Friday, June 26, 2015

June 25,26–To Gifford Pinchot State Park and Hershey, Pennsylvania

Yesterday we did one of our longer moves of the year, at about 4 hours driving time. It was also a rather dreary and rainy day so it was good to use as a travel day.

We had to drive about 20 miles north on Skyline Drive before we could exit. Just before the exit is a low tunnel that everyone in RVs is warned about.  It is marked as being only 12’ 8” tall. I rechecked the height of our RV and it is 12’ 2” so we had no problem but you still worry a bit going through. I also think the tunnel is only low on the edge as it has a curved top.


Gifford Pinchot State Park is kind of out in the country side and we had to drive on some fairly small roads and through some small towns to get here.

Being a Thursday the park was pretty empty when we arrived.


I usually like to travel with an empty water tank to save weight. Since we have only electric hookup here we had to fill up before parking. At most campgrounds the water fill up is near the dump station usually on a small side loop by itself. Here there are only two water faucets and they are between two campsites. So everybody that wants water has to park on the road, blocking those sites and the road, while they fill up.

All setup, with the satellite dish connected. Our internet hotspot and cell phone are also working well so we are much better connected to the world.


The problem with the sites here is that they are not level. We have to back in so we can reach the power post but then the front of the RV is high meaning we have to jack up the back. This is never a good idea as most of the weight of the RV is on the back tires (as well as the parking brake). We didn’t have to lift the tires off the ground, which is a definite no-no, but I still don’t like it.


We are right next to the group camping area which is also quiet different. Any others I have seen, you just have a parking lot and a big open area where everyone sets up the stuff. Here, every party in the group gets a separate site and then there is a group eating area.


I don’t think I would like this arrangement as you have to carry all your food each time over to the central picnic area.


They have a nice beach very close to us, although it is kind of depressing today.


And rainy.


There is a small path behind our site that goes out to a view of the lake as well.


We are here for 5 nights.

Today we headed over to Hersey to visit Hersey Chocolate World. Hersey, the town, was entirely built by the company for its workers, The owner was very generous and everyone was treated very well.

Chocolate World is really just a giant candy store with some side attractions to get you to come. The other attraction in town is HerseyPark which is an amusement park like Canada’s Wonderland. We weren’t in a rollercoaster mood so we just did Chocolate World.

We got there at about 9:30 so it wasn’t too busy but there is a massive parking lot and when we left just before noon it was filling up fast.

This picture is from when we are leaving, with me holding some of our loot. Yes, only some.




There is a free ride-on tour and some paid attractions. We did the “Create Your Own Candy Bar” first.

Fun for young and old.


The smocks just got you in the mood as you never actually touched any food. It was all done by robot.


You each get a ticket with a bar code on it. You scan it at a terminal to design your bar. You can pick a milk or dark chocolate center and up to 3 of 5 allowed inclusions. I think the choices were chocolate chips, pretzel chunks, cookie chunks, toffee bits and rice crispies.


Then you waited for your turn on the production line.



You scan your card again and production starts. First a robot picks our dark chocolate shell, of course.


Then it moves by the hoppers where your selected inclusions are added.



Next it is covered in an outer layer of milk chocolate.



While it is in the cooling tunnel you go and design your label on another terminal. I completely forgot to take a picture there. You could chose a background, up to two large graphics and then up to three smaller graphics.


A machine pushes your bar in a standard box and laser etches your name on it.


Finally these guys put it in a metal box with your custom label.



Here is a picture from back at home before I started having some.


Next we took the “Factory Tour” which was a ride describing a bit of the production process.


It felt like “It’s a Small World” at Disney World.



I took a picture of the picture they were trying to sell us.


On to the candy store.




After buying way more than we should have, we headed out to have lunch. There were some other things we could have done in the afternoon, like the Hersey Gardens, but we were not in the mood. We just headed back to the RV to relax.

I decided to check out the beach. Jennie is not a fan of swimming in nature so I went by myself.

It was pretty empty when I got there but started filling up as the Friday crowds started rolling in.



The water was really warm. I could easily just walk right in.



Since Jennie was not there I had to take my first selfies.



A footy?


The forecast for tomorrow is calling for a 95% chance of rain all day so it will probably be a day of rest.

1 comment:

  1. Chocolate factory tour - YUM! Looks like a nice beach!!