After we left our decadent stay at the Castle in Illinois, we made the decision we were heading east instead of west to attend our first ever Escapade – the annual rally of the Escapees. We had a little over a week to make it to Goshen, IN – so we decided to take a slow roll and hopefully find some fun places to stay along the way.
Our first stop was Champaign, IL, the home of the University of Illinois. We had some shopping and errands to catch up on, so a decent sized city was just what we desired. On the way in, we discovered that our friends the Moreau-Cook family would also be passing through, so we got some bonus time catching up with them. During their 1-year RVing journey, we got to meet up in Austin and Cedar Key as well. They’re now on their way to the Seattle area, where they intend to settle down.
For our next stop, we decided to give our Harvest Hosts membership a try. If you’re not familiar with the program, they keep a database of wineries, farms and other stops that welcome RVers to stop in for a night.
We had actually been gifted a membership last year, and hadn’t a chance to try it out. Checking their database, Sleepy Creek Vineyard would be right on our way. We gave them a call, and they were excited to have their first Harvest Hosts guests of the season.
We were warmly greeted, shown where we could park and invited in for a tasting. We sampled some yummy wines, made some purchases, chit-chatted the day away, enjoyed a private vineyard tour and spent a very relaxing night surrounded by grapevines.
We also utilized their fast WiFi to get some videos uploaded, including the high res version of our Blogging for RVers webcast.
Our next stop was Prophetstown State Park (our review) outside West Layfette, IN. It was a perfect stop for us, and for the first time in many weeks we enjoyed a solid day of not having appointments, obligations, errands or anything on our social calendar.
It was really good to relax a bit, get caught up and enjoy some of the hiking trails.
As we were getting ready to plan our next stop, our friends Forrest & Mary caught up with us to caravan up to the Escapade together. We extended for another night, and enjoyed an evening reconnecting.
For our next stop, we were eying Grissom Air Museum just south of Peru, IN – also a Harvest Hosts participant. We called ahead and the executive director invited us and our friends to overnight with them. We were again warmly greeted and given a quick tour before they shut down for the day.
We had an enjoyable, but windy, evening parked amongst the planes, and continued the tour in the morning.
It was a very fun and educational stop, and we were all very happy to contribute our $5 tour ticket price for the experience. We highly recommend stopping in if you’re in the area and enjoy aviation history.
So far, we’re pretty impressed with our Harvest Hosts experience, and can see the program being a fun way to integrate in some unique stays – albeit, not exactly ‘free camping’ once you factor in supporting the businesses.
The four of us then put our heads together as to where we’d spend a couple days before our entry date to the Escapade – and selected Potato Creek State Park (our review) just south of South Bend, IN. We arrived and snagged two sites and hit the trails to explore.
As it was a weekend, the park was full of activity – reminding us why we generally prefer staying in state parks during the week. The park is older and had some really odd shared electrical hook-ups that required long extension cords. But all and all, we had a great time hanging out with Forrest & Mary and getting caught up on some spring cleaning.
And then on Sunday morning we all made the final hour drive to Goshen, IN to start our Escapade experience!
What’s Next: We’re at the Escapade all week long, and after… we have no clue where we are headed.
The Mobile Internet Handbook Indiegogo Campaign
We also wanted to send out a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has supported our ‘The Mobile Internet Handbook’ crowdfunding campaign.
It’s off to a strong start, and we’re nearly 100% funded for the basic re-write.
We have a lot of stretch funding goals to create new expanded content, the premium membership service and perhaps even a T-Shirt!
So go take a peak and we’d greatly appreciate it if you can help out! Thank you!