Harvest Hosts #3: Missouri is Beautiful.
Saturday morning we left our campground outside of Carbondale, Illinois, and drove to Missouri. I was pumped because Missouri is the first state we’re visiting that I have never been to! Turns out, it’s gorgeous and hilly and green. Also, since it’s spring, tornado season is upon us. Our drive to our 3rd Harvest Hosts location presented us with an intimidating storm:
We found out that there was a tornado watch in the area, and Kelly and I discussed in great detail what we would do if a tornado approached (“ummm, avoid.”) Luckily, aside from general discomfort and a few fat rain drops, nothing much came from it.
The winery we had chosen to stay at was Wenwood Farm Winery. When we called ahead to reserve our spot, we were warned that they were having a festival during the day and that it might be a little crowded when we were trying to park. We thought a festival sounded like fun anyway, and figured how busy can it possibly be in the middle of nowhere Missouri? After driving miles and miles through beautiful and empty farmland, up and down terrifying winding roads, and passing by some of the tiniest towns you can imagine, we came upon our destination. It was PACKED. Huge lawn filled with cars. A crowd of people gathered on the lawn and in the barn. Music, wine, food, even dancing. It was madness! Relatively speaking.
They had stands set up with local vendors selling cheese, baked goods, all sorts of goodies.
And of course we gave the old chocolate station a look-see.
They even had fire-throwers??? Flame-tossers??? I don’t know what the preferred nomenclature here is.
Kelly and I had an awesome time sampling all the goods, drinking some wine in the sunshine, and mingling with the owner, staff, and a few locals until the evening time.
The next morning, we woke up to a beautiful day and took a long walk down the closest road. Max met cows for the first time.
When he first spotted them, he stopped dead in his tracks and you could almost feel his little brain melting. Then somewhat predictably, he decided the proper course was barking and furiously and carrying on and he quickly scared them away. Common sense be damned, he even tried to sneak under the fence to keep after them. He’s got that shepherd in him and he finally got to put it to use.
We also spotted such oddities as this tree eating a rock.
After our walk, we set off to explore the nearby town of Bland, Missouri, (yes it’s really called that). Bland is another fascinating small town (population 539) tucked into an area surrounded by farms and rolling hills as far as the eye can see. Unfortunately, also greatly in disrepair for the most part. We were hoping to find a small coffee shop or somewhere with wifi in Bland – no.
There did seem to be one nice and pretty well frequented restaurant, The Rustic Garden, which we didn’t have a chance to go to. Seems like the only game in town (or, towns) and they are killing it. We drove through some of the farmland, which was absolutely stunning.
We then headed back to the winery. We had discovered previously that Chris and Cherie from Technomadia were super close by in the area. They decided to come by and hang out and spend the night, along with their friends Forrest and Mary. We were suuuuuuper excited to meet Chris and Cherie. Their website was one of the first and to chronicle full-time RV living in a digital age and it was an absolutely invaluable resource for Kelly and me when we first started looking into this whole idea. They have been full-time RVing for 9 years, and their collective wisdom has helped encourage lots of people to take the leap and hit the road – it certainly encouraged us. It was great to have a chance to meet them and let them know in person how much we appreciate what they do! We had an awesome time drinking wine and getting to explore not only their rig but Forrest and Mary’s as well. It is so much fun to see other people’s RV-homes and get ideas for how we may want to renovate ours in the near future. And it was SO NICE to meet these wonderful people and have them be so supportive and helpful and welcoming to us.
Another great winery and another great weekend! Our next stop: Jefferson City, MO and then onto Columbia, MO before hitting Kirksville, MO to reunite with a few of my Chicago friends. We are really getting the full Missouri experience!