Harvest Host Unexpected Success

We’re on our way to central Michigan to see Finn, and it’s been a long haul, the longest travel day we’ve ever had.

So, on the way, we stayed a night in a brewery parking lot. Naturally.

You know we used to use that Harvest Hosts service quite often, like the wool farm, our first brewery on the road, and that awesome meadery.

But, like everything camping-related, it’s become ridiculously popular and a little sloppy. I think some of the hosts aren’t monitoring how many rigs they’ve said yes to and therefore how many they have room for, so we worry there might not be room for us when we pull in (despite having made reservations). So we just don’t count on them these days.

This one was a winner. We let 10-56 Brewing, in Knox, Indiana, know that we were coming weeks ago, and damned if they weren’t prepared for us and everything.

They even walked out to greet us when we pulled in and directed us to an actual parking sign, unlike that brewery on the Snake River where we had to wait about an hour for rigs from a previous party to move.

We parked right next to an Airstream sprinter van with a slide, which the owners cheerfully showed off as having a Murphy bed that drops down from the slide wall. I’d seen those only in videos: so cool!

Onward to the beer, normally. But, here, socializing mixed in. After poking our heads into the Airstream sprinter, we chatted with the brewery owners, a couple also with an RV who, by chance, are about to go on a Harvest Hosts-only tour.

They have a small brewing system like Dave and Deb, but a big kitchen so a staff, too. I saw only the outside of the brewery since I could walk a few feet from the trailer to the beer garden, but the staff was friendly, the beer fine, and the pizza extra-cheesy.

(I texted this shot of their menu to Finn and his dad as a reference to Finn’s high-school principal. That’s a tragic but oh-so-funny story.)

For a small brewery, these guys are set up with a ton of room for rigs to park, and we got to taking outside with another couple passing through in their van. Turns out they’re interesting as can be (hi Sharon and John!) and spent part of their careers at U Wisconsin, Madison, so did small-world sharing with Tracy.

We stayed chatting after the sun set, after the brewery closed, after the Airstream sprinter couple had gone to bed. This Wisconsin couple keep a sticks and bricks home, but their travel stories (and heck, all their stories) glue you to your slightly rickety picnic table bench late into in the chilly evening.

I hope we stay in touch. Turns out that the controversy of campground crowding and the popularity of Harvest Hosts can produce a silver lining. More people equals more connections on the road, and more friends.

3 thoughts to “Harvest Host Unexpected Success”

    1. I debated leaving that out because, of course, I don’t know the whole story, and it’s not really mine to tell. But Finn’s Catholic prep school had a very cool (I thought) principal who ended up with a DUI on his way home from chaperoning the prom. He lost his job but may have been reinstated as an English teacher – I’d have to look that up. There is just too much irony in the principal getting a DUI after the prom! Nice guy though and I felt terrible for him (other than being a stupid for getting in that situation in the first place).

      1. Ok that’s not as scandalously funny as I’d hoped, I can see why you went the way you did! As you say, a silly choice to drink in the first place.