Saxonburg: Passing Through

(Outside the old barn at Armstrong Farms. The sign says "Old Love Schoolhouse, circa 1860.)"

We spent the better part of Monday on pretty much every two lane highway in northern PA, most of it behind slow moving tucks. Our timber considerations from earlier in the day helped us in discerning the quality of the logs carried by three or four semis. We had plenty of time to look at them too, but only from the back.

After briefly losing the plot in Butler, PA, we arrived at our overnight stop, Armstrong Farms B&B. It is a functioning farm as the name implies though it is run by Allens, not Armstrong’s. Some workers or family members (or both) were busy cutting hay. Later, when we returned from dinner, it was all bailed as you can see.

Speaking of dinner, we decided to try the Hotel Saxonburg which was touted on numerous brochures available to us in our cabin. Saxonburg seems close to the bottom of either a downturn or an upswing. The Hotel Saxonburg was either defunct, under revnovations, or on vacation but it was not open. A place up the street, Kelly’s Homecooked Food Family Restaurant or something like that, featured a parking lot and curb packed full of cars, always a hopeful sign. But I make it a point to avoid Family Restaurants when possible, so we did. We wound up at the Texas Roadhouse, a chain, which is something else I try to avoid but chains are all we could find in Butler. The waitresses at the Roadhouse did a little dance to "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." Sad.

Butler seems to be, like Saxonburg, either dying or reviving, but close to the trough. Panera however, provided wifi, use of their phone to call the friends we will visit today, and coffee (they charged me for the coffee). Some chains are okay.

The Armstrong Farms B&B, though scenic and free of the livestock smell you might expect on a working farm, does not earn my recommendation. It’s the little things: a sliding shower door that comes off the track at the gentlest of touches, a shower head that won’t budge unless you’re Ahhnold, no draperies on the French doors in the bedroom (!!), kitchen stocked with everything you need for making coffee (including filters)… except the coffee maker, and air conditioners that aren’t quite powerful enough to cool the room. Little things like this add up in the value calculations of a traveler for whom $115 a night is splurging, major splurging. I don’t want to make it sound too bad though, the room was well kept and looked immaculate. We got a free upgrade to a cottage even though we reserved a suite and it was (and is) quiet here. I’m not complaining, I just wish I had some coffee; and this post is too long. Bye.

Jannotti tag: travel

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