Sunday, October 09, 2005

I Heart Mills

On Saturday I had a fieldtrip scheduled for 7:30 a.m. With that start time, it was doomed from the start. I was going to look at 4 mills for my architecture class, "rain or shine." And rain it did.

More like torrential downpour. We had around 8 inches of rain in 24 hours, causing wide-spread flooding and all around dangerous conditions. In other words, the perfect day to ride around rural Pennsylvania in a "Fightin' Blue Hens" charter bus driven by the worst bus driver in the world. The emergency broadcasts over the radio were warning residents not to leave their houses, and only travel if absolutely necessary. It was absolutely necessary to look at old mills, apparently.

It wouldn't have been so horrid had the bathroom been working. Since we were going to old mills with no bathrooms, we intentionally got a bus with a bathroom. But no, we were held hostage in a hot, humid bus with no working bathroom. I was relieved when at one mill I spotted a port-a-potty in a middle of a field with a sign that said "restrooms" posted next to it. Truthfully, it was the nicest port-a-potty I've seen (and those that know me know I'm a bathroom expert), but all nicety disappeared when I had to walk through the lake to get to it.

Mills are not exactly a "hip" field, so we were shown around by ancient mill caretakers wearing English-farmer type wellies, who LOVED talking about mill technology. If anyone would like to know the difference between a roller mill and a stone mills or the advantages of turbines over a wheel, I'll be happy to tell you. The most fun I had on the trip was watching full-sized trees float down swollen creeks.

While I was doing this, my old college roommate was doing something slightly more painful, i.e. giving birth. Welcome Henry Lee! And when you get to college, stay away from mill fieldtrips, however tempting they might sound.
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