Wow! We had an amazing day yesterday. It started off with a very early wake-up and a drive to the north side of the county where we met up with the U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team for a ride in “the mother ship” — their 90 foot tall, 250,000 square foot hot air balloon. We bundled up layers as we knew it would be pretty chilly at altitude. Surprisingly, I barely noticed the cold and the one hour flight seemed to be over in a flash. It was wonderful — so serene and smooth. You feel like you are just gliding along with the best view in the house. The sun came up while we were aloft — twice. We saw it once and then went beyond a ridgeline and got to see it again…very cool. The animals below were in divided camps — poultry was alarmed (‘The sky is falling! The sky is falling!), horses were discomfited (‘I’m moving away from you because I intended to go over there, not because I’m scared.’), dogs were protective (‘You’d better not be thinking about landing in my fields!!’) and cows were totally bored (‘If you’re not dropping hay, I’m not interested.) The high altitude perspective was fascinating. Most areas looked so orderly and well-planned, even when the fences were obviously following irregular borderlines. When we got back on the ground our chase van met up with us, the crew packed the balloon and we headed back to base for champagne, orange juice and pastry.
The flight alone would have made it a great day, but we had more planned. We headed over to Mount Joy, PA on the northwest edge of the county to spend some time at the Eastland Alpacas Farm open house. We walked the farm, took notes on barn and paddock lay out, learned a bit more about alpaca care and handling, bought 4H cookies (who knew!), stroked a kitty or two, hugged and petted and fed cuddly warm alpaca, and oh, yes, I did go in their shop and buy a bit of yarn and maybe a little stuffed alpaca friend. The little brown cria in the collage was born on Tuesday. We left even more enthusiastic about the idea of owning a few of these guys one day. For comparison, Eastland Alpacas is situated on 20 acres, though we have a few more acres in woodland. We, however, do not plan on having 90-some alpaca, so that should be fine.
We left feeling very accomplished and satisfied with our adventures…but wait! There’s more! Next we drove into Lancaster proper and spent a few hours at the Pennsylvania Fine Arts Guild Show and Sale were we saw some beautiful pieces. Dale spent a good deal of time talking to all the wood carvers. I spent some time chatting with a jewelry designer whose work I really enjoyed — at the end of our conversation we had shared enough tidbits of information that I realized that her sister was a good friend of ours…a fun discovery. We then headed home, but on the way stopped at Muddy Run Park. Dale had discovered it a few weeks ago and wanted me to check it out too. It is only a few miles from our place — I’m thinking summer bike rides! — and it is wonderful. It’s basically the property surrounding the reservoir of the Ektelon Hydroelectric plant — very large and maintained for the community. This is the same company that holds Peach Bottom and Three Mile Island nuclear power plants. This kind of community benefit keeps the population favorably disposed. The park would make a great knit in public site…my gears are turning.
As for knitting, the sleeves are on the Rocky Coast Cardigan. I haven’t added the cuffs as I’m worried about yarn supply. My approach is that after I finish the body, I’ll either decide I have enough to do the cuffs and collar/front bands with the vintage Manos I’m using, or I will procure some pale silvery gray Manos or Malabrigo to do a contrast treatment. As I was winding another hank of the Manos, I saw that the tag on that hank had the price on it — $8.50. As a similar Manos yarn now runs about $20.00, this helps confirm that the yarn is definitely old!
I hope you had fun on your Veteran’s Day weekend too!