Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wilcox Family Farms

Fortunately for us, we all got healthy soon enough to go on our scheduled field trip to Wilcox Family Farms out in Roy. (Of course, I did use about a one inch stack of tissue wiping Josh's very runny nose but he wasn't contagious anymore.) The kids were very happy we were able to go and had a ball. After four hours on the farm, they didn't want to leave and Sammy is now ready to leave the city behind and move out to the country.

After an hour's drive, we arrived at the farm. With the huge group participating (about 180 homeschoolers), we arrived early for check-in. The kids were free to join other kids and play while we waited. There was plenty of room to run, of course. The kids also found this:

The farm had set up a couple of water pumps in a trough so they could play/experiment with using a pump. Mine were quite happy with PLAYING with the pump but appreciated our running water. There was also a barn set up with some dairy-related things to look at and some hands on activities.
When it was time to start the tour, we broke up into groups. We headed over to the one room schoolhouse. We played outside like pioneer children until the "teacher" rang the bell. Then we lined up and headed in, girls first, of course. After inspecting the coat room, the kids sat at old school desks and we learned a little bit about the history of the schoolhouse and how the school was conducted. This schoolhouse was used from 1905 to the 1930's. It used to be located down by the lake; the children walked, or rode a horse in the snow, back then. The family moved the schoolhouse up to the main area to maintain better.

After "school", we loaded on an old schoolbus and headed out for a driving tour of the farm land and to the petting farm. This was the first time my kids have ever been on a school bus. We were a bit crowded...Sammy had to sit on his sister's lap.

When we arrived at the petting farm, we were greeted by this sweetheart. The kids were immediately drawn to her before we were warned....she's pregnant and she's not in a good mood today. "Not in a good mood" was kind of an understatment; anytime someone got close to her pen, she charged it, shaking her head at us. Poor girl!

Inside the petting farm area, we found 2 horses, 2 goats, some sheep, and this wonderful hay pile to play in. The kids alternated between feeding and petting the animals (leaving sweetheart above alone, of course) and jumping in the hay.

We headed back out to wait for our bus ride back. While we waited the kids climbed and stood on this fence. Here's Sammy on that same fence. Wonder what they are looking at standing there on that fence?
Why these twin gentle beauties, of course! Aren't they sweet? BTW, my kids had no idea just how big cows could get before today. Grumpy girl above was particularly large and tall. Now they know.

I snapped this beautiful photo of the Wilcox land with Mt. Rainier in the background out the bus window on the way back to the main area. All of it is theirs (to the hills); I think they said they have about 1500 acres.

When we got back from the petting farm, we headed into another barn/museum. That's where I found this 1926 Model T. I thought it was cool; my kids weren't impressed. Let's go play outside in the sun, they said. You'd think they'd hadn't seen the sun in ages. Oh, yeah! I forgot, they haven't. We live in the Pacific Northwest where there isn't any sun.

There was also this newer, but still old, milk truck.

And some old gas pumps to go with the old cars. The sign says these pumps were used by the farm up until 1979.
Then the hay ride arrived back and we all climbed aboard. The kids loved sitting on the hay bales and being pulled by the tractor. The tractor and hay trailor were brought out to us by Rainier Two-Cylinder Club. Thanks guys!!! They took us to one of their free range chicken areas where they have 14,000 chickens housed. When the kids were done visiting the chickens and exploring, we got a tractor pull back. The kids played and climbed on some old tractors until I pulled them kicking and screaming (not really) back to the car. I sat and rested on the grass watching them play. If I had water, lunch, and a blanket I could have stayed there all day in the glorious sun watching the kids run and play and laugh.

On the way home, I had the opportunity to snap this perfect photo of Mt. Rainier. If we ever move out of Washington, I'll miss this sight probably more than anything.

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Shadowfur said...

I like the, "You'd think they havn't seen the sun in ages! Oh Yeah! I forgot. They haven't."

I also will miss Mt. (How do you spell it???). I love that veiw of it.

Shadowclaw/Goldenpelt/Ashpaw said...

I like your Post.

Michelle said...

Thanks for sharing. We are heading there today with a homeschool group!! Yes, we moved with the military for 20 yrs and the one site I LOVED to see when we visited family was Mt. Rainer. There are many days, while driving somewhere, I wish I had my camera to take a picture!


Manders said...

I sat here with my two year old and he loved all the wonderful photos you posted. It sounds as if you all gad a great time.