Sunday, December 30, 2007
Have Chest Freezer, Will Travel!
We made for a funny wagon train. One Toyota Camry with two women, lots of stuff, 2 stollen which I guarded with my life as well as many lovely Christmas gifts just packed from under the tree, fresh holiday gift fruit. One Honda Pilot loaded with two boys, husband, our dog, and quite a bit of stuff, towing a small trailer with two bunnies, more stuff, and a fully packed chest freezer with food. The early pioneers would have laughed but probably have admired the ingenuity. For a week our chest freezer was in the trailer, plugged into an outdoor outlet awaiting our move. In between snow storms my husband put a tarp on the trailer to keep the ice and snow off (and there has been much in New Hampshire this December).
Setting off at noon, while hoping to delay by a day because of our son who has a bad cold, we realized that we had a good weather window between storms and should take it while we could. As we pulled into Pine Grove, Pennsylvania at 7:30 that night, it was just beginning to rain. That same rain was headed into the northeast where it became a nasty, icy mix on Saturday morning.
On Saturday, in Flintstone, Maryland, of all places, just off scenic route 68 which travels through the Maryland panhandle and into the mountains, we had to stop for gas (the Pilot needed refueling every 150 miles because of the weight it was towing--the Toyota clocked in at about 450 miles per tank). On the left as we turned toward the little hamlet of Flintstone, I caught a glimpse of the Alpine Pantry. Needing more coffee, we stopped. In addition to its intriguing name and decorative gable entry, I was further lured in by the smell of warm cinnamon. Inside we found an Mennonite bulk foods market, a bustling bakery, and just-baked cinnamon raisin bread. It was a memorable pit stop and reminded us of Nolt's Bulk Foods in our region of Kentucky (with an added bakery). We bought a loaf of warm raisin bread, which filled the car with its fragrance, and had we some more room in either vehicle, we would have bought some groceries, too.
The rest of the trip through Maryland, West Virginia and Kentucky was glorious: no rain, ice or even a remnant of snow in the mountains or on the roads. We watched a large golden ball of sun set across the central Kentucky knobs at almost 6pm as we came within an hour of our new home. [There are many advantages to living on the western edge of the Eastern time zone for those of us who suffer from winter light deprivation. Big skies, more open land, more light, warmer winters. I could get used to this.]
Today we are unwinding and decompressing. I walked our dog around her new property and we enjoyed the gushing spring from the hill which pours into a pool and down into a creek. There is even watercress growing in it now--this summer the drought left it practically dry. The cars and trailer are unpacked (but now lots to unpack in the house), except for the freezer which is still full in the trailer and plugged into our porch outlet, just as before but now 1,100 miles away from its New England cellar. As we have no cellar here, our neighbor is going to help us move it to its outside porch location tomorrow where it will become a perfect Appalachian alpine pantry!