March 31, 2017 – And…they’re safe!

Well, we made it to Cooperstown safe and sound.  The day started with a torrential drizzle in Harrisburg, PA, the de facto home of the state structure, the pothole.  As we made our way to America’s oldest, continuously-operating brewery, Yuengling, and then onward to Cooperstown, we were lucky enough to see all 6 types of naturally occuring potholes, in the original environment.  Unfortunately, we were unable to sacrifice a tire despite our many attempts, and ended up in Pottsville, PA, for our first stop, the Yuengling brewery.

Yuengling has been family-owned and operated since its founding and is currently under the ownership of the 5th-generation son, Dick Yuengling.  There were many interesting things about this stop.  First off, the three of us, being veterans really appreciated the understated patriotism of the business.  From the war diary of Richard L. Yuengling and his 34 missions over Germany in WWII to the t-shirts and coasters to the discounts for former and current military, they have a subtle pride in their support to both our military and our first responders.  

Anyway, on to the tour.  The brewery is the 4th largest in the U.S., and only distributes to 15 states.  They can do up to 3 runs per day of 451 barrels in their Pottsville facility and the plan for today was 32,400 cases of beer.  They also used to produce ice cream and recently reintroduced it, although the brewing company and the ice cream company are separate entities now.  Interestingly, they not expanded the footprint of the brewery, being content in the fact that are the oldest, and fourth largest. All in all, it was a fun stop and a great way to kick off our journey north.  

Having stopped for lunch at an excellent pub in Scranton, we turned on to Mifflin Street (yes, there is a Mifflin, but we didn’t find a Dunder), and headed out to Cooperstown.  Our hotel for this evening is actually north of Cooperstown right next to the lake in Richfield Springs.  We got in, unloaded the van, and headed back to Cooperstown for dinner.  The weather started to turn even worse as we drove through the countryside and we all joked about how the countryside, while beautiful, was also somewhat haunting.  Sure, Sleepy Hollow and a number of other horror/thriller stories are set in upstate and central New York, and, having driven through it at night, I understand why, but it is very beautiful country and definitely worth visiting.  

After finding where we are headed tomorrow and enjoying pizza and Entertainment Tonight downtown, we returned to Richfield Springs, met a very interesting bartender named Robert, and headed to the room to settle in for the night.  As with yesterday, the conversation was engaging and thought-provoking, the food was excellent and the day was yet another well spent.  Tomorrow we hit the Hall of Fame.  Have a great weekend!

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