I might enjoy that. But as this is America, we passed our first gun store on the way in, I told him I wasn’t interested in acquiring his germs and said fuck you quietly under my mask. The Indian couple who were running the store seemed a bit taken aback by his comment, she was very nice. What IS it about some Americans, not all by any means, that want you to conform to what they do, their beliefs, yet blather on and on about their rights, land of the free. It doesn’t add up, shouldn’t everybody have the right to do what they need to do to protect themselves, without a gun? It is as if a certain segment have become the Borg…you will assimilate or be assimilated…nope. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no misandrist, man hater (yes,I had to google that!) just the stress of leaving and two carsick cats, Gamora drooling, rocket panting for three hours had me in a less than tolerant mood, I generally don’t think about eviscerating men;) Ha!
Mike was wondering why we came at this point shaking his head. He worries down here. Maybe after the initial shock of returning to the US in my teens has just never left me. I have always been wary. Maybe the wild west mentality never quite fizzled out. I’m wondering how it will go state by state. Upstate New Yawrk wasn’t the best start but there are nice, polite reasonable people everywhere, they just don’t stand out like the assholes do. Day four and we haven’t been shot at:) isn’t that reassuring, ha!
I’m looking at the sunrise outside Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, the RV park here is pretty much empty, closed for the season the owner said yesterday, except to a few stopping overnighters. The water is still on, he said it had been so nice they’d been doing other work before getting to that, late freezes were holding off, there are still leaves on the trees in many places. A nice man, yeah!
I went into a grocery store, had a few odd looks, the teenage checkout boys looked at my Mexican shopping bag as if they’d never seen a reusable bag but everyone was polite about the mask. There were 874 deaths from covid in the US yesterday, a total of 1.07 million deaths overall from Covid in the US, that is massive. I stopped at what looked like it might be a liquor store, we are heading South, dry counties are worrisome so a bottle or two of wine might be nice, it might be medicine! Ha! I’d forgotten Pennsylvania’s liquor laws are as archaic as Ontario. Their complex alcohol laws can be traced back to the prohibition era. Spirits can only be purchased in the state liquor stores, but not beer, you can get that a bit easier, maybe not the best beer, but beer. The woman at the store selling beer looked stunned when I asked her where I could buy wine, like I was stupid, she warbled off a few names then dismissed me with her hand, she had work to do. OK. Now our archaic Canadian phone plans data had run out and I wasn’t really interested in purchasing more at $15 a day, damn you Koodo, so we resorted to searching the truck GPS, there was no liquor store listing so our search was hit and miss until we came upon PA Wine and Spirits.
We were tired, our jump had been a bit over three and a half hours, we’re working our way up here, cats were not too bad this trip, no drooling or howling from Gamora, Rocket slept on top of the carrier on his plushy asking for pieces of cheese at snack time, Groot usually rides shotgun between us but the traffic along the I 81 by Wilkes-Barre is heavy, a steady line of eighteen wheelers in the right lane and one with plastic flapping out the back of it’s open trailer that passed us was too much and he slunk behind the drivers seat for some peace and quiet, enough stimuli he said. How do parents do it?
Heavy traffic is stressful, so many idiots out there that never learned the fine art of merging! The big rigs are pretty damn polite as you watch them move over, then move back, maybe it’s just avoiding idiots who haven’t learned pedal to the metal when merging onto a 65 mph highway. We only have had one quick stop and four ways on when a car braked late at an accident and everyone got on their brakes. Mike was hoping the big truck behind us had good brakes too, day two had been drizzling, it was greasy out there, a few tense moments but he got stopped as well. So yes, tired. Mike dropped me off in front of where I thought you could buy spirits, a Giant grocery store, that was its name, and yes, it was a big grocery store. I was thinking I might need something a bit stronger than wine, maybe tequila at this point. Had I opened my eyes I might have seen the PA liquor store beside the grocery store, it seems minimal signs are a requirement for liquor sales here. I wandered about the grocery store, one can always use some cheese and I was thinking a rotisserie chicken might be a quick easy dinner I looked high and low before the young deli clerk pointed to bags, at the bottom of a heated counter, ah, roast chickens come in plastic bags here, so much to learn I told the kid, he didn’t smile, just looked stunned.
I found the liquor aisle, well, beer and wine anyway, sigh, found a few bottles of what was passable enough and a couple cans of Lagunitas beer for Mike, he would need one today and I pushed my small cart up to the cash. The cashier was standing out on the customer side, hands on her hips, as if waiting. She watched me place the bottles of wine, chicken and beer on the the rubber rolling belt before going back around to her cash and telling me “You can’t pay for those here…” motioning to the wine and beer. Then it was free I was thinking, that would be nice, knowing it was not. I had to take it back to the deli to buy it she proclaimed. Now, maybe as you had watched me place it on the rolling rubber conveyer belt you might have mentioned it sooner, no, she wasn’t very nice. At least there was not a lineup of people behind me waiting, thinking what was this ignorant Canadian doing, trying to check out with wine, what a fool! So back to the deli I ambled after reloading my cart and leaving smiley the cashier behind.
I waited in line, ID please, how nice I thought, I’m sixty plus and obviously don’t look a day over 20. You have to take it out of your wallet the cashier said, serious stuff, she punched in my birth date in her register. She scanned the three cans of beer, and then started on the wine, three bottles of wine and then said, you’ve reached your limit. But I haven’t even started drinking yet I thought! No, there is a limit on how much you can buy she replied as I must have looked like a stunned fish out of water, limit I repeated, yes, she said, choose what you want but only three bottles. Sigh…now I am holding up the line as people clutched at their choice of liquor. I made my choice, paid, and wandered out, and yes, I was the only one wearing a mask.
I had to google PA liquor laws when I came back to the trailer. It appears that grocery stores can only sell beer and wine if they have a seating area. I’d noticed five or six booths by the deli, thinking, ah, that’s nice, you could sit here and eat your bagged rotisserie chicken. It was, I presume used to circumvent the liquor laws as the deli was now an eating establishment…able to sell wine. I could have popped the cork right there and had a glass before shopping. Maybe it would have put me in a better mood!
Mike pointed out the PA liquor store when I got back out to the truck, sigh, I was OK with my three bottles of wine, I could get more tomorrow I laughed if I drank it all tonight! He did notice two other ladies coming out and going into the grocery store wearing masks, yeah! So much to learn.
I had been dreading the border crossing, I always do, force of habit, my mother was always smuggling something on the boat, pot or the guns, we were always on edge as kids. The two ladies at the US Customs booth were charming and delightful, I think the cats helped. They asked us the usual array of questions, weapons? No, fresh produce? No (Ok, so I did smuggle in two beautiful sweet potatoes and a 10 lb.bag of Munsen Farms red ones, the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree) How many cats? Three Vaccinated? Yes, us and the cats, and she and her trainee wished us a pleasant journey and off we went, but, they have installed huge orange crash barriers at the exits. Mike managed to zig and zag around them but do people really run the border? Into the US? Makes you think. It was nice to encounter a smiling Customs and border agent.
Our first night we nearly made it to Mexico, Mexico New York that is! We wanted a short hop to acclimate the the traveling Mewberries to voyaging again and this was the only RV park I could find open. It was a seasonal campground, most of the rigs were closed up for the Winter. The owner showed us to our spot in his tractor and it was easy to get into, and out of. The wifi sadly was ineffective, don’t give me the code if it doesn’t work. I should have known by the list of personal wifi networks available in the area. We tried to get our US Verizon chip to work in our set up but gave up, even after the expert help of my brother, something isn’t working, we ate, and I was asleep by 7:30. Such a wimp.
Our next stop we’d been to before. They are open year round as there is a ski resort close by, Shady Rest Campground in Union Dale, PA. It’s lovely and wooded with full hook ups, I’d called ahead, self registration is at the door the lovely lady said, take spot 27 and you’re good! She had always been very nice! See! Nice people! The internet was fabulous until all the permanents came home later in the day, but at least it worked! The cats went out for a quick wander in the morning but the duck dynasty look alike next door fiddling around with his front jack had the them on edge. Rocket hasn’t gone out yet, big pollo, he does stare out the screen door, not pushing him, when he’s ready he’ll wander out on his leash. Gamora the warrior princess has no issues except with loud traffic, Groot had to sniff his truck and do a quick walk around our site, man in charge! The sun came out in the morning and we headed South again through the rolling hills, the ups and downs that are Pennsylvania.
The first two jumps were short but we opted for a bit longer one to Chambersburg, mostly based on where we can find a spot to camp this time of year. The state parks almost all close the middle of October so we’re obliged to seek refuge in RV parks, not always our favourite, but usually quiet this time of year.
The traffic was gnarly but after winding our way through the narrow streets of Chambersburg, always a thrill we arrived and settled in. The rest you know. We’ve been here before as well, I just don’t always remember, the parks tend to blend together after a few years of going back and forth to Mexico.The outstanding ones I recall, the rest, as I said, tend to blend together, I sometimes remember them from how difficult they are to access. Chambersburg is one of those. I’ll leave with this morning’s sunrise over the ridge. There are a lot more leaves still here, nice to see, and rolling farm country. Next stop-Endless Caverns, a new spot! Saludos amigos!