Apple Picking – Not Just For Laptops!

Posted on October 13, 2008

One Snack to Rule Them All!

With all the 70+ degree days we’ve been having, it’s sometimes hard to forget that we’re in the middle of October – the heart of autumn! With crisper mornings and beautiful foliage that serve as a memorable prelude to every winter.

This past weekend, my family and a group of our friends decided to celebrate the season in what could qualify as the tastiest way possible – apple picking at Masker Orchards, in Warwick, NY, just off Route 17. From Queens, the drive was nearly two hours, but what a pleasant route it was! We passed through the scenic villages of Tuxedo and Sloatsburg – admiring all the bake shops, tackle shacks, and bed and breakfasts along the way. As we traversed those gently winding roads, surrounded by woods bursting into color,  I couldn’t help but imagine how pleasant it would be to disappear there for while, leaving the stock market, elections, and bailouts behind…

The orchard itself is located just above the Hudson Valley, which means you get some killer views of the lower area:

View from Strudel Lane

The whole orchard sits on a hill, with Red Delicious, Macintosh, and Empire Apples near the top, and other varieties like Golden Delicious, Granny Smiths, and Jonagolds at the bottom. The trick is resisting the temptation to grab every apple you see so that you can fill your sacks (each is half a bushel, at $19.95 a bag) with some different varieties! Of course, the fun part is lugging a full 20 pound sack up and down that hill, and into the orchards themselves:

Trees to Infinity - And Beyond!

Très beau, as you can see! For the first time in months, I genuinely lost track of time, as I wandered where the winds and my nose led me, tasting the crisp air, and wondering what it would be like to live here. A character in a book I read dreamed of returning to his orange groves in California; this may be the East Coast, but now I can certainly understand!

Perhaps the only people who enjoyed it more than I did were the kids in our group:

Snacking on a Limb!

After all, where else could they run, shout, and gorge on apples without be chased down by Mommy or Daddy? Darien (the kid above) was especially voracious – he ate 7 or 8 huge apples before lunch. And that’s just when I was looking! No complaints of a stomachache later – he’s quite the trooper!

But perhaps the funniest part of the trip was at the exit gate, where a sign read: “All contents of your vehicle are subject to inspection for apples.”. They weren’t kidding – two buff guys came over to check our car; I have seen Customs and NYPD searches that are less thorough! They looked through our bags, our coolers – even under the floor of the trunk where the spare is. Are they really paranoid, or have they just had some bad experiences. It’s sad to think that somone would try to steal apples from an orchard, but considering that those delicious fruits are their livelihood, I’m not surprised.

As usual, more pictures available on my Flickr Album.

I definitely need to get out some more as the year draws to a close!

» Filed Under Everything and Nothing

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