I had the best time yesterday.

When I left Garden Mountain Hostel yesterday, I stopped in to Matties. I didn’t know what to expect. It was so beautiful! It’s run by an Amish family. One of the guys who works at the Hostel told me that these were “Mennonite Amish.” I kept quiet because the host at the Hostel was in the car, too. It didn’t sound right to me. I thought they were two very separate groups.

Anyway, I walked into Matties and there were two of the most delightful, smiling Amish teens! I love HS age people. These two young women were just too cute. They welcomed me to the shop and asked me how they could help me.

I noticed that they served food. My hiker hunger went straight to cheeseburger, but something told me that was not what I should have here. I ordered a turkey and Swiss on homemade sourdough bread.

I asked them about the Mennonite Amish thing and they just smiled. Like I thought, they are two totally different sects. I was in Virginia Amish country.

They started in on my sandwich. One took the sliced turkey, covered it in Swiss cheese, layered it on a fresh cut, thick piece of sourdough. In the broiler it went. After it was good and hot and melted, they put the other piece of bread on top and lightly grilled it in an old cast iron skillet. Out it came on a paper plate with a pile of napkins.

Good choice!

While this was going on, I asked them if they were taught German at home until they were school age, and then English. I know some Amish in Ohio do that. They said no. They are taught Pennsylvania Dutch!!! I couldn’t believe it. They were taught PA Dutch until they were 5 or so. My grandfather was a PA Dutch, Mennonite!

I told them that he and my mom always called me, “nix noots.” They both cracked up! I
asked them what it meant and they said I was a little trouble maker! They were so cute. Big smiles in their bonnets and long dresses. You can’t script this stuff!!!

I had the best time, considered driving two hours back down there for another lunch!!!
Life is such a great adventure!

While I was eating that amazing sandwich, an Australian gentleman came in off his motorbike. He was on a Transamerica off road trail of some sort.

He was in the same kind of mood we hikers generally travel with. Upbeat. I wish I could always feel the way I feel on the AT. I think we are all at our best on these adventures.

I know I am. I’m going to really try to make this carry on into my day to day at home.


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