headed north on I-81 from Wytheville, VA to Gettysburg, PA. Do you know that in the span of about fifty miles you are in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania?
Chuck is driving and I am sitting with the map on my lap. Suddenly I exclaim “Do you know how close to Carlisle Gettysburg is?” And why is that important? Because Chuck’s cousin Pat and her husband live in Carlisle.
So we made a point to drive up the road for a great visit and an equally great lunch at Pat and Henry’s. And we came away with a restaurant recommendation—The Springhouse Tavern at the historic Dobbins House. And does this place have history!
“Here’s the story of a man named Dobbin: an educated Irish-born immigrant who left behind everything but his wife, Isabella, and voyaged to the New World…. Reverend Alexander Dobbin acquired 300 acres of land in Gettysburg and, ‘four score and seven years’ before the Gettysburg Address, erected the home that would be his family’s Gettysburg address. The house wasn’t small, and neither was his family; his wife bore him ten children before her death and he remarried to a widow with nine children of her own. The Brady Bunch had nothing on them!
“Dobbin built his house to be more than just a dwelling; it was the culmination of his dream to establish a Classical School, the first to open its doors west of the Susquehanna River…. Over the years, the house continued to contribute to the pages of history. In the time of the Underground Railroad…a clandestine crawl space sheltered the runaway slaves who risked it all for their freedom. When Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, the residents of the house could have watched him from the balcony. And, in the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, the house became a hospital, where Union and Confederate soldiers were treated with equal care.
“Dobbin House is the oldest structure in Gettysburg still standing…. Restoration has allowed it to maintain its original beauty and great effort has been made to keep its furnishings and décor authentic…” (gettysburgbattlefieldtours.com).
But we went with more straightforwardly names menu items. For Chuck it was the Dobbins Hot Beef Sandwich which was not, as the name might suggest, an open-faced sandwich on white bread and covered with gravy and served with mashed potatoes. Instead, it was the Tavern’s rendition of the French Dip served on a round hearth baked roll.
Not having eaten an East Coast-style crab cake in six years, my choice was the Maryland Colony Crab Cake Sandwich served on toasted French bread with Dijon balsamic mayo, lettuce, and tomato.
Our thanks to Pat and Henry for recommending this interesting and historical restaurant which earns 4.5 Addies.
To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.
The Wanderers' Future
We left Pennsylvania in 2008 with plans to be on the road full-time for at least three years and maybe five. We have completed a little over six years of traveling and have enjoyed seeing many parts of the country, meeting many people, learning about different cultures, and eating at several excellent neighborhood joints across the country.
Our blog began a journal of our travels for our review, but we have been very pleased and surprised by the number of people who have written or talked to us about places we've written about. We have recorded nearly 2100 blog entries, posted between 25,000-30,000 photographs, and have had over 211,000 page views as of today. We have had two accidents, five breakdowns on the road (three flat tires and two engine problems), and two surgeries (Kate in Albuquerque, Chuck in Lafayette, LA).
For having no experience with RVing, we have had a surprisingly successful time navigating the highways (both major and blue ones) of the country and have learned a number of new "household" skills.
But we have reached a point where I (Chuck) would like to become part of a community again, and Kate would like to return to a "real" kitchen. We have had a tenant living in our home for the past six years, and their lease is up, so we are back in Pennsylvania to sell our home and move to Lafayette, LA. Our settlement date is in August, and for the next few weeks, we will be wrapping up our affairs here and making preparations for the move. We do not have a definite move-in date in Lafayette as yet, so until that time we will continue to live in our home on wheels. Until we begin our drive south, we will be writing on a limited schedule (possibly once a week).
To our relatives and friends, we feel very fortunate to have been welcomed so warmly on our visits and hope that our arrivals have not disrupted your daily routines. We have been fortunate to have been present for some family holiday and special birthday celebrations. They have meant so much to both of us.
To our new friends we have met along the way, you have made our travels so much more enjoyable than you can ever realize. We look forward to continuing many of these friendships following our move.
To all, you have made travel so much more meaningful. Seeing different parts of the country is not as important as experiencing parts of the country. And it is you who have made travel so much fun. Thank you and keep checking in every now and then. We plan to keep the RV and make two or three 4-week trips a year. We can't completely settle down yet. Till we write again.