Day 56 - State College to Sunbury - C2C - from Westport, Washington to Sandy Hook, New Jersey - CycleBlaze

July 28, 2016

Day 56 - State College to Sunbury

Don't know where to start.
Days behind on my journal -
Heavy rain almost every day - no connectivity -
Yeah, no connectivity in Penna and New Jersey.

Where was I last? State College??

A Traditional Pennsylvania Farmhouse
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The ride east from State College was one of the loveliest in Pennsylvania.
Farms and fields nestled between parallel mountains.
Much of it is Amish country - Amish family keep growing.
And lots of Mennonites, too.

Just Riding Up the Valley
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I stopped for a sandwich at the little country store at Rebersburg.
The young woman working there had on a purple dress and bonnet.
Purple, yes! Each community has its own guidelines.
Also, non-Amish ladies were ferrying Amish families into town.
In their vans and SUVs. Very interesting and a way to form bonds.

Lucy in Front of the Rebersburg Store
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It was more pleasant riding to Winters S.P at the divide.
The lake was packed with kids on the "beach" and splashing about.
And the water I drank was the coolest since the Black Hills.

The Forest at Winter State Park
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Zoomed down - with only a few quick ups - to Lewisburg.
(Home of Bucknell which beat Duke once in the NCAAs)
Picture perfect little town - colonial townhouses lining the streets.

Federalist Row Houses in Lewisburg
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It started to sprinkle - so I made a made dash for Sunbury.
Highway 147 was a rude, rude awakening.
But it had a pretty wide shoulder all the way.

Crossed three bridges over the Susquehanna -
Then arrived at downtown Sunbury and the Edison Hotel.
The Edison was once a fine establishment -
Threadbare with apartments a a few rooms, now.
I think I had the best they had to offer.

Going Up the Stairs in the Edison Hotel
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My Room - with Lucy Glowing in the Camera Flash
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Where have all the Presbyterians gone?
Sunbury has an imposing Presbyterian church downtown.
I’m sure its movers and shakers were influential in the town 100 years ago.
I’m also sure that its membership today is elderly and dwindling.

There are plenty of Amish in the countryside.
Picturebook farms - fresh vegetables for sale - hand-crafted chairs.
Amish culture is visible across the rural Pennsylvania landscape.

But the Presbyterians seem missing from the towns.
Say all you will about the prim Presbyterian ladies of the WCTU -
But something about the Presbyterian ethic built the homes and businesses -
Which now lie empty and derelict.

None more so than Sunbury - which locals call “Slumbury”.
It’s downtown still has hints of its former glory.
Yes, the railroads and industry have evaporated.
But can a downtown operate on bars, tattoo parlors, and state assistance agencies?

Today's ride: 67 miles (108 km)
Total: 3,152 miles (5,073 km)

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