Yesterday I read an article on the Do It Yourself RV Blog titled “If You Have These 10 Personality Traits, You’re Meant to be a Full-Time RVer”. Number 2 on the list is Adaptable … well, I pretty much covered that in our last post! Yes, you really do have to be adaptable, not only to new places we might travel as it states in the DIYRV blog, but also to the ever changing conditions we find ourselves. Whether that be the rainy weather, a crowded campsite or making the little adjustments that are called for living in a small space. To be a full-timer you have to be flexible.
The first trait on the list is Adventurous. This past week we certainly tried something new, which ended up being very nice, though getting there was an adventure in and of itself. As I have stated before one of the goals on this trip is to try a variety of camping situations. Boondocking is when you camp in an area that has no hookups (electric, water, sewer, or cable TV). These can be places far off the grid like the Bureau of Land Management Lands or as urban as your closest Wal-Mart parking lot. Another way to boondock is through an organization called Harvest Host. Per their website it is described as
“Harvest Hosts’ goal is to provide fun, worthwhile experiences for self-contained RVers and Hosts alike. The invitation to visit overnight is a special opportunity and you’ll meet interesting people and enjoy wine tastings, farm tours and museums.”
So for our first one-night stay boonbocking we chose Fox Creek Winery in Olney, IL. The idea of a quick free one night stop where all we had to do was pick up a bottle of wine sounded great! Here’s where the adventure began.
We have learned that we need to pay closer attention to exactly where the vineyards and farms are located. It turned out that Fox Creek was over an hour off the Interstate …. ok we are retired, we have all the time in the world … after about 45 minutes of corn fields we were hoping the winery would hurry up and appear! Then we turned off the 2 lane highway onto a smaller, but paved, country one lane road, then we turned onto a smaller country road, then …………..
As the video shows we ended up on a one lane gravel lane that was about 3 miles long. Now driving down that road in the Jeep would have been a piece of cake … driving a 40ft – 22 ton RV while towing said Jeep was an adventure. But as you can see we safely made it into the winery only to find out the GPS took us the long back way in … if we had come from the other direction it would have been much shorter but less of an adventure.
The winery owner and Jonathan scoped out the best field to park finding the firmest ground and once Joanna was able to take her hands off the wheel we ventured into the small winery. We were greeted very warmly and spent the afternoon tasting various fruit based wines and telling stories. We each picked our favorite and then headed back to the coach.
Boondocking means no electric, which means no A/C, and it was in the 90’s. Using all of our training living in the south as kids we pulled the shades on the sunny side, opened the windows on the shady side, made salads for dinner, and waited till the sun went down. Then we turned on the generator, ran the A/C, and stood in front of the vents. Once we had it cooled down we shut everything off and opened the windows to the cool evening breeze. We slept in our comfy bed in the coach that was tucked under the trees, listening to the night birds, waking to a quiet sunrise with dew on the grass …. a perfect boondocking night!
After a morning walk around the farm we pulled up the jacks and headed out …. going the shorter and much less harrowing road back to the highway.
I think after this little adventure we will be checking Google Earth a little closer and double checking the GPS directions before venturing off the grid to boondock. But now we have wine in the coach for after the next adventure!