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Day Twenty-One: Pennsylvania Dutch Country

August 21, 2006

Pennsylvania Dutch Country is not Dutch, a country, or even in Pennsylvania. All right, it’s in Pennsylvania. But the immigrants who originally settled in southeastern Pennsylvania in the early 18th century were mostly of German and Swiss heritage, not Dutch.

“That was really keeping me up at night,” says Orange Bear. “Thanks for clearing that up.”

(photo: Payal Vora)

Pennsylvania Dutch Country is still famously associated with the horse and buggy . While there remain traditional Amish and Mennonite communities in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Dutch — a dialect of German brought over by the original settlers — is heard less and less in the 21st century.

Mr. Crumpet and the Missus quite enjoy returning to bucolic Amish country, particularly the areas away from US Highway 30 and the crush of looky-loos. (Mr. Crumpet, even sans beard, is frequently mistaken to be part of the, er, cultural landscape. “He doth protest too much, I fear,” says Orange Bear.)

Crumpet family highlights include the horseback riding on farm trails and dinner with an Amish family. (Orange Bear’s presence is sometimes a bit of a prickly matter.)

Other destinations in the area beckon. A Civil War buff, Mr. Crumpet lobbies for Gettysburg, over an hour away. “It’s living history,” he breathlessly intones, gripping his well-worn copy of The Killer Angels.

A chocolate buff, Orange Bear lobbies for Hershey, about an hour away. “It’s a real chocolate factory,” he sighs dreamily, pawing at imaginary chocolate waterfalls.

Mrs. Crumpet decides.

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