16 June 2008

Holla! from Pollywogg Holler...

Dear readers,
Do you remember our earthen lodge experience from last year’s trip? You might have thought nothing could top it. You would be mistaken. Tonight we are writing to you from our treehouse in Pollywogg Holler, somewhere near Belmont, NY. By all means, please check it out at http://www.pollywoggholler.com/ otherwise you will not believe me. Keep in mind that we had looked at the website before we arrived, and the pictures look much better on the website than the accommodations look in person. Actually, it’s not the actual lodgings that are an issue, it’s more the fact that this eco-lodge is so eco friendly that it has no electricity or running water. So you know what that means…


Once again, I find myself holding my laptop in the dark, hoping my words run out before the battery does. But, at least this year I have a handy light that plugs into my USB port so I can see the keyboard! Thanks, Melanie H!! Joining us at the Holler tonight are about ten or twelve women here for a bachelorette party and a couple from Queens who are here because she’s a travel writer. They are sharing our experience, as they arrived here with not even a flashlight. We, on the other hand, being the seasoned primitive campers that we are, have a mini maglight, a battery operated lantern, and the aforementioned computer light. And a blanket! Our ‘room’ is quite cozy, having one large bed, one twin sized bed, and one piece of foam on a wooden shelf. We also have a dresser and an oil lamp with a foil pie pan for a lampshade. I’m sitting in a normal chair and there’s also a chair made from a tree stump up here. The stairway up is made of tree branches and wood and it’s a spiral staircase. We’re thinking we will visit the “facilities” before retiring for the night, and if we have to go again, we’ll just leave. We have had nothing to drink except the homemade wine (red raspberry merlot) that we needed immediately upon arriving to Woodstock, Jr.

Yes, that’s right. No need for us to visit the newly opened Woodstock Museum, since it could be right here. When we arrived this afternoon, mercifully later than expected (surprise!) the Sunday afternoon pizza and music fest was just ending. We estimate that at least one hundred people were here, all drunker than they should be to drive on the roads that got them here, and we did feel like it was 1968 and the summer of love. We felt slightly out of place, the way you would if you showed up about four hours late to a party where you didn't know ANYONE and they were all totally sloshed by the time you arrived. And you were stone cold sober. We had no piercings or tattoos and were older than many of the party people. We were greeted by a nice, normal young man on a customized golf cart kind of thing made out of wood. Sort of like a baggage tug at the airport… He’s the one who told us we had come to the right place and he gave us and our luggage a ride down the driveway into the Twilight Zone.

The band was just breaking down and people were wasted and trying to stagger back out to the road. A young boy came up wearing a mudpack on top of his head. Really, a brain-sized piece of mud was on his head with rivulets of muddy water streaming down his face. He was so happy! Another little boy showed us his stamps. He was stamped from the top of his head all over his body (three on his stomach) with “Funknut” in ink. He was happy, too! We were trying to figure a polite way to leave, but nothing came to us, so here we are. While the crowd was dispersing, Bill, the owner of the property, took us under his wing. Remember Harley from last year? Bill reminded us of him, only he didn’t stick his tongue in Kim’s ear!!! And he’s older. The normal man who had chauffeured us was his son, Quentin. His other son, Mickey, is our host. Mickey makes a mean strip steak on the grill out back and serves it with a fantastic tequila lime sauce that he concocted (and shared with us).

While things were winding down from the afternoon frivolities, Kim and I toured the property. That’s when we realized that plumbing was not happening here! We took LOTS of pictures (not as many as at Roadside America) especially of the tiki trail and sculpture garden. And the snake we saw lounging on a tarp by the path… Mickey told us we could get an internet connection by parking in the driveway next to the office (down the road – Kim said if we had seen it first, we could have just kept driving!!) so we did that and posted yesterday’s blog. Since dark was falling, we thought we’d better get back to our room while we could still see the path (it’s at least a half mile from the driveway to the ‘base’) so we stopped blogging before we had added all the photos. We should be able to catch up on the blog tomorrow night when we reach civilization at the Hampton Inn! We have not seen a TV since we left, and we’ve had cell service for about an hour a day. We’ve actually had more internet service than anything!


But enough (for now) about our evening’s experiences. The rest of our day was loads of fun! We spent last night at the Weeping Willow Bed and Breakfast in Tunkhannock, PA, and it was lovely! Our hosts, Patty and Randy, couldn’t have been nicer. Two couples, one from the Jersey Shore (Dennis and Eileen) and one from Mountaintop, PA, (Dave and Cindy) were at the B&B, too. We regaled them with stories of our travels at breakfast this morning, and they were kind enough to listen and laugh. We did not have a jam-packed day today, so we didn’t end up leaving there until after 11:00, even though we had gotten up at 7 again. By the time we got gas, fixed our teas for the road, and figured out our route, it was 11:30 before we were on our way. Cindy had told us about a roadside giant in town, and Kim spyed it as we zoomed past it. We turned around to snap a photo so Cindy would know we saw it. The people who live across the street from the giant (once a Big Boy, now a NAPA parts guy) were out working in their yard and stared at me as I walked from the car over to take a good picture. We are sure they’ve never even considered taking a photo of it themselves!

Once on our way, we hadn’t gone far when we had to stop for a wreck that had just happened. We were so thankful we had turned around for that picture, or we could have been in the accident. Ambulances arrived as we sat in line, so we turned around and followed the locals. At least, we hoped they were locals, since we were following them up a steep, narrow gravel road. When suddenly cars appeared on this road going the other direction, we knew we were on the right short cut. Soon we were on our way. Our only planned stop today was at the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, which is south of Wellsboro. While in Wellsboro, we went to the local Weis grocery store and bought chicken salad, slaw, cheese, and cherries to have with our Amish bread and Rt. 11 Potato Chips, and then we went to see the Grand Canyon. It reminded me of Quechee Gorge in Vermont, only not as cool. But it was neat and there were lots of hawks soaring on the updrafts and they were very entertaining. We took a short (but steepish) hike out to another overlook and had our picnic then. Did I mention that it is now raining and thundering and we haven’t made our bedtime bathroom run? What were we thinking???? Rats!!!












Our route across northern Pennsylvania was on Route 6 through the Endless Mountains. It is a nice road with quaint towns and expensive gasoline. Lots of places were still decorated for Flag Day, and it was neat to see how some towns are thriving while others are just hanging on. Once we were done at the Canyon, we stopped down the road at Animaland. We ended up just having a photo op and checking out the gift shop (we've been buying prizes for anyone who can guess where Peppy is at almost every place we stop, but so far no one is guessing. Prizes are piling up!) I took a pit stop there and thought I would share with you the lovely jungle-themed ladies room. You may not be able to see it in the photo, but the flusher handle is a jaguar (like a hood ornament off a Jaguar) and the mirror over the sink matched the toilet seat. We didn't stay to see the animals there, as we thought we might be missing something here at the Holler if we got here too late. If only we had known…

From the canyon it was back to Route 6 until time to cross the border into New York. We got Ms. Garmin out for the first time, and boy, was she annoyed that we had not listened to her all day. We got here, though, and now we’re waiting for a break in the rain so we can go to bed in comfort. We’re thinking we’ll be checking out early, likely sans shower…

Until tomorrow, ribbet, ribbet, ribbet,
Jan

Pictures coming tonight, without fail! We survived the night, although it poured down rain most of the night...

2 comments:

Cathy said...

Too funny!!! Can't wait to see these photos.

Kristina said...

Forwarded your blog to some friends. Patricia and Gray Evans said to tell you that they are enjoying the blog. Me, too!!!!