First Time in Somerset PA

As we were heading out of Columbus, our plan was to stop at a Discount Tire and get an upgrade to “H” rims and tires. They can carry more weight than our current “G” tires, to take full advantage of our Mor Ryde 8000lb axles, and they are an all around heavier duty commercial tire.  Lee had spent time on the phone and even driven to the location twice to make this as seamless as possible, but unfortunately the person he had been dealing with was off that day.  The tires were already on the new rims, but when we arrived there was confusion about who we were.  It took 30 minutes for them to get started and they immediately discovered we had the wrong lug nuts for the rims they had ordered for us.  Ours are conical, but the new rims were flat, and after waiting another 30 minutes we discovered it would take hours to get the new ones and an additional cost of nearly $500.

At this point we had a conversation and decided to walk away.  Even though we had prepaid for the tires and rims, we knew American Express would have our back on getting a refund, and thankfully the manager himself agreed they were at fault and refunded our money.  So we were on our way to see Kelly and Bill but with no new tires and no plan.  It was only a four hour drive to Somerset and thankfully we had no issues on the drive.

Kelly and Bill are staying in a seasonal site in Hickory Hollows campground because it is close to their daughter and granddaughter, and the owners are fine with Bill doing solar installs at their location.  It is surprising how many campground wont allow that type of work, but this one likes the extra business Bill brings in and the proximity to their granddaughter is a huge bonus.  It’s a really large piece of property with lots of sites, but during the time we were there it was very busy.  More people are camping even this late in the season this year which is definitely unusual.

The farmers who run the campground own hundreds of acres. Here is a view of the campground from the road bordering the property. Everything you see is their land.

Despite it’s remote location there is a ton of things to do in this area, and I took a day off so Kelly and I could explore. We went to a farmers market, a couple of great thrift stores, and also had lunch.  There are covered bridges in the area and in future posts I will talk about trips to the 911 memorial and Ohiopyle state park.  For this post though let me show you some pictures of what we did.

When we arrived Kelly made an excellent pot roast dinner, which is one of my favorites. It was exactly as good as it looks 🙂

 

There are numerous Mennonite families in the area. One location makes fresh pies on Friday and Saturday and we were first in line to get some!

The fields were right next to the store so you knew where the produce was coming from.

 

Neat and tidy with LOTS of great produce

 

And pies!! We got Lee a small one since he is trying to watch his sugar intake.

 

After visiting the farmers market we drove to see Kelly’s daughters house and were able to meet Freya.  I wore my mask since Maeve is 6 months pregnant, but it was still nice getting to see Freya their granddaughter.  She is 18 months old now and cute as a button,  Made me miss Oliver.

I love local thrift stores and this one was great. They were having a bag sale for $5. I filled up a bag for Oliver and another one for me. Can’t go wrong at those prices.

 

I also bought us lunch at a local cafe and my club sandwich was delicious. It was so big that I could only eat half of it.

 

It was a nice day and the only downside was only about half of the people we saw were wearing masks.  Coming from a larger city where it was more prevalent it was a bit of a shock.  We keep seeing this as soon as we hit the more rural areas, and always find it a bit jarring. Kelly has really been struggling with it because she is staying extra safe for her daughter and the lack of mask wearing has really stopped her from many activities.  She still hasn’t felt comfortable getting a hair cut for example and they are doing grocery pickups.

The best place for mask wearing Lee and I went the entire time was the Kings and Queens Restaurant.  It was this funky little castle shaped place Lee found for lunch one day and they strictly adhered to the best practices.  Also the food was amazing…I mean that I gave it five stars on YELP.  It was super kitchzy for sure, but there is a darn good chef in that kitchen and the service was phenomenal.

 

Appreciated the clarity of the sign. Everyone wore masks.

 

Old school decorations

 

With a country twist. This knight next to a stuffed wildcat was great

 

But the stuffed cows head on the wall was priceless

 

We started with this seafood dip (real pieces of shrimp and crab) and homemade bavarian pretzels…yummy!

 

Lee got the fish and chips for $9.99. The portion was huge and he said it was the best fish he had ever had.

While we were out seeing the countryside we also stumbled across a cool covered bridge.  Many of these are on private property, but the owners allow access.

 

 

 

 

Along with the exploring, I made dinner one night (air fryer chicken parmesan and fresh green beans) and we had a couple of fires.  One at Maeve’s house and the other at Kelly and Bill’s campsite.

 

And Lee worked on some repair projects including replacing a slide cable (post forthcoming) and putting up some K Cup holders for our new Keurig.

 

Another ingenious McGuyver hack by hubby. This was all his idea and it works great!

One last thing I wanted to mention (I am going to try to do this without in anyway being political), but I was surprised by how strong the support is for President Trump here.  What I mean by that is almost every house has a sign (and in some cases  many signs) out front and there is more fervent support than I have seen anywhere.  When we asked about it, we learned that this is the heart of coal country and the environmental policies of President Obama really hurt the area.  Large wind turbines did come to the area as an alternative fuel source, but the corresponding jobs did not.  The people who did most of the work came from outside the area and that did not sit well with folks here.

As always when we visit an area we like to meet and talk to people from that area.  Visiting Kelly, Bill and their family definitely gave us a chance to get an inside look to the area which was really nice.


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6 thoughts on “First Time in Somerset PA

  1. Sorry to hear that Discount Tires couldn’t handle your replacement tires. Hubby and I are full time with a 2016 Landmark with Goodyear G114 H Range tires. We replaced them last year and got a substantial discount through Coachnet. We purchased the tires through Coachnet and then Coachnet sent us to a local Goodyear Commercial tire shop where the installation was performed. Taking our 43’ fifth wheel to a commercial tire shop was the only way go – there was plenty of room to maneuver our rig into their service bays. All in all we were very satisfied with the program.

  2. I am so happy you came to see us and meet Maeve and Freya and see Billy again! We (as always) had a great time with you guys! Safe travels til we see you again!

  3. Hey guys, I was reading this and saw that Lee had to settle for a smaller pie because of sugar intake. I have discovered that the “No Sugar Added” pies (pastries, whatever) really let the flavor of the fruit come out. I much prefer those now. Just an FYI.

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