While we were in New York, we joined a site called Harvest Hosts. It has a directory of ranches, farms, and wineries (along with a few other unique places) across the country that allow you to park over night for free.
Anyone who has done a lot of traveling or extensive trips knows how exciting a free night can be! As long as you’re a Harvest Host member, have a self contained RV, and give them a heads up that you’re coming, they provide a nice lot for you! All they ask in return is that you purchase something from them.
More info here:
While in Virginia, we were lucky enough to have our first Harvest Host experience! And it was wonderful!
Desert Rose Ranch & Winery in Hume, Virginia
We called the day before we planned to arrive and talked to Melissa and she was so friendly and excited for our visit. She gave us a quick run down on the layout so we knew what to expect when we arrived and where it would be best for us to park.
Well, we ended up deciding to stay in Gettysburg an extra night since there was so much more there than we ever imagined…so I called them back again to see if we could come the next night. This time I talked to Linda, one of the owners, and she was just as friendly as Melissa. She told us there was no problem and she looked forward to meeting us the following day.
It was tucked away down some beautiful country roads, and just getting there was a treat. When we arrived, we were immediately impressed and excited. They had a beautiful building with a great wrap around porch, a beautiful pond with a fountain, a picnic area with tables and a fire pit. We were so excited for a night without any city noise or loud neighbors.
Their parking lot wasn’t very big, but they had a great, level, grass area for us to park on by the picnic area. It was perfect.
The other owner, Bob, came out while we were parking to introduce himself and help guide us. He was very welcoming, and within minutes of being there told us to make ourselves at home. He even offered us the ability to dump our holding tanks, since his son-in-law had a business that could come to us and empty them – how cool!
After we got set up and settled, we walked Solomon around real quick and went in for a tasting! They immediately invited us to bring Solomon in (who we’d left in the trailer). Since he’s spoiled and we hate leaving him, we attempted to bring him in…however, he was too excited after a full day of driving and couldn’t sit still, so back outside he went so we could enjoy our tasting!
Inside was absolutely gorgeous! But for some silly reason I didn’t take my camera inside and I’m really regretting that!! Their bar had currencies from all over the world, from all their travels, which was really cool to us. They had a beautiful fireplace, kids korner, local art on display, great wood furniture…we loved it, did I mention that!?
We also loved their wine! Neither of us had ever thought or heard of wine from Virginia…but it was great! Both being red wine fans, we don’t normally enjoy whites – and never Chardonnays…but their Unhitched Chard was the best either of us had ever had! But still sticking with the reds, their Cabernet Franc and Covert Cab were the favorites!!
Our tasting finished around the time they were closing up, and Bob and Linda came down and invited us to sit on the porch with them and have a glass of wine. They even invited us to bring Solomon back out. So he came and hung out on the porch with us, and gave Linda lots of hugs, and even tried to sit on her lap a couple times! We sat out there while the sun set and shared our backgrounds as well as travel stories. Their travels blew ours out of the water – we have work to do – but we enjoyed their company. We could have sat out there for hours and not run out of things to talk about!
Among other things, we talked about work and working while we travel, and Bob offered to hire us to help pick his last block of grapes the following day. We were pretty excited about the opportunity, unfortunately since we had no experience, we would have needed help and on such short notice they weren’t able to find the extra hands.
They invited us to stay another night, and we would have absolutely loved to, unfortunately we were getting behind on our schedule already and had already cut a couple planned stops out, so we needed to get on the road.
Before leaving, Solomon had a little photo shoot around their beautiful property.
Thank you for the hospitality Bob and Linda Claymier!! We will definitely be back!!
After leaving there, we stopped in Lynchburg for lunch with Dana’s cousin, Andy! Also wish we had more time there, but I’m glad it worked out so I could see her between her meetings!! Next time, we’re going to make her be a tourist with us!! :-p
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