We loaded the car to the gills with camping gear and headed out. The first destination was Big Spring Spirits in Bellefonte, near Penn State. We had high hopes and wanted so badly for our adventure to kick off on the right foot. Nestled in a small town, the space was gorgeous, both inside and out. (Being Scotch drinkers, we probably should have realized that these distilleries would be too young to offer our favorite variety, but nonetheless we soaked up all that we could.)
Of the six items we each got to try, we didn’t like any of them. Vodka, gin, rye whiskey, corn whiskey, aged gin, coconut rum. One by one, sip by sip, we were disappointed. When we tried engaging the staff behind the counter, they were friendly but generally kept busy with other tasks. Just as they turned their backs, we poured our clear samples into our water glasses, paid our $10, and left — no product in-hand. We agreed that they had spent more time focusing on the look of their space rather than on their booze. They offer food, but it’s basically take-out from a place nearby. All that said, however, their menu of cocktails all sounded interesting, but we didn’t bother hanging around any longer. I truly hope they pull it all together in the next few years, because the potential may be there for BSS.
From Bellefonte, we traveled up to Route 6 to set up camp at Leonard Harrison State Park, near the PA Grand Canyon. This spot did not only boast breathtaking views, but the campground and its facilities were very clean. After a refreshing night’s sleep, we drove west on 6 through many tiny towns.