First Harvest Host Stay

It was an easy three-hour drive west to Weldon, NC. Our destination for the night was Weldon Mills Distillery, where we’d booked an overnight stay through Harvest Hosts. If you’re unfamiliar, with Harvest Hosts you can stay a night for “free” at a wide variety of wineries, breweries, and other interesting places. I put “free” in quotes because, in exchange for your stay, it’s good to purchase some of the local wares. I joined when membership was on sale in December, in anticipation of doing the van life thing. Now, finally, we’d give it a try for the first time.

You need to book your stay in advance, either through the app, through the location’s website, or by calling them on the phone. You never know which it will be, so look them up in the app to find out. We were looking for a place not too far from Virginia Beach, about a 3-hour drive, because I don’t really want to drive more than that on a workday. That’s how we found Weldon Mills. It was an easy drive out there. We arrived soon after the place closed for the day, but once people came back to set up for the live band that night, they got us situated.

Several other camper vans and RVs were doing the same thing we were. We sat around the fire ring together and swapped stories. Three of the vehicles were all from one family, who normally do this separately part-time, but all came together to convoy around a bit. They were everything from a homemade camper van to a true RV. This was really the first chance we’d had to sit down and hang out with others who live the life that we now do. Part-time, full-time, it doesn’t matter. They get it.

We were the only party animals to go check out the live music. The band was good, and they were serving concoctions made from their own liquor. I may or may not have had a little too much. Let’s just say there are reasons why I generally stick to beer or wine. What I do remember is that it was quite tasty and high quality.

Aside from my alleged condition, which is my own fault, it was quite a pleasant experience. We’ll definitely be doing more Harvest Host stays in the future. The only downside is that you generally have to book them in advance rather than just showing up. This requires a little bit of planning and a definite destination for a specific place and time. It can be worth it, though, especially if we’re looking for a change of pace from Walmart, Cracker Barrel, or boondocking.

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