Field trip to apple blossoms and pioneer life.


Field trips with your children are pretty underrated by a lot of parents.  I mean, do you really want to be crammed 2-3 per seat, in an unair-conditioned bus beat silly over every tar strip on the freeway with all their loud silliness?  Most don’t, I manage to look past it.  For the parents who chaperon you understand the fun it is experiencing these learning adventures with your kids. 

My youngest is in his last year of elementary school and I have only missed a couple of his field trips.  His last big trip was yesterday where they went to Riley’s Farm.  Riley’s Farm has been a must do trip for the Wild Rose Elementary 5th graders for as long as I have had kids there.  The farm is a working apple orchard with a living pioneer farm set in the middle where the kids get to learn about pioneer farm life.

The drive up to Riley’s Farm in rural Oak Glen was a bit more eventful than we would like.  The bus overheated with our driver “Speed Racer” trying to set some sort of land-speed record up the mountain.  

The bus overheated and for reasons unknown he stopped on the side of the road on a blind curve rather than coast the 2 blocks down to a restaurant.  He parks and shuts it down instead of letting it idle to cool down. Go figure.  While inspecting the radiator, despite our objections he popped the radiator cap.  End result, all our coolant boiled over and the other bus had to come back and get us. 


After being couped up on the bus for 40 minutes the kids needed to stretch their legs.  Luckily there was a wide shoulder and we had a short walk to a lot where the other bus could get us.  Who knew there such nice big equestrian estates up there?  Odd not one came down to see if we needed help, just sat on their balcony and looked at us.  What…we’re going to steal dirt?


The twinky bus to the rescue.  It got its name as the kids at Wild Rose insist it looks like an upside down twinky with the filling squished out.


Once we get up there time is limited but we do get a nice picnic style lunch in the apple orchard.


Next is a hike up to the pioneer cabin where they at first learn how to do chores, then get to do them themselves.  Chopping wood was a big attraction.  The sawing which I had to supervise was the biggest hit in choreworld.  I didn’t get much picture taking done then as they kept me busy.  10 and 11 year old boys are extremely exuberant with saws. My job was to make sure they came down the hill with all their fingers. 


After making a fire they had to make coffee.  Tasted like regular unfiltered gritty camp coffee.  Note to parents, do not let 5th graders sample their fresh brewed coffee before letting them square dance then take a 2 hour journey on a bus.


The square dancing was their most favorite activity.  At first it was groans and “she has cooties” when they had to pair up and learn the basic steps.  At the end they discovered it was fun and it suddenly morphed into a square dancing mosh pit.  A good thing fueled with coffee.

Riley’s Farm is open to the public and all the details are on their web site.  They have all sorts of activities from Spring to Fall Apple picking.  The latter is fun as you can pick your own apples, make fresh squeezed cider or dip them in fresh hot caramel. 

Riley’s Farm 12661 S Oak Glen Road, Oak Glen, CA 92399   909-797-7534

All pics by me with the trusty che-ez snap, the diana’s replacement in the digital age.  They don’t get bigger or better.  A full set of images in my flickr Riley’s Farm Set.

One thought on “Field trip to apple blossoms and pioneer life.”

  1. This looks beautiful!

    Now that my kid is out of school, I miss those field trips – all the head-counting, smashed sack lunches, screaming on the bus…yeah, and even “cooties.”

    Now I think I’ll go make myself a smashed sandwich and a warm juice box for lunch, for old times’ sake.

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