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The adventure below is the latest in a series sharing my quest to explore Pennsylvania by visiting each of the sixty-seven county seats and eating a hot dog while in town.

Dauphin County was the next stop on this quest. The county was created/”erected” on March 4, 1785, from part of Lancaster County and was named after Louis-Joseph, Dauphin of France the first son (Louis-Joseph had an older sister) of Louis XVI. The future king of France died of Tuborculous when he was seven. The Pennsylvania legislature at a meeting in Philadelphia in 1785 named the newly created county in appreciation for the French support and help during the American Revolution. (If they can find a way those Pennsylvania Dutch have always been good at not spending any money on gifts.)

Harrisburg is the county seat and the state capital. Harrisburg5  I managed to get a photo of the back of the courthouse on this trip into the political nerve center of Pennsylvania. A recent article in AARP Magazine listed the ten cities -large, medium and small- that are the easiest to travel around. Harrisburg was not mentioned on that list!!! Finding your way around in Harrisburg must be something like finding your way around the political process inside the capital building. Did I say that outloud?

Dauphin County was front page news in March 1979 when the number two nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island almost blew up. Harrisburg4Harrisburg3  The event is officially called a partial meltdown. My Jane and I lived twenty couple of miles away from Three Mile Island in Adams County during this very intense moment in time. More than 140,000 people living within twenty miles of the reactor evacuated the area. My Jane and I were not some of those who left. Subsequent investigations have shown no negative affects on folks due to the worst nuclear accident in the United States. Of course I personally was not affected and am completely normal as you can see from these photos. Harrisburgpicn Harrisburgpic2HarrisburgpicHarrisburgpic3  My Jane would not allow me to show photos proving her normal-ness! The number 2 reactor has since been removed from the site.

My sister Linda (the one who gave me the hot dog hat-she is obviously normal) worked a couple miles away from Three Mile Island (not at the time of the accident) during her career with the 193 Special Operations Wing, Pennsylvania Air National Guard located at the Harrisburg Airport. She deployed with this unit to Desert Storm. You will meet Linda when we get to Adams County in the next blog.

Anyway, back to the hot dog quest. I stopped at the Colonial Park Mall and found Auntie Annes Pretzel kiosk. Harrisburg  My Jane and I know this mall well because we visited my sister Randy and brother-in-law Jeff (Berks and Lebanon Counties) and their two daughters, Kelli and Kendra. Kelli, the oldest, joined our hot dog quest by proxy last week from an Auntie Annes in St. Louis (she obviously was not affected by the Three Mile Island accident! No, she wasn’t born yet!). Harrisburgkelly

I was fortunate to catch Zach working the kiosk. Harrisburg2  In two days he would be starting a new job as a machinist in a family owned business. Before he worked for Auntie Anne he worked at an eye glasses place. He is excited to be working in his field for the first time. Zach also likes to talk to people and hopes to be in a sales position again some day. He plans to make his fortune and then move to the Jim Thorpe area. How about that?

See you next time.