We had been considering joining Harvest Hosts for a while now– a membership program that allows you to camp for free at farms, wineries, museums and more. While we were at Big Bend, Justin had a conversation with some campers who were members and decided it was time for us to join. Our first Harvest Host experience was staying at Licon Dairy in San Elizario, Texas. We had a great time!

Roadside Attractions Along the Way

On our way out of Big Bend National Park there was a lot of open land.  However, on a patch of highway in the middle of nowhere (Marfa, TX) we saw a Target and a Prada store!  They both made for quick shopping trips and I think you’ll know why when you look at the pictures.  Pretty funny right?  The strangest thing was though that the Prada “store” actually had its 2005 purses on display.

Licon Dairy Harvest Hosts stay

That evening we ended up staying at a Harvest Host member’s dairy farm called Licon Dairy.  It was just perfect!  We camped right next to some sweet donkeys and some goats.

It was a fairly small farm but they had a lot of animals in their “petting zoo.”  They had a horse, lots of goats, cows, sheep, 2 ostriches, a pig named Oreo, doves, bunnies, chickens and a handful of thick coated donkeys.

“Oreo” the pig

One of the goats was clearly very pregnant.  It looked as if the sweet thing was going to give birth any day!

Pregnant goat

The donkeys were our favorite though.  They would see the girls coming and come right up to the side of the fence and turn so that the girls could pet them.

There were also lots of neat feathers for the girls to collect, one of which our little one decided it would be a good idea to lick it into a design “to make it pretty.” The very thought makes me cringe! I’m not sure why but this isn’t the first time. My hope is that it is the last.

Just after we arrived we heard all the animals going bonkers and looked out the window to find that a dog, which looked like a small husky, was zipping in and out of the animals pens creating a ruckus.  It was soon clear what it was doing for soon after we started watching we saw the dog catch and eat one of the chickens!!  We went in and told the person working the store what we saw.  They hadn’t ever seen a dog with that description before and called the owners to inform them of what happened.  

The farm had a set of bathrooms which was a nice perk and a little store where they sold locally made goods such as things from a local bakery and salsas as well as their own cheeses. We stocked up on some of these things from their store.

Near the animals there was a vintage playground will all the fun old metal equipment.  The girls enjoyed this being so close as well!  

Unfortunately with harvest hosts you can only stay one night places so our time was short.  Our oldest always struggles with transitions and she definitely had a very hard time leaving those donkeys.  There were a lot of tears and a lot of snuggles.

Errands and Play

The next day was devoted to errands in El Paso, TX.  Justin had some bloodwork done at a lab for a prostate screening (it’s about that time in life when he was due and genetically he is at a higher risk; screening came back clear).

Getting a blood test (they wouldn’t let Justin take pictures inside)

Since that wasn’t a family friendly activity, the girls and I went to Rockin’ Jump, an indoor trampoline place, while we were waiting for him.  

The trampoline place was SO much fun!!  There was one other dad with his 2 year old there who was interested in the playground there but other than that we had the place to ourselves!  It was a blast!

They had numerous trampoline rooms all with a different theme; dodgeball, basketball, hurdles.  In addition to the jumping rooms there were also two foam pits.  One you could jump from trampolines into the pit and the other you could use big foam poles to knock each other off the center divider into the foam.  The girls just disappeared in the foam!  They dug to the bottom of the pit to find yet another trampoline.

There was also an extreme ropes course type of a thing with a safety net below.  The girls had fun swinging on the ropes and balls…and so did I!

I feel like the whole time we were there we were laughing and out of breath.  We all felt like we were on a different planet having such lift with every step.  It was a rude awakening to walk on the ground after feeling like we had super human powers for an hour and a half.  The worker was so very nice there and we’d love to go back if we’re ever in the area.  

Final stop was to get our windshield chip fixed (a highway rock hit us on the way to El Paso). The Alamo Glass technician was so nice and he did a great job making the chip seamless!  It was kind of like magic to watch!  The technician put a sort of clear resin in the chip.

Getting our window chip fixed

All that jumping around earlier tired our little one out and she fell asleep in Azul on our way to Franklin Mountain State Park to camp.  Who could blame her?  But, this meant a long night for us (she stays up late on days when she naps).