The entire point of buying a travel trailer, and before that a truck to pull it, was so that I could journey to Ohio at my leisure — without paying for hotels — and visit daughter LJ and her family near Cincinnati, as they do not have space to put me up in their home. The thought was that I could buy a trailer, park it in their driveway, and then stay until I wore out my welcome without also being underfoot. This idea hatched almost three years ago, and in fact Robin and I spent many an evening perusing trailers, trucks and RVs online trying to narrow down the options. So today is a big day for me — the dream is coming true! Today I drove my truck and trailer west to Rexford, NY (between Albany and Saratoga Springs) to start my first Ohio sojourn in the Little Guy Max.
I chose this spot in Rexford (Bowman’s Orchards) through Harvest Hosts, which I am finding to be an excellent app and organization indeed. In fact, two HH stays pays for the annual membership, if you consider that you are saving the cost of an RV campground every time you use a free Harvest Host. And you can stay in the most lovely and pastoral of settings, with only the obligation to purchase a few quality fresh goods from the Host’s agribusiness!
If you look closely at the above photo you will notice that the Little Guy is not parked on a level spot — the terrain runs uphill to the buildings in the background. This is a problem because (outside of sleeping with my feet above my head!) the appliances will not run if not level. I tried several spots before unhooking the trailer and finally settled on this one as the best of a bad lot. As I was getting set up, the truck in the distance pulled in and the owners (Justin, Christine and ten-year-old Colt from Oklahoma) immediately came out to make my acquaintance; they kindly offered me more leveling blocks to use, which I eagerly accepted. You can see that there are more blocks on the left (low) side of the trailer than on the right, but thanks to the extra blocks, the trailer is steady and almost level.
Justin’s rig, by the way, is a very expensive (think six figures) extreme off-road RV, set on an F-550 diesel chassis and loaded with solar arrays, massive tires and huge water tanks for extended off-grid wilderness camping. The apocalyptic graphics on this RV are completely out of character with the personalities of the family within!
Justin and his family are on their way to New Hampshire; I recommended that, once there, they take an excursion across the border to Rangeley, Maine to check out the paddling and the moose.
Bowman’s Orchards is an extensive farming operation featuring fruit trees and livestock. They also have a big store (I hesitate to call it a “farmer’s market” as they carry an array of home furnishings in addition to jams, jellies, preserves and fresh fruit). I availed myself of some delicious fresh raspberries along with a jug of sweet cider and a couple of gifts.
After I visited the store, I wandered around the farm, stopping at the animal enclosure:
In addition to the goats I noticed several piglets and a horse as well. They also have an interesting attraction at this agritourism business in which you can sieve for precious minerals, although it was not working today:
I was disappointed to find the bakery closed:
The farm and orchards occupy a historic site:
As I made supper a shower blew up, with thunderstorms and rain in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow morning. I find myself grateful that I am not in a tent, worrying about leakage and having to pack up wet tomorrow only to set up wet again — on the ground no less! — tomorrow night.
So I am cautiously optimistic that this grand vision is going to play out like I hoped. The truck returned about 13 MPG over these 300 miles, terrible mileage in a global sense but better than I had expected while towing; it may improve as I descend out of the Appalachians and into Ohio. The goal for tomorrow is to make it to Buffalo, NY, where I have reserved an RV campground site so that I can empty the tanks before moochdocking at cousin Lee’s in Ohio for five days. Hopefully tomorrow’s travel goes as smoothly as today’s, as everything worked flawlessly. I am grateful to be here safely and looking forward to reporting from Buffalo tomorrow!