Wine Tasting Through the Mid-West
Leaving out of Memphis, we headed to spend the night at a Harvest Host in Park Hills, Missouri. The place was called Bold Spoon Creamery. What a beautiful piece of property situated on a small pond, where Rachel and Corey, our hosts, decided that once Covid hit, they would turn their dream into reality. So, they moved from Kansas City, bought this place, and set up shop making their ice cream. They also purchased an old Schwann truck which Corey drives to do his deliveries.
I usually reserve my calories for wine, but I will say, this ice cream was auh-mazing!
After that, we headed into Hermann, Missouri, on April 28th, staying at the City Park not far from downtown Hermann. We chose this town because of the wineries and German-style by way of wine and beer.
One of the first places we ventured into was the Vintage1847 Restaurant, part of the Stonehill Winery. What a cute place to eat. The service was on point and so clean I would eat off the floor. We both had a glass of wine. I enjoyed a glass of the Hermannsberger – which was a dry red blend. The wine was a fresh, fruity, red cherry, black raspberry, and cinnamon with a lingering tartness that I enjoyed. I definitely will be adding this wine to my list.
Hermann is situated on the Missouri River with a population of 2800 people. It is a quaint little town that boasts its German Heritage and many little shops, restaurants, and markets that allow you to taste the fantastic German food, drink the wine and enjoy the beer.
Another winery that we visited was the Hermannhof Winery. We didn't do a tasting here; we enjoyed a glass of wine and had a sandwich. Both were great. However, the overall atmosphere in the wine tasting arena is very laid back. If you are a wine snob and enjoy expensive wine tastings, with the vast charcuterie board and ambiance up the ying-yang, this is not the place for you.
Overall, I enjoyed it, and it felt good to relax. We did have a few days where the rain came in and poured like crazy. Hence, the green, green grass that covers the Missouri hills.
We also took an afternoon and enjoyed the Hermann Farm. They board you up on a tractor and drive you around this huge farm, talking about its ancestors, farming, and agriculture. I had no idea what to expect when Mark suggested we do this tour; it was unfortunate I didn't bring my big camera, so all pictures taken were taken with my cell phone.
It was a fun day. We visited the barn and saw all the horses, and they talked about them and gave a little history. Then we went on to a whiskey tasting and learned more about making and drinking, something I'm not sure I could acquire a taste for, I think I will stick with wine.
The day we left Hermann, we were awoken by a knock on the door of the Park Ranger telling us to be ready to escape as the creek nearby was rising. I wasn't too worried about the flooding as it had much farther to go to flood the campground.
When we left Hermann on May 5th, we were off to more adventures as we traveled through Missouri. We landed in Rayville, MO, at a winery that I consider "the middle of nowhere." The Winery was called Van Till Winery. We did a wine tasting with Monica and decided to buy a bottle to add to our collection.
And that evening, we drove into Excelsior Springs, MO, and had dinner at a cute, quaint restaurant called Ventana Gourmet Grill. I was a little leery trying this place out. Here we are in the middle of nowhere, as we had done before, tried sites out to only be very disappointed. Well, let me say this was a wonderful surprise: great food, great wine, and fantastic service.
After we left Rayville and were still in the middle of nowhere, we boondocked alongside the road in Holt, Missouri. It was much better than I had anticipated. Some guy has a piece of property that allows others to boondock on when passing through.
We woke up the next day and high-tailed it into Iowa. The first stop was Decatur, City, IA, at Ted's RV Park for one night, then to Otley, IA, just outside Pella.
The campground we stayed at was called Roberts Creek Park, which is a County Park, and in my book, this place was a 5-star. Really there were no bells and whistles, but the sites were clean, with a lot of grass, and we were pretty much by ourselves during the week.
We explored the city of Pella, a small Dutch community that had its tulip festival just before our arrival. We met up with Jolene and Bob again as they worked for the summer at a Theme Park about 45 minutes down the road.
We ventured into Amana Colonies in Amana, IA – Jolene, and Bob accompanied us, and we had a fantastic day enjoying the little shops and eating at the local restaurant. Jolene and I went wine tasting, where Jolene bought an adorable shirt that was perfect for me.
We tasted wine one day at Tassel Ridge Winery in Leighton, IA, and again, that was a huge surprise. The Winery was huge, and the tastings, as you can see, we're very generous. Mark ordered the Dry Reds, and I got the Dry Whites, and we shared back and forth (we learned that trick at our California wine tasting. You get more for your buck.) They also treated us to a loaf of bread and cheese for $15.00; I know, what a deal, huh?
We came home with two bottles of wine from this Winery.
Iowa Candleglow White – A dry white with pineapple, pear, melon, and apricot notes on the nose and palate with a hint of green apple.
Iowa Sabrevois – A dry red with bold aromas of spices and leather on the nose. Followed with blackberry and plums.
After our week in Iowa, it was time to pack up and head off for Nebraska. We stayed one night at a small airport in Fremont, NE. A gentleman that Mark met offered to make us a Rock Guard for our radiator to protect it from rocks on our journey to Alaska. So we pulled in there and had the place basically to ourselves. It was a fantastic night; we took the Blood Moon/Lunar Eclipse pictures. Izzy got out of the motorhome with no leash, which is always a treat for her. We walked around, and she smelled all the blades of grass she wanted to without me pulling on her.
After leaving Nebraska, we headed into Mitchell, SD, spent one night there, and landed in Box Elder. I had some appointments I needed to tend to, and we had mail that needed to be picked up. While in Box Elder/Rapid City, we stayed on base at the Ellsworth Fam Camp. The campground was very friendly; it was quiet and clean like most Fam Camps.
I will tell you, though, that the weather in South Dakota was still very chilly and windy, and it reminded me so much of Colorado. The weird thing is that people talk about the crazy weather in SD but talking about the beautiful weather in Colorado doesn't make a bit of sense to me at all.
We made our way into Sheridan, WY, and stayed at Peter D's cute little campground. It was very apparent that Peter takes his campground management duties very seriously. The campground was small, and the sites were pretty close together, but it was cute and clean. The weather again did not cooperate, and we got rained on, the wind was blowing, and the skies were pretty gray.
One morning Mark and I drove to a park nearby and took a nice long walk along the Tongue River. It was beautiful, and it was just what we needed after being cooped up in the motorhome for so long.
After Wyoming, we ventured on into Montana. That was when I truly realized we were getting close to home. We saw green trees, blue skies, mountains, hills, rivers, lakes; you name it. Beauty is abundant in the PNW. We stopped in Columbus, Montana, and headed to Garrison, Montana. We stayed in the RV Park while in Garrison we had stayed at before. Riverfront RV Park is family-owned and has a country vibe, with friendly size spaces, grass, and a ton of fresh air.
Mark and I fell in love with a cute little restaurant in Deer Lodge called Broken Arrow Steak House. It was so darn good we ate there twice. When you walk in, you can tell the place is loved by the locals; everyone knows everyone. I had a massive glass of wine for $4.00. Then when you go in and play the slot machines in their "little" casino, they give you free wine. Yes, I said free! Crazy huh?
Finally, we landed in Osburn, Idaho, before arriving in Washington State. The campground was called Blue Anchor. When we arrived, I hopped out of the motorhome to check us in and met with the manager Wendy. She and I hit it off immediately. She was a hoot! The campground was adorable, and they were so darn good to their customers. We got free firewood, and they let us borrow their ax and were also very helpful to anyone with issues with dead batteries. Mark and I agreed we would be back.
The city of Wallace, Idaho is about 6 miles away; we drove in on Saturday, walked around and visited a few art stores. We had lunch at the Fainting Goat Wine Bar and visited the Center of the Universe. The day there was rainy, wet, cold, and not a fun time to walk outside. It's just more of a reason for us to come back.
Sunday, June 5th Mark and I got up and headed out again. Yes, it does get old after a while to be on the road. All the driving (which Mark does), setting up camp, and breaking down is exhausting. So, we were so glad to arrive in the Cheney/Spokane area for a month and a half. While we are here was have a full agenda. Remember when we left Colorado and had all our stuff shipped to Washington State? The short story is that we sell 95% of everything in our storage unit to continue our life on the road.
Ask me if I'm looking forward to doing this? The answer is a simple NO!
While staying in Spokane/Cheney, we are staying at the Clear Lake Military Resort located on Clear Lake. We are about 30 minutes from our storage unit and have been driving back and forth selling stuff and trying to consolidate everything. What a chore it has been. Mark and I agreed that we should have sold everything when we left Colorado. But as we had agreed, we were only going to do this for two years. But as we all know, Covid got in our way.
So here we sit, selling stuff, dealing with all the crazies that come out of the woodwork when posting things online. It does get frustrating, but what else can you do?
We are also preparing for our trip to Alaska, which we will be leaving on July 20th, going through Canada, and then up to Alaska. This trip will be for two entire months, and Mark finally broke down and informed me yesterday that our gas bill will be outrageous.
So, while in Spokane, we pray for nice weather and warm rays of sunshine. I also want to add those of you who have subscribed to my blog to get updates when I post. I was informed a few days ago that the Widget doesn't work, so no one is notified when a blog is posted. I apologize for the inconvenience, but that happens when you use the cheapest blogging modality for the non-techy!