We are introducing our new friend and mascot, HaRVey. You’ll see him around our website, on our emails, and even in our chat box. Check out our initial interview with HaRVey below.
HaRVey, can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?
Like you said, my name is HaRVey. I’m an Alpaca from Unalaska Island, Alaska. Believe it or not, I grew up on a farm called the Funny Farm. Because I grew up in that kind of environment, I’ve learned to specialize in dad jokes, “Yo Llama” jokes, and I tend to take cheap shots at myself. Anything to help make someone else smile.
I’m currently taking a break from my farm duties and gaining a whole new education in RVing. I have made quite a few mistakes along the way. But I guess that is just another way of learning.
Unalaska Island, Alaska is really remote. It doesn’t even sound like a real place. What was it like being a youngster there?
It was cold. Even with my fleece fully grown, it was very, very cold. The nice thing about Unalaska Island is how close the community is. Since there aren’t a lot of us living in Alaska, everyone was really close and looked out for one another. It is kind of like one big campground… just really chilly, and incredibly windy!
How did you go from Unalaska Island to being a traveling Alpaca with Harvest Hosts?
That is a long story. But when I got a little older, I left the island to explore the country. And I realized how much more there is in North America than what I experienced on my little Island. From there, I got involved with Harvest Hosts, and have been traveling ever since. I’ve made so many mistakes with my RV, and I realized traveling is another kind of education.
Why Harvest Hosts? What was it that made you partner with them for your travels?
Well, I wanted to go to a lot of beautiful places like Mount Rainier, The Great Smoky Mountains, and do some Salsa Dancing at Little Havana in Miami. I knew I wanted to see these places and have unique experiences, but I didn’t know what I wanted to see in between. I felt like Harvest Hosts was my best chance to see more than just the major highlights of North America. I knew they’d introduce me to all of the popular places, plus everything in between. That is what caught my eye.
That makes sense. Harvest Hosts does allow you to slow down a bit, see more, and do more. But what made you pull the trigger in your partnership?
Once I looked into it a bit more, I realized it was a great value. For the same price that I could stay at two regular campgrounds, I could get a year-long membership with Harvest Hosts.
Plus, I am on a limited budget. I can only shear my fleece once a year and sell it. I’ve thought about using Rogaine, or taking vitamins to make it grow quicker, but I’m not sure what it might do to my fleece.
Other than that, I am limited to working at petting zoos. One time, I saw a kid wipe their runny nose and immediately reach for my head. I wanted to give a warning spit, but I needed the money. The less I have to work at petting zoos, the better.
At the end of the day, I want my budget to go as far as possible, and Harvest Hosts has made that happen for me.
Where do you like to go?
That depends. If my fleece was just sheared, I love going to the beach. The nice white sand feels good on my two toes and the warm waters are relaxing. However, if my fleece is too long, I hate it. The sand gets stuck everywhere.
When my fleece is longer, I like to get to higher altitudes, like 10,000+ feet. As I get older, I have learned to appreciate more of my heritage. I guess being up at that elevation makes me feel connected to my ancestors in South America. I just imagine what it was like to wander around the Andes Mountains in Peru and just graze the grass. Maybe someday I’ll make it there.
What are some of your most memorable Harvest Hosts experiences?
But the most memorable is when I got stuck in the barn. The host accidentally thought I was one of his Alpacas and stuck me in the barn. I had to stay there all night. The good thing is that I’m fluent in their language.
What mishaps have you had?
Well, I have had plenty—and this one is kind of gross—but here is some honest truth for you. When I first started RVing, everyone told me that I needed to wear gloves to dump my tanks. And I wanted to do that, but it is really difficult to find two-toed gloves to use. I decided to do it without gloves, and I got away with it for a while. But one time, I had an unfortunate experience.
I was dumping my tank, and it got a little messy. I got it under control, but when I got back in my RV and started driving, I saw something. Because I have furry toes, there was a stench coming from my feet. From that point forward, I just get the largest five-fingered gloves they have, and make them work.
HaRVey, that is gross, but definitely something you had to learn the hard way. I have one last question for you… How will the Harvest Host community get in touch with you moving forward?
I am going to be emailing them from time to time. I want to make sure I stay in touch with all the Harvest Hosts Members. And I am going to be sharing some of my experiences traveling around North America.
But, if they want to get in touch, they can always get on the Harvest Hosts website, and contact me in the chat box. You can go there, see my picture in the upper lefthand corner, and ask me anything. I can help answer questions, encourage people on their travels, and share anything they need to know about their Harvest Hosts membership.
And if they aren’t Members yet, I can help answer any questions they might have. This is one of my favorite parts about what I do with Harvest Hosts. I love interacting with our Members and making sure they get the most out of their membership.
Also, I will be sharing some of my RVing mistakes with the community. I think it is important for them to know they aren’t alone in their mishaps. And if I can share my silly screwups with others to help them not make the same mistakes, I don’t mind being a little embarrassed.
Thanks for your time HaRVey. I am sure we will be hearing from you soon!
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