Monday, April 19, 2010

Got Ramps?

"Ramps? What the hell are you talking about?" was what my neighbor said. Most likely you are doing the same right now. Ramps are a wild onion/ garlic that grows in Appalachia. Outside of Appalachia it is virtually unknown. We went out to Mount Morris PA. for a small local festival that centers on the ramp. Mount Morris has the distinction of being the end of the Mason Dixon Line.

The ramp is very unique, for it hides in the ground all but a few weeks of the year. When it appears it is a sign that winter is over. The Mountain Folk celebrate the arrival with festivals all through the little communities. Ramps are gathered and prepared in many ways. We had them fried, in corn bread, pinto beans, in Hoopdy Hash(potatoes, sausage, eggs, and, yes ramps). We had them in wine, in butter, and in cheese. We even had some funnel cakes... no festival is complete without a funnel cake. There was no ramps in the funnel cake, it was however fried in 100% lard. That my friends is a good funnel cake.

The Ramps were the excuse for two clubs to get together. The Airstreamer's Club got together with the Serro Scotty Camper Enthusiasts. "Is that a Scotty?" you are wondering. No, that is a 1951 Mobile Scout. The organizer of the rally had hauled it out of the woods a few days before and thought some might like to see what a trailer looks like before hundreds of hours go into bringing it back.

We had a nice little turn out of trailers. The group was a lot of fun to get to know. Scotty people are very nice and open to showing off their trailers. Vintage trailer people in general are very open and enjoy talking with you.

I would swear I have seen Steve Mc Queen driving this Polaris before. I know it also is used to tow an Airstream too. Can you say "kick ass car?" Well I sure can...

We had a nice mix of vintage trailers. The trailers were part of the festival. Through out the day people came by and poked their head in. I must have heard a few dozen stories that began with "my Uncle used to own one of these...."

Anna got fitted with new window awnings. It was way too cold to actually have the windows open and the awnings on, but we are now ready for the camping season.

I do love these small town festivals. Where else do you hear local music from the front porch of a 200 year old log cabin? My youngest just loved listening to the bands play. Any chance she could she made a bee line for the cabin so she could tap her foot.

I kept making a bee line toward the classic cars and farm equipment. I just love to lear at old cars. Only one guy had to tell me to stop drooling all over his truck.

No Farmals, Rob... just a few Deeres. My buddy Rob loves his Farmal. Farmal and John Deere are like Ford and Chevy owners except there is no back window to put the Calvin peeing on the competitors logo.

A very good motto for sure. This is perhaps my new mantra of life even if it is referring to the speed of travel and not the figurative meaning I am drawing from it.

In Appalachia you find a great deal of support for the miners. We saw many signs on our trip offering hopes and prayers for the miners that died in a West Virginia coal mine a few weeks ago. Coal is a major employer and plays a heavy role in the lives of all in the region.

Somewhere in that photo is Anna. We sure did enjoy being a part of festival in Mount Morris.

Got Red Buds? Appalachia sure does. The view from the highways was spectacular. If any of you are looking to see some beautiful landscape to tow your rig through, head to West Virginia by God. It is one beautiful place.


Anonymous said...

Love these pics Frank... any more pics from the insides of them?

Unknown said...

Agreed, photos are stunning.

So that's what ramps look like. We have festivals in Tennessee celebrating the very same. One of these day's I'll go on the hunt for some.

Aluminium Idler said...

Great pix Frank, but I have to enlighten you that 'Ramps' are very common in Devon where they're called Ramsons or Wild Garlic. They're so prolific that before the big dairies took over and filtered the f out of our milk, it wasn't uncommon for late April's milk to have a distinct garlicky flavour. We pick a few leaves and chop them finely to add a garlic kick to salads.

Horticulturally yours... Chris