Given that the entire purpose of the Little Guy Max purchase is to visit daughter LJ and her family in Cincinnati, given the fact that I have no intention of making a sixteen-hour drive to Ohio in one shot, and given my reluctance to pay RV campground fees for three nights running en route, I realized early on that I would have to “dry camp” or “boondock” along my way west. These terms refer to camping without water, electrical or sewer hookups; Wal-Marts, Cabelas and Cracker Barrels often let RV-ers do this in their parking lots (in hopes of generating business), but I found a more appealing option online, through an app called “Harvest Hosts”.
The folks at Harvest Hosts have organized and catalogued over a thousand farms, wineries, orchards, breweries, museums and golf courses across the country that allow you to dry camp for free on their property in exchange for you patronizing their business; the expectation is that you will spend $20 or more, which is still only half of the typical RV campground fee. Only those whose RVs have an onboard bathroom and kitchen can be Harvest Host members, as the hosts obviously do not want people lighting fires and going to the bathroom on their property. I knew that if I was going to be confident on the road, I needed to do a dry run boondocking before I set out for Ohio, and so I chose a nearby Harvest Host to see how the Little Guy worked for dry camping.
Misty Acres Alpaca Farm is located in Sidney, Maine, about ten miles north of Augusta on ME-104. Home to over sixty alpacas, the farm is nestled in pastoral countryside along the banks of the Kennebec River.
A crazed guinea hen accosted the truck as soon as I arrived, enamored either of the tires or of its reflection in the chrome. Affable owner and host Charlie Laliberte said that its function is to eat ticks, and sure enough it was often observed traveling through the pasture with the alpacas – symbiosis in action.
The Lalibertes own an alpaca fiber business in which they sell an assortment of beautiful alpaca-wool socks, scarves, hats, jackets and yarn. I bought several socks and gifts and more than made up for the hosting fee. Apparently most of their business is at seasonal agricultural fairs but they do sell online at http://www.mistyacresalpaca.com where you can view and purchase their outstanding products.
So, tonight I will fall asleep amongst alpacas (and one crazed guinea hen) in a lovely, quiet spot with a clear sky and a waxing moon to view through the stargazer window. The Little Guy has boondocked perfectly and I am encouraged about taking it west.