Friday, November 02, 2007

Dorris Ranch

Yesterday was a perfectly glorious fall afternoon, clear and sunny with just a nip of chill to the air. So I promised my fine young gents a nature outing the next day. Today was freezing. Well, not literally, but it was cold out. I whined and I waffled, but in the end I found gloves and coats and hats for all, and off we went to Dorris Ranch. The reason we went was to see the Masterson Homestead Cabin, a recently-built replica of the original cabin built by the Masterson family, pioneers from Kentucky who settled here after following the Oregon Trail. I wanted first-grade gent to see that a family of seven had settled in a house smaller than our own living room.

Unfortunately, the cabin has been constructed so recently that it's not on the maps yet. Instead, we went for a nature walk through the filbert (hazelnut) orchards to the river.

There's plenty of old farm machinery along the trail. The fine young gents were fascinated by the tractor and the old nut harvester.

As the sun began to peek out of the fog, fine young gent read us tidbits from a walking guide for children, and we saw grey squirrels, black walnuts in their green casings, and a giant maple tree that provided a home for many animals. By the time we'd reached the river the fog was gone and the day was still cold, but gorgeous.

Things to do at the river on a fine autumn day:

Walk on a log.

Throw sticks in the river.

Balance on rocks.

Sit on the log listening to the river and watching leaves fall.

Sing a song.

We returned from a slightly different direction than we'd gone in to the park, and there it was, the homestead cabin. I didn't get pictures, as I'd dropped our things off at the car, but there are some neat pictures of the homestead in progress here.

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