Despite my unease camping at the sugar shack in the woods last night, I had a peaceful and quiet stay there and moved on this morning to a lovely country market south of Buffalo, NY, the Robbins Nest. I had a new experience along the way, however, as I have heretofore never availed myself of a commercial dump station — but today was the day! Usually, I plan to stop at the CVI on my way to and from Cincinnati, visit family and use the dump station there (see previous posts), but I knew that this weekend the CVI would be hosting a wedding (and who wants an RV in their wedding photos?!); moreover, the commercial RV parks are all closed after October 15, so neither of those options was available for my trip home. Realizing when I woke up that the black tank was getting perilously full (for those who have never RVed, the blank tank is the tank into which the toilet drains) and not convinced it would last me until I got home, I went onto my iPad, loaded the Campendium app, and searched for dump stations near me. And not half an hour from the sugar shack on I-90 was a Pilot truck stop, complete with dump station! They somehow lock the station until the ten-dollar fee is paid, whereupon they issue you a code; you input the code onto a keypad beside the dumpstation, and it opens for your use. The whole process was surprisingly easy and I am certain that I will avail myself of such opportunities again in the future should the need present itself. Having completed that unsavory but necessary task, I continued east toward Buffalo.
Upon my arrival at the Robbins Nest, my gracious and gregarious host Darlene welcomed me; matriarch of a lovely family, I would later meet her husband Peter and their four kids, delightful people all. After a tour of the grounds, I took advantage of the farm market to buy some fresh organic meats and some homemade jams and jellies.
Darlene said that ordinarily they park Harvest Host members on the hill behind the pasture, but due to recent rain the ground there was too soft to park on, and so I am staying beside the market in the parking lot for their farm equipment.
The farm is located on a lovely property encompassing fields, cow pastures and two beautiful ponds.
As I was unhitching the Little Guy from the truck, a fellow rode up on a John Deere tractor and introduced himself as Lester, a friend of the Robbins’ who lives across the street. As we got acquainted, Lester, clearly distraught, shared that he had lost his wife of sixty years just two weeks ago, to COPD. Having lived through bereavement myself, now almost four years ago, I could certainly sympathize; we talked for awhile and, noticing the clear skies and open horizons here, I invited him to come back this evening while I pulled out the telescope. We will see if he takes me up on the offer. I feel really badly for the guy; apparently for the duration of his marriage, he ran his farm while his wife managed the bills, credit card, etc. — so not only must he deal with bereavement, he must also now find his way alone through all the minutia of life as well. So sad…..
I noticed on my walk around the property that the Robbins’ also have three cabins up on the hill, which they apparently rent out during the summers. Can’t imagine a more bucolic setting in which to while away a summer week, amongst the beautiful hardwood trees, beside the pasture.
On my way here, my route took me through the Grand River region of western Ohio, a beautiful countryside of farms and forests; I must have passed at least five Amish horse-and-buggies as I traversed the region. I got to thinking about the Little Guy, and how it has widened my horizons; for the money I paid for it, I could probably fly to Cincinnati a dozen times or more, staying in hotels each time and renting a car — but I think my life would be smaller somehow, as I would never have seen the places I’ve seen, or met the wonderful people (like the Robbins family) whom I have met. And certainly none of those places have been earth-shattering, bucket-list destinations; but yet, the radius of the circle which circumscribes my life is bigger because of the Little Guy. I think it has been worth it.
I’m looking forward to doing some observing tonight, given the wide horizons here; we’ll see if Lester or the Robbins family comes out to join me. Tomorrow, back to the equine rescue center outside of Albany, and then on to home!