Last summer, one of our most favorite guest weekends was the week of the Mud Race held in Quarryville. We all wondered about it as the one guest who was participating talked about the event in future tense. He was excited and he was so pumped for the race and prepared and very disappointed that his buddies stood him up. They (his buddies) had talked about it for the past year and wanted to join him but in the end, he was here for the race ALONE as he had no team to enjoy it with. What he did have was guts and determination and spirit and that’s what he spread around at his overnight spot here in Lancaster County.

The other guests rallied around him. No one else was interested in that particular race, it was muddy and crazy. They loved sharing his anticipation and his enthusiasm for what was his fun of choice for the weekend. They all wished him well over morning coffee and they all watched as he carried his duffle bag full of clothing (well t-shirt and shorts and EXTRA clothing) that we all knew he would need for his ride home and for his pass back into this bed and breakfast place. No one wanted to see mud and no one wanted to have to deal with that on his return. EVERYONE hoped he’d have a great time and push beyond his limits and feel the satisfaction of being a bit on the crazy side and experience the push-through needed to make it at the mud race.

Hours passed and everyone had plans

We were all here to welcome him back. Everyone wanted to see what his enthusiasm got him and if it was all he hoped for and dreamed for. We all wanted him to have something to take back to his buddies who had decided last minute to not show up. His face said it all… HE MADE IT TROUGH. It was harder than he thought it would be and had many more obstacles than he expected. The race brought him more satisfaction than was hoped for, to feel the ability to do something this crazy and this challenging was more fun and more rewarding than anything. HE WAS SMILING BIG!

There are so many things that happen in Lancaster County that are less fun and challenging, at the same time Lancaster offers so much to be enjoyed and experienced. It truly is a destination with unusual offerings and something for everyone, the mud race just an example of fun that is individualized. What I loved most about that day was how ALL OF OUR GUESTS rallied and lived their lives through the life of this mud race athlete. He came alone without teammates and without family and how everyone rallied around him. It was truly a weekend to remember. It had little to do with the race or entertainment choices but rather had so much more to do with people and how they stepped up to make it GREAT weekend for another person in their group. The only thing they had in common at the beginning of the weekend is that they ended up at the same place for very different reasons. I believe they went home richer for the experience of sharing together the excitement of a housemate who found people who cared about him and about him having a great time.

That’s one thing that sets bed and breakfasts apart … people finding connections with each other and realizing OTHER reasons to choose to come here. We love seeing that happen over and over again.

Submitted by: Carl and Sharon Shirk, Innkeepers at the Stumptown Manor B&B