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Issue #217, Epic Road Trip, July 9, 2018, Collegeville and and Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park, Mill Run, Pennsylvania

July 9, 2018 Smoke is filtering through the trees from campers’ fires, and sunlight is reaching through the deciduous finery in angled shafts, and a bird is rhythmically chirping away here at crowded camp ’Jellystone Park’ on Mill Run road in Pennslylvania.

We had a nice morning with Chris and Mary before taking off - it was also fairly cool there, and the lower temperatures have been delightful. They hung out about while we did our now routine gear shuffle into the Volvo and Cricket.

Chris helped Paige figure out the route - we ended up taking a toll road for about 170 miles which was flat, crowded and convenient, with regularly-spaced rest areas each containing identical facilities. Gas prices are rising to over $3 a gallon and in one place I noticed a high of $3.14.

At one stop, where we adjusted the straps on top of the volvo, a van full of African American passengers was trying to get gas and bumped into a concrete pillar, smashing their side window, and they were standing about trying to figure out what to do. I had to help some young gal in front of the air machine, because she had no idea how to fill her tires.

I wrote haiku on the drive, recording it on my iPhone, as I have been doing. Paige has been feeling super crummy because the cold she started developing a few days ago has become even worse. She barely spoke the whole day. The kids, once again, dissolved into their devices - Orion has been watching youTube movies - when I asked him at random what he had been watching he said, “I’m learning how they make breath mints” and“Did you know a helicopter uses 14 gallons a fuel a minute”? Phoenix is mostly watching movies.

On the way to the toll road, we drove through “Phoenixville” where I coaxed a somewhat resistant Pheonix to stand in front of a giant mural announcing the town.

We paid $43 for the toll once we got off the highway and wound through 20 more miles of gently, sometimes steeply, rolling hills to get to what the map said was our final location. Following the exact iPhone map directions, we ended up driving up a steep, narrow road, with no sign of the camp. We were only about 1/16 of a mile off, however, and we soon found Yogi Bear’s Camp Jellystone in all it’s glory once we turned back around to the main highway and kept going.

We had to spend some time trying to figure out how best to position the Cricket in our spot, as it was in a place we couldn’t situate well with the Volvo, but we figured it out how to move it after unhitching it. Paige went to do laundry, the kids headed to the giant pool, and I drank a beer and attempted to figure out how to go see Falling Water, which I hope to be able to do on my own, today.

This place is weird, full of tourists who seem to be ecstatic about the theme park aspect of the place. Paige thinks it’s gross.

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen