This past Thursday I ventured out with my father-in-law to investigate the environs of Gray Valley, the small farming territory of northern Pennsylvania where he was born and raised. We had made this trip before but not recently.
It rained most of the time but we were able to see and photograph several old houses and barns that he knew from his childhood and young adulthood and some beautiful landscapes. We enjoyed a hearty lunch at the Iron Skillet restaurant in Sylvania.
The most exciting part of the meandering trip was our encounter with “mud” on the Gray Valley Cemetery Road. The rain and current grading had turned the road into a quagmire. We were too far down the road before we realized the depth of the mud and its viscosity. We encountered a large truck and a grader which both “graciously” allowed us to pass but since they occupied more than half the road it was tricky. For several moments I envisioned wading through mud, and tow trucks, and just plain aaaarrrggghhh! Whatever that is! With mud flying and the traction control grinding, I managed to pass both vehicles in turn and get back to solid ground.
The whole experience reminded me of Christian’s “slough of despond” adventure in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and I was much encouraged not to be traveling on foot with the pilgrim–at least not on that part of the road to the Celestial City.
The trees were indeed beautiful. It was great fun for a rainy day in October.