Posted by: A Part of the Solution | March 12, 2010

Ideal Vacation Spot Means What, Exactly?

I’m a child of the suburbs. I was brought up in, among others, a square-miler outside of Chicago and that suburb-to-end-all-suburbs: Columbia, Maryland. I spent much of my adult life inhabiting a suburb bordering literally on the District of Columbia. I was good at living in those high-density, all-amenities places. But whenever it came time to take a holiday, I lifted up my eyes to the hills. And now I live there… well, here really.

One of my buddies came to the farm for a visit and looked doubtfully at a cloud mass rolling in across Tussey Mountain to the west. “Does it rain here, much? What is there to do if it’s rainy?” Well, it does rain here. If it didn’t, we might as well have decided to buy a farm in Nevada. But that isn’t what I said to her.

“Yes, it does rain. But I know people–and you’re one of them–who like to hike through forests in a steady, light rain. I know people who swear the fish bite more freely when it’s raining. I know children who pray for rainy days so their elders will insist they go play in the barn.

“Would you seriously object to some quality time on a porch in a swing or a hammock listening to the rain while you caught up with your book club reading? It doesn’t rain here all the time. This isn’t Seattle. Most days when it rains, it’s on-again-off-again, wait-fifteen-minutes-and-the-weather-changes.”

My friend was much struck by this exposition. She suggested I put something about it on the B&B website to reassure folks that they could enjoy themselvesir respective of the ever-changing climate. I probably won’t do that; though I might add a weather link for the inquisitive.

People who can’t tolerate rain on their vacations often choose to go to New Mexico or California or Spain. These are the Allegheny Mountains. The weather here is no secret. And it’s no burden either, if one prefers variety to predictability.

In Bedford County, some days are great for long, challenging bike rides; or rafting trips down the Juniata River; or walking tours through the historic district; or eighteen holes of golf. Some days around here are great for visiting Coral Caverns (the only intact fossilized coral reef in the world); or antiquing; or visiting the Museum of the American Coverlet; or sleeping-in to the sound of rain sussurating on the window sill. Or helping out with chores in the barn.

We already have two porches. On my short-list of upgrades, I have adding porches–upstairs and down. I’d like a gazebo with a view of the pond set among the soon-to-be-planted blueberry bushes. I want an outdoor cooking pavilion with a smoker, grills and a wood-burning oven for some seriously rustic cooking adventures. All of these extend one’s capacity to enjoy this wonderful location, no matter what the weather.

Of course, one might go to the beach instead and spend the day pouting whenever it starts raining.


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