Holy Rollers!

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine

Family Vacations, Summer

Holy Rollers!
'Blading through Amish country

On Zephyr Inline Skate Tours' roll through Pennsylvania Amish country, your guide might be an Amish 18-year-old who'll show kids some wicked skate moves while filling them in on his spartan way of life. He'll probably keep quiet, however, about the Amish's own special brand of adolescent rebellion — rumschpriges — a period of wild-oat-sowing all Amish boys are encouraged to go through so they can experience the "outside world" of beer-drinking, movie-going, and girl-kissing before they ditch the in-line skates, settle down, grow a beard, and raise a family.

"The horses and buggies were really awesome," says 10-year-old Brian Funk, who took the tour last year. "When we waved, everyone smiled back at us."

"I was skeptical at first," says Brian's 13-year-old brother, Andrew, "but it turned out to be really fun. It was so interesting to compare our lifestyles." Although much of the fun comes from experiencing a new culture, kids will be better off if they're able to skate at least 10 miles a day and can maneuver around the manure piles on the Lancaster County roads. "It was a major workout," says Andrew. "I came away with a lot better legs."

Trips run Friday through Sunday, May 28-30, September 10-12, and October 11-13. The cost is $495 per adult; with two adults, kids younger than 18 are half price. Call 888-758-8687 or log on to www.skatetour.com.

— S.G.

Copyright 1999, Outside magazine

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