Well, time to travel West. I think I will see some sights on my bucket list, visit family in Oregon and drive down the West coastline to my next farm visit.
Harvest Hosts will be my first choice along the way. First stop, DeForest, Wisconsin at the Upick Strawberry Farm. The farm is family owned and was once a dairy. The current generation is using the land and buildings to grow vertical strawberry plants and portable growing uprights to take to assisted living facilities so the residents can garden indoors. I had a nice area to park beside the original farmhouse. Quiet and peaceful stay. Yummy Strawberries for breakfast.
Next Harvest Host stop, Metz's Hart-Land Creamery. Watched the family milk the herd, bought ice cream in the farm store and slept well beside the cow barns. A bit smelly...but hey, what can one expect at a dairy!
Stayed at a Harvest Host in Brandon, South Dakota, the Wilde Prairie Winery. Wines are much different than I am used to. The winery is an old dairy barn turned tasting room. Beautiful! Parked in a field next to the vines. A rainy night.
Stayed at a KOA in Sioux Falls for a night, enjoyed a South Dakota chorus of crickets and fields of sunflowers on my way to Mt. Rushmore. Excited to get there and experience the Black Hills area.
What a surprise I had when approaching Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota! Harley Davidsons EVERYWhERE! Yep...you guessed it! Sturgis Rally!! I had no idea I would be in the area at the same time as the Rally. I had no idea what to expect...what fun!!!!!
Great time at Mt. Rushmore and touring the Black Hills area. Bikers are extremely careful and helpful when I got lost in the State Park.
Stopping to visit my father's ancestral nation, the Crow Reservation. My great-great-great grandmother was from the Appasoloka nation. I have been here several times and always happy to return. Eat a buffalo steak, visited the battle of the Big Horn memorial and watched the people set up for the Crow Fair. Unfortunately I was a week to early.
Last stop in Montana is the town of Garrison. Not really a town, just a vacant school, a few residences and a KOA campground. BUT, it has my last name...so I must stop! And it was worth the stop. We live in a small world. I meet the campground hosts who attended Cal Poly SLO the same time I did. We had a nice visit. After a nice walk to a nearby creek bed, I was thinking about my father's history and my grandson Garrison who was named in honor of my father who was the last male Garrison in our family and a Crow feather dropped from the sky and landed on my RV steps. Thanks for the blessing Dad!
On my way to Idaho to check out Coeur d' Alene and Sandpoint. Stayed at a beautiful KOA journey in between the two towns. This is an area I am interested in learning more about. Could be a good retirement community. I enjoyed touring the area and think I will return in the late spring to explore more thoroughly. Lake Pend Oreille is big and beautiful! Would have to be a snowbird in the winter months.
From Idaho to Oregon for a scenic drive down the Columbia/Hood River. Stayed at Memaloose State Park for two nights. Got some work done and enjoyed the river before continuing on toward Silverton to see family.
My cousin lives on a farm. He has a century barn that is amazing! The walls are lapped together. Why don't we build barns like this now? Such an art.
The drive down the Oregon/California coast was magnificent. Another drive I would like to revisit and spend more time in the seashore towns. Check out the elk crossing over highway 101 near Klamath and the Big Trees!
I will stop at one of my client farms in the San Francisco Bay area to check in and then on my way to the Central Coast to make another client visit in Salinas.