Day 50: Harvest Hosts

515 miles
$0 (w/Harvest Hosts membership): Tuscan Hills Winery (Effingham, IL)

Another long day of driving in Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois, with a few interesting sights.

Early on, before this rest stop in Kansas, I passed a large spill of vegetables on I-70. I thought they might have been apples until the intense smell of onions wafted through the car.

Later, while paying my $6 toll for the length of the Kansas Turnpike, I spied the American Idol bus.

Auditions were in Wichita, KA yesterday, and they’re probably headed to the Pittsburgh set later this week.

Do you think Katy Perry rides the bus?

I doubt it.

I also noticed a surprising number of Chevy Equinoxes. Some were driven by tailgating millennial ladies hunched over the steering wheel like race-car drivers. Perhaps that’s their intended demographic.

I purchased a Harvest Hosts membership on sale back in May for $87.10, thinking I might stay at a few of the ~854 wineries, golf courses, and attractions across the United States. The single-night stays are free, with the caveat that you should support the business in some way. Seems like a win/win for everyone.

I hadn’t been able to find one to suit my odd travel itinerary until now. I had many excuses: it was too hot, there were none where I wanted to stay, the location was seasonal, etc…

With only two days left in this trip, I had to give it a try. After driving 200 miles from Salina, Kansas, I looked another 300 miles further ahead and found the Tuscan Hills Winery. It was close to I-70, the forecast was for the low 80s, and it had good reviews. I called, and they couldn’t have been friendlier. I pulled in at 5pm and had a pizza and a martini (most wines give me a headache).

My view.

The view of the Children of the Corn.

I’m told there’s a wedding rehearsal dinner here tonight. I see cars parked, but I can’t hear a thing. I’m the only camper. A peaceful spot to spend the night. Thank you, Harvest Hosts.

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