Herd it Here Farm Adventure

We bought the new RV in October, but the holidays and a surgery kept us from taking any real adventures until January. (There was a, short, awful trip back in December, but I’m blocking that one from my memory.)

We wanted to take our two corgis, Winnie & Pooka on a short, one night trip to get them acclimated to the RV. They really loved the farm we visited in New Hampshire so we started looking through the nearby farms listed on Harvest Hosts. We finally decided on the Herd it Here Farm in Cottageville, SC. It was only a three hour trip, pet-friendly and had great reviews. So we made reservations, loaded the pups into the RV and set out in search of Adventure.

If you’ve ever traveled I95 through Georgia you’ve almost certainly seen the eleventy-billion signs for the World Famous Georgia Peach World. I’ve always felt the crazed compulsion to stop… they have peach fudge! And peach slushies! And peach wine!! … but my more level headed, party pooper companions always told me no. Well there was no stopping me this time! We were on a road trip and road trips demand that you stop at weirdo roadside attractions. Ha! That’s precisely WHY we bought a smaller RV so that we could pull off into little parking lots. (Brian was seriously questioning the wisdom of this thought process, but it was too late… I was going to the Famous Georgia Peach World.

It was a bit smaller and less grand than I’d imagined, but I wasn’t going to be deterred. I was on an adventure. The RV had suddenly started whining that it needed DEF, so Brian was happy to go next door to the gas station and buy RV fluid while I explored the wonders of Peach World.

As part of our ‘training’ with the girls, they waited in the RV while I shopped. Amazingly they didn’t lose their fluffy little minds and waited reasonably patiently while I spent their college fund on peach flavored goodies.

Once fortified with Peach wine, jam, lemonade and also blackberry moonshine, praline pecan honey butter, a ‘small’ cup of peach ice cream for the road, and two gallons of DEF for the RV, we were ready to drive again.

I located a yummy sounding restaurant that got great reviews on the Find Me Gluten Free app in Savannah. This was to be the true test of the new RV. Could we drive in old Savannah without giving Brian an heart attack. (Years ago we accidentally got stuck driving the big, 35’ Tiffin RV through Savannah and I thought Brian was just going to abandon it in the middle of the street. It was a very stressful wrong turn.) Today, we cruised up and down the narrow streets until we found a parking space near the restaurant and we snuggled right into street parking. Another win for the little RV!

Now one of the other big reasons that I’d lobbied for the smaller RV was that I wanted to be able to drive it. As I’ve said before, I could drive the big RV…. but I didn’t want to. Really, really didn’t want to. So after lunch when Brian asked me if I wanted to drive the rest of the trip I had to squash down my natural inclination to say ‘hell no’ and reach for the keys instead. I fortified myself with a big glass of peach lemonade (not the moonshine!) and climbed behind the wheel.

Honestly, it was a lot less scary than I’d been imagining. It’s basically the size of a UPS truck … or a really fat SUV. Once I got the hang of where my ‘feet’ (wheels) were situated, I felt pretty comfortable. Its the Mercedes chassis, so it’s got all the lane assist and adaptive cruise control gadgets to scream at me if I try to do anything stupid. (On the way home I did accidentally shift it into neutral while we were on the highway when I was trying to turn on the windshield wipers, and Brian, ever so calmly, said ‘you’re in neutral. Push the lever back up.’ Seriously, I don’t know how he’s so calm, but I’m ridiculously thankful for his calm to balance my…. Is ‘neuroticness’ a word? Spellcheck said it is not, but I think it should be.) I would say I’ve conquered my main fears of driving the RV… all in all I felt pretty proud of my self as we rolled into our destination for the night.

Herd it Here Farm bills itself as a ‘one-of-a kind agritourism destination.’ They raise alpacas, fancy chickens and fainting goats. The whole place is overseen by a sweet pony named Tilly, Cherokee a kind horse and Eddie the donkey…. and their human, Bill.

We called to check in once we were near the farm and Bill directed us to park in the big field near the telephone pole. Tilly and Eddie were there greet us and poke their noses into the RV as soon as we parked.

A second RV arrived shortly after we’d gotten settled in and the girls had a chance to scope out the field and meet the pony and donkey. Pooka wasn’t too sure about the donkey. The pony was fine, but Eddie wanted to come over and sniff her and Pooka just wasn’t having it. I was worried that the girls would bark at them and upset them, but the farm’s resident greeters seemed completely unfazed. Bill came to welcome us all a bit later and invited us to join him on evening rounds. He very politely suggested that the pups (the second RV had a crew of pups too) should sit this adventure out. Brian stayed back with the girls and made dinner (the girls aren’t quite up to letting us both leave them just yet. We’re working on it.) I joined Bill and the other RVrs and met the alpacas, chickens and goats. My parents raised llamas and chickens when I was younger so it was fun to get to talk alpaca/llama and chicken stories.

After snuggling goats and hand feeding chickens we visited the farm’s gift shop. As members of the Harvest Host program we’re not charged anything to stay one night (usually without any hookups) at the member destination, but we are encouraged to make a purchase or donation. I didn’t have any trouble fulfilling that obligation. My feet had been freezing and I’d just commented to Brian that I should have packed slippers… so obviously I purchased a gloriously fluffy pair of alpaca slippers and a knitted alpaca head warmer (I’m a sucker for knit stuff and pottery. I can’t resist a knit hat or a hand thrown coffee cup.)

I arrived back to the RV with my treasures and a pocket full of fresh chicken eggs just in time for dinner.

Winnie and Pooka were much more calm and relaxed this trip and they settled right into bed with us after dinner. We watched trashy reality tv and fell asleep early. It was heavenly.

The next day the girls let us sleep in until the horse came into the field and then they decided it was time for everybody to be up.

Brian made fresh scrambled eggs and we shared the blueberry muffins that I’d packed. The girls then took us out for a nice leisurely stroll around the field. We checked out the poop piles, but fortunately Pooka decided they weren’t that tasty and let us keep strolling. (Thank goodness the alpacas were in a different field. My Pomeranians always insisted that llama poop was the best thing on earth.)

Not ready for the trip to be over quite yet, I found a historic plantation house to stop at on our route home. We packed up the RV, clipped the girls into their PupSaver car seats and hit the road again.

The Frampton Plantation House is an easy hop off the highway. Once the plantation home of the Frampton family, the downstairs portion of the house is now the Lowcountry Visitor’s Center and gift shop. It’s nice and clean with restrooms inside and nice picnic tables outside under huge live oak trees. It’s a great place to stop, let your pups stretch their legs and have a picnic, but not a place you’d expect to spend hours.

I’m super pleased to report that I drove the majority of the way home, stopped to get gas AND dumped the tanks. Winnie and Pooka did much better this trip and I’m confident that they’ll adjust to letting me out of sight to go into stores (briefly!) and maybe one day Brian and I will be allowed to go into a restaurant and leave them in the RV without them calling 911. For now, it’s picnics at plantations and takeout in the RV and honestly that’s still pretty damn nice.

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