As reported in the last blog we have made it to the east coast and now we are slowly making our way north, en-route to New Hampshire. The goal has been to avoid snow for an entire season, so with that in mind we scheduled a few stops along the way. Some short hops, and some longer stays. We have utilized alot of resources during this leg of our journey. We used Harvest Host for our first stop after Summerton. A place called Catawba Farms in Newton, NC. And that's where the fight started.
All was well, we arrived in time to set up and catch up with the owner who, even though the tasting room wasn't open, was gracious enough to fill up a couple of growlers for us, we also purchased a couple bottles of their delicious wine. After said purchases, it was time for a walk around the farm.
There were pigs (they were camera shy), chickens, rabbits, peacocks, donkeys, horses and goats. And Stella was more than happy to wander around. She hates travel days, and we get her out as soon as possible once we reach our next layover.
Let's not forget about the barn cats that also dwell on this property. They are super people friendly and were more than happy to come visit us. So we found a spot to sit so I could work on my laptop and enjoy some wine outside in the beautiful weather and Stella could just lay in the grass and chill. That lasted all of about 10 minutes.
To be fair, Stella was minding her own business, when slowly but surely she was surrounded by several cats, one of which was really looking for a fight, and believe me when I say Stella was more than willing to throw down.
I think this is a good time to explain that although Stella loves all things 2-legged, when it come to 4-legged creatures she is less than impressed. She has never picked the fight, but she is more than willing to finish it. In this instance she was just laying in the grass and enjoying being out of the RV. Even as the she was being surrounded she didn't move or hiss or anything of the sort. Then it happened! One of them crossed into her invisible body bubble and it was game on! Thankfully Mike managed to get her away from the "mob' before blood was drawn.
I swear if she had vocal cords her yowls would have translated into something like "Dad, what the hell, I could take 'em" or "They started it, why am I getting sent to time out?" Usually Stella draws a fan base wherever she goes...not so much this time...lol
After a good nights sleep it was time to head to our next location. A Boondockers Welcome host in Bedford, Va. We chose Bedford for 2 reasons; 1- It's on our way (sorta) to Staunton, VA where friends of ours live and run a brewery, and 2- Bedford has one of our favorite restaurants there. It's called Liberty Station, and yes, it used to be a train station and trains are just cool...so there!
When we got to Bedford we stopped for supplies; propane, groceries and such. Then it was time for dinner. Mike had Ribeye steak and I enjoyed sauteed mushrooms and Butternut squash ravioli. And just like every other time we've been here, it was fantastic. This time however, was a little more special because the owner stopped to chat with us and shared some stories about his life in the military and in Virginia. And then he brought us a piece of his famous cheesecake. This one was vanilla with real strawberries baked in. Yum, just freekin' yum! So with full bellies we were off to our next stop; Mountain Creek Retreat, a Boondockers Welcome host.
We arrived on a beautiful day. When I walked up the driveway to introduce myself to our hosts - Mike was setting up - the first thing I saw were a bunch of deer. These pictures don't do it justice but it's all I've got.
The hosts were truly lovely people. We were scheduled to leave on Sunday and as it turns out they were leaving for Florida on Saturday morning. We were parked in their lower driveway and they told us we could go up top and plug in after they left. But we too, were thinking about leaving on Saturday before the weather showed up. So we enjoyed Friday on our Mountain retreat.
Saturday morning arrives and with it comes the weather that we were trying to avoid...Snow and freezing winds. Since our hosts were headed south and the storm was headed north, they left on schedule. We opted to wait because we were headed north and the winds were relentless. In the end we decided that staying was our best option. Seriously, traveling in a tall, square vehicle in winds gusting 40 to 50mph is not the brightest of ideas. We learned the next day that tractor trailers were blown over.
As it turns out, the hospitality that our hosts extended was worth more than we could have realized. But not without a few hiccups along the way. The move to the top of the driveway required us to scrape ice off of the slide-in the wind, on a ladder. So there's that. Once we got to the top and safely under the carport we discovered that their power was out. Must have been one of the 3 trees we heard come down the night before.
Sleep? Who needs sleep? So without power, we were relying on our on-board generator, our portable generator and propane portable heater. Game on! Remember we were supposed to avoid snow., and we came so freekin' close! Trust me, we'll do better next winter, because that one night simply sucked ass!
This is under the carport where their RV is usually parked, we moved here. Yes, that's me in my muck boots, because I clearly couldn't wear my flip flops like usual. Ugh! In the grand scheme of things is there something bigger to bitch about? Yes! But sometimes my optimism bubble pops and I get just a little pissy - sue me!
Anyway, after getting set up and figuring out how to ration our supplies, we got power back! Yay! We plugged in our heat lights so we wouldn't have frozen pipes and prayed to the propane gods that our supply would last till morning. Yes, we had power but we were afraid to plug too much in for fear of tripping a breaker, and since the owners were gone there would be no way to fix it. So we grabbed the blanket that mom made me and with the quilt that Mike's sister Barb, gave us, we hunkered down. When morning came the temperature rose and we packed up to leave.
As it turns out we've discovered that we shouldn't brew coffee on travel day. More than once I have spilled coffee just before leaving. One time it was a whole carafe, this time I broke the record- the half full carafe, shortly after my travel mug, and while cleaning up that mess, I elbowed Mike's travel mug and knocked that over too. 3 for 3! Mad skills right there! I was pissed! Thankfully, Mike took on the role of optimist and reeled me back.
Lots of lessons were learned on this part of our journey, and I'm proud of the way we worked together to figure shit out. This is a truly different lifestyle that comes with it's own unique set of gifts and challenges. As in life, you can't appreciate the good, without the experiences of the bad.
As I write this we are in Staunton, VA. We leave here soon and then I'll be writing about a big gift we received while here, one that is truly special...
Until then, Be Well, Be Happy, and Safe Travels