It's time to move again! We've explored the North East and now it's time to start heading West. Tonight we'll be utilizing our Harvest Host membership, which partners with hundreds of farms around the US to let RVers spend the night. Tonight we get to park the RV and sleep at Bowman Orchards!
Monday, November 1, 2021
The Flowers Explore - Bowman Orchards New York - 2021/09/28-29
Our travels today will take us out of Massachusetts and into New York!
About 4 hours driving today, so it's nothing too terrible. I'm liking these shorter travel days.
It was raining pretty hard as I got everything broken down outside. But we've got to get moving, so we do what we must!
Goodbye Massachusetts, Hello New York!
The night before we travel, Theresa and I map the route and look for any areas we need to be concerned about with the RV. Tight turns, low bridges, tricky intersections, etc. The documentation for Bowman Orchards said to follow the signs for the Bakery and Store. Using the Google Street View helps a lot of the time, but this time it didn't help. Our internet connection here is spotty and it just wouldn't load. I could see a driveway up to the bakery and store though, so that's what I was planning on using.
But when we drove by... it was blocked off and had Do Not Enter signs. Uh...
We quickly tried to find a place to pull off and give them a call. They said to pull in a different driveway, like we were going to the U-Pick Apple Orchard and make our way over from there.
These kind of things make me nervous. Mrs. Bowman's house is on the right, a tree and a fixed sign are on the left. Theresa got out and watched as I drove through, making sure I had enough clearance on both sides.
We'll be parking in the grass, just as soon as I can turn this RV around. Driving down the right side of the lot, I was able to squeeze through the gap at the bottom and park the RV facing the store.
Out our window we can see the orchards! What a beautiful view!
After quickly getting the RV set up, we went over to the store to see what kind of goodies they have available.
When you stay the night at a Harvest Host location, it's free to stay, but as a Thank You to the hosts, it's recommended to spend at least $20 on something there. Here they have all sorts of mass produced products.
Here's what we're looking for! All the apples, fruits, and veggies are in a giant cold room! There's even a truck in here!
Ha! We're on the cooler side with all the apple cider.
Over in the next building is a bakery and frozen treat shop.
They have hand scooped ice cream, Dole Whip (vanilla and pumpkin), but the kids really wanted slushes. Ian and Alli decided to split their choices and get both a Cider Slush and a Strawberry Lemonade Slush.
And the cider donuts are appropriately coated with cinnamon sugar. I thought they were tasty!
The lady at the general store told the kids that they had to go check out the playground. There's so much stuff to play on here!
Some fun swings!
And even animals!
It's starting to get close to dinner time though, so we all went back to the RV to make dinner. We'll head back to the playground after that. We've got all night!
With the store closed, we've got the parking lot and grounds pretty much all to ourselves! We were told that Mrs. Bowman lives in the house, and requests quiet time after 10pm, but other than that, we're free to roam.
Mostly. There's certain places that are still off limits. I've seen Orchards handle visitors a couple different ways. One is to just let everyone in, let them pick apples, then weigh them on the way out. The other is to charge an entrance fee and also charge for apples. Bowman Orchards does the second. Since we didn't pay to wander the Orchards, we stayed out.
But we can still see what's alongside the road. These trees have an interesting shape. They have hardly any branches, but somehow they are still loaded with apples!
On the other side of the road are a whole bunch of bushes. What kind of bushes are those?
Oh my! Theresa was so excited to see such huge Blackberries on these bushes! They look so plump! We asked the next morning if they were doing U-Pick on those, but were told that the season was over in August. Too many people complaining there weren't enough berries, picking small ones as a result that weren't flavorful. It's nearly a month later though and there are a ton of ripe berries available. Still though, they wouldn't sell Theresa a bucket to pick them. Bummer.
That is gorgeous. The water in the pond was so calm and provided a perfect reflection of the sky.
Time to go to the playground! Walking to the back of the farm, the area leading to the playground was blocked off! Oh no! The kids were a little bummed. There's a few things that aren't blocked off, so we made the most of that. Theresa pushed them on the giant swing.
Plus we can see the animals from here! Hi baby goat!
I know they were looking for food, but we don't have anything for them.
They were still close enough to pet though.
The sheep got close enough that we could feel the stiff wool on its back.
With the sun going down, it's time to take this back inside. Alli got out the magnet blocks and we started getting creative. These designs are going to have a Nintendo theme to them tonight. First up, Alli and I worked on Bowser's Castle. Large and imposing with lots of spikes.
Alli, can you make me Mario and Yoshi?
Alli - Sure!
Ian - A Whump.
Turns out that he's wanting to destroy any castles or houses that I build.
Harvest Host sites are generally only for a single day, so after waking up in the morning, we started getting packed up. The store is starting to fill up with people looking for treats early on this Wednesday morning.
The kids have been excited about getting some fudge, so we promised them that before they go they could agree on a flavor and buy it. I wonder what they'll choose. Chocolate Peanut Butter, M&M, Tiger Butter?
Kids - We want watermelon!
Really? Watermelon fudge?
Not to be dissuaded, they stuck to their guns and got it. It's got all the layers. Green, white, red, and even some chocolate seeds. It tastes about like what you'd expect. I don't really care for it, but the kids like it.
Since we don't have any hookups here, there's not a whole lot for me to do outside the RV to get it packed up. Theresa suggested that I could take the kids over to the playground, now that it's open, while she finishes up the insides.
Over at the playground, they've got tricycles and carts available. The kids were really excited to have a real life Mario Kart race!
I outlined the course for them, gave them a countdown, and away they went!
They had a lot of fun with it. I bet if they were powered vehicles they'd love it even more. I wonder how old you have to be to drive a go-cart?
After our races, they did some Ninja Warrior skills on the tires.
I challenged them to cross the train. Ian went high while Alli went low, then they swapped and Alli went high while Ian went low.
There's one more thing we have to do! Come on!
Last night the animals were really interested in food, but we didn't bring any quarters. The kids made sure to remind us before this walk that we needed money to feed the animals.
This is what 25 cents worth of feed looks like.
And they're crawling all over each other to get to it.
The sheep, who is in a pen all by himself, is much more calm.
Theresa is texting that she's all done with the inside of the RV and ready to go. With sanitized hands, we headed back to the RV, got the truck hooked up, and then we hit the road! On to the next adventure!
Alli - Bow man orchard - My favorite prt was getting fug (fudge). We went to the playground. We played Mario cart in rell llif (real life). I want to go back.