After Belle Starr’s Ranch I headed to one of the Harvest Hosts sites where I was able to stay free for the night. If you haven’t checked out Harvest Hosts yet you might want to look into their program. They have wineries, vineyards, farms, and orchards throughout the country where you can stay free for one 24 hour period. Your cost is $30 per year and with that you are provided with the names of 243 different locations. Their locations are spread throughout the entire country including some in Mexico as well. This year they are expanding to Canada.
I have only used their service once since joining but I have scheduled 25 stops in my travels this year to spend the night. That is 25 days I won’t have to pay a dime to spend the night. Of course they do encourage purchasing some of the hosts products such as wine, fruit and vegetables, etc. but that is not required. The cost of $30 annually is minimal when you think that you will be saving that much your first or second night if you were to stay at a commercial campground.
The best thing about Harvest Hosts is that you get to stay in interesting places instead of hunkering down in a Walmart parking lot or even worse a Flying J or Pilot. I have stayed at truck stops where I couldn’t sleep most of the night because either the next RV had their generator running all night (not sure why) or the 18 wheelers were running their diesel engines all night.
The place I stayed was convenient to I-10, provided a level spot, a picnic table and I was able to park under a large tree for plenty of shade. They also had a store that had their own freshly bottled cider and delicious homemade apple pies and apple crisp. I purchased an apple crisp and a qt of cider and it was very yummy. The hosts were extremely friendly and made me feel right at home.
If you decide to sign up for a membership give my name Jim Melvin as a reference and both you and I will receive an extra month.
The next day I crossed into New Mexico and immediately headed south at I-80 to a little town called Rodeo. My first stop was the Chiricahua Desert Museum. If you don’t like snakes I would suggest staying away from this museum. But if you want to see a large collection of live snakes, many of them poisonous, then this is a neat spot. They had many different types of rattlesnakes some small and some rather large. I even had one that rattled at me when I walked past it’s glass enclosure. They also have a nice botanical cactus garden you can walk through.
After I finished with the museum I headed to Rusty’s RV Ranch just north of Rodeo off hwy I-80. The ranch was run by a family who were very friendly. I was only staying 2 nights so couldn’t qualify for the 50% campclub discount but she did give me 25% off since I was an Escapees member.
She told me about lots of hiking and birding areas and I was all ready to head out the next morning to explore these areas. But then I awoke to this.
Be sure to click and then click again to enlarge all photos.
The winds were blowing something fierce. I looked up the weather for Rodeo, NM and it said winds blowing 27 mph and gusts in the 50 mph range. My RV was a rockin’ and rollin’ all day. I had made big plans for the day but forget it. I wound up staying inside all day. I did get these pics from inside looking out. I had all the windows shut and locked but it still didn’t prevent sand from getting into my rig.
I had good plans for my time in Rodeo, NM but just like they say an RV’er schedule is sometimes made in jello. You just have to go with the flow.