From Welches to Glacier in two days. Thanks to Grand Central’s Accounting Manager Greta, I was gifted an annual membership to Harvest Hosts, a service that allows us to camp overnight for free at local farms, wineries, and breweries. We finally had a chance to see what this experience was like on our way to Glacier, stopping at Badger Mountain Winery in Kennewick, WA and Riley Creek Blueberry Farm in Laclede, ID.
Kennewick was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, smoky, and windy when we arrived, so it felt kind of like being in a blow dryer pushing air through a smoker. We arrived hot, tired and cranky from dealing with mechanical issues, but the hosts at the winery were very gracious, offering a free wine tasting and a nice spot on the top of the hill to park our rig. The vineyard could be seen off in the distance, but not much else with the smoky skies.
This winery is known for being a pioneer in organic winemaking and the tasting did not disappoint, so we picked up a few bottles before heading out to dinner. One of the staff also worked at a restaurant nearby called Proof, so we went there and enjoyed a nice meal before being welcomed back to our humble abode atop the hill by a surprise rainstorm and continued blustery evening.
Our mechanical issues were resolved before we headed out on the road the next day and we were off to Idaho! We had less issues the second day and arrived early enough at the farm to take a leisurely stroll through rows of blueberries, picking and tasting along the way. In addition to taking away some fresh blueberries, we also bought some of their homemade preserves and fresh eggs from their chickens, and later enjoyed watching their flock of doves swoop around the barn while drinking wine and playing cribbage.
The smoke was really starting to settle in during the middle of the night, so we had a fairly murky drive most of the way to Columbia Falls, which is just outside of West Glacier. We were greeted with a massive downpour while trying to set up the trailer and more mechanical issues that will need to be sorted out before we head to West Glacier next week. So, we just had to wait out the storm and chill out instead of trying to finish setting up camp.
Overall, the Harvest Hosts experience has been positive so far, and we are excited to take advantage of this membership as we travel between lengthier stays. Check it out if you get a chance.