Give Me, Give Me Wild West

P1010146 On Saturday, the fiance and I were sitting around the house, when I realized we had nowhere to be that weekend. And I remembered that in some book of SoCal getaways, I had read about someplace called Oak Glen that had an apple festival in the fall, and a campground in the vicinity. So we dug out our camping equipment, threw everything in the car, and headed for the 10.

And let me just say, Oak Glen was even more corn-pone Wild West tourist trap than I could have imagined. It had a whole reproduction town, with little scaled-down wooden buildings selling souvenirs, dolls, and potpourri. There were employees in cowboy and cowgirl costumes, including the girls running the pony-go-round. It was like a ramshackle version of Frontierland – only more like a temporary California gold mining town than the permanent settlement that Disney imagined. It was pure post-frontier West, something straight out of the era when the frontier no longer really existed in the lower 48, but America was still obsessed with the West.

Of course, all this meant I thought the whole place was AWESOME. I LOVE Americana. Plus, we got to see a small, non-dangerous fire (above) being put out. And all this was exactly 92 minutes from our doorstep. Who knew that there was so much Americana so close to Southern California? Photo goes to my Flickr photoset for those who want to see more photos of tourist trap awesomeness.

5 thoughts on “Give Me, Give Me Wild West”

  1. Just last week, KCET replayed the California’s Gold episode where Huell Howser went to Oak Glen for the apple festival thing. I was thinking about driving out there just for kicks and to eat some apples. Thanks for posting the photos.

  2. I used to live out in Redlands, which is not too far from Oak Glen, it was not as big a tourist trap as today. 20 years ago “real” old lades worked the tour.

  3. Oak Glen is a nice place to be, touristy but nice. You must hit Riley’s farm for apple picking and their country store while you are in that area. Riley’s is one of those annual field trips with my kids school that I always chaperone. (Much better to chaperone & shepherd kids in an orchard than stables…no ugly smelly brown stuff).

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