Seven feet. Jaysus.
But instead of watching the sheets of rain pound down or some elegantly coiffed television meteorologist squawk excitedly about flooding, I opted to check out a much-ballyhooed RV camping option: Harvest Hosts.
What caught my eye immediately was that among the many hundreds of these spots across the nation, right in Hector, NY Hazlitt 1852 Winery in on the list.
Yes, the same Hazlitt's where for years I have bought bottles of wine, drank wine, danced (occasionally) and even have books for sale in the winery gift shop. (NOTE TO SELF: Take copies of The Devil's Pipeline to Hazlitt's this summer as well as to Rasta Ranch Vineyards and the Hector Wine Company.)
The deal with the Harvest Hosts is simple. You join for a fee and then get access to park your RV for free at wineries, farms, museums and other spots of interest - including an alligator farm - all over the country.
It's a one-night stay with the expectation (but not requirement) that you buy something. These places don't have the normal RV facilities like electrical hookups, either. But even a casual glance at the list indicates there are a lot worth checking out and staying at.
Plus, it's a flat-out bargain. The fee for my annual membership was approximately $80. The least-expensive RV park I stayed in all last season was in Ely, Nevada - $22 for the night. Most RV parks were $30-40 per night. Plus tax, of course.
I just noticed as I was planning my trip across the country, the Harvest Host stops I'm charting seem to lean heavier on stops at wineries, less so toward historical sites and museums.
Wait! Here's an alpaca ranch in New Mexico to throw into the mix. It's now on the list.
I just love those little critters.