Hi guys! I hope that you’re doing well. 🙂 For today’s post, I decided to share a third addition to my travel series here on Dreaming of Guatemala! On October 1st, I got to go to an apple orchard with my family in northern Georgia, and we had such a great time. I took lots of pictures (many of which I’ve shared today) – I’m so glad we got to go this year. ❤ Let’s get right into this post!
My family and I drove up to Ellijay, GA around lunchtime on the first Sunday of October. We stopped at a local Dunkin Donuts restaurant instead of breaking at a traditional rest stop, as there wasn’t one in the area. My parents gave me and Joshua money to buy ourselves a treat, and I got a sour cream donut and caramel iced coffee.
A short while later, we pulled into Red Apple Barn’s parking lot. We arrived about ten minutes before they opened, and the line leading over to the table where you pay was already pretty long. I hopped out of the car to save my family a place in line, then everyone else went and found a parking place.
Before I got to the end of the line, my mom came and joined me to pay. We bought a 3/4-peck bag to fill with apples once we went to the orchards. (The entrance and parking is a short distance away from where the actual apples are grown.) I stopped to take a few pictures before we got on the tractor ride, and my favorite one is of a bin of pumpkins (below).
The festive vibes are real, haha!!
There were two tractors going when we got over to the loading/unloading area. The one that looked like an authentic hayride was loaded first (just before we got there), and the other one, which had the same wooden seat trailer but no hay, was where we got to sit. *sighs* Haha I was hoping we’d get to ride on the first one, but I didn’t mind too much!
The ride up to the orchards is one of my favorite parts of the whole experience.
You weave in and out of this path that leads through forest, then out into open field, then back to the forest again. You go down hills and up hills, curving around the mountainside until you reach the rolling hills of apple country.
Aside from the thick dust that billows up behind the wheels of the roaring tractor, I had a blast on the ride, and the view is simply fantastic.
There’s our tractor driver. This was our first time meeting him – he wasn’t there on our earlier visits – and he was really nice!
It was shortly after I took the picture above that the orchards came into view on the right side of the path.
The three times that we’ve gone to this orchard, I get this huge grin on my face the moment I spot the first apple tree. There’s something about it that I absolutely love. Maybe it’s the experience of harvesting food and eating it off the plant the way God first intended for us to eat. Maybe it’s being out in nature in the beautiful mountains of northern Georgia. Maybe it’s a bit of both. ❤
The tractor driver parked at the top and unlatched the back of the trailer so we could all get off. After we listened to a short list of instructions an orchard-hand (don’t know what he’s officially called, so I’m calling him that haha) has to give all visitors, we were off.
I balanced finding the best apple trees with taking photos of the beauty around us.
The best apples I spotted were absolute beauties on one side, then completely decaying on the other, lol. You have to be careful not to pry your fingers into rotten apples when inspecting all sides of the fruit! After experiences like that, I knew to delicately take one into the tips of my fingers, then swivel it to see if it was good all over, instead of trusting that it was a nice one.
Golden delicious apples have always been a favorite of my family, and I must say that they are quite delicious. (Maybe that’s why they’re called that haha) We were happy with the selection they had this year, as we had come too late in the season other times we went. Plus, stores have been running out of this kind of apple, and we’re still not sure why. After months without them, we were happy to pick some ourselves! (Although they didn’t end up having the best flavor compared to the other apple varieties we tried.)
I don’t remember what kind of apple is pictured above. I don’t even think we brought any home. Either way, the photo turned out nice. 🙂
The featured image, which I’ll share again with you below, is of someone else’s apple basket on a bench in the middle of the orchard. lol my mom thought it was funny when she saw me taking pictures of it, as it wasn’t even our apples, but I couldn’t help it; it was so picturesque!
At the edge of the fields on the back left side, there was a short row of wildflowers growing alongside a part of the forest. They were quite pretty, and I got a nice picture of the little white ones below. x
It wasn’t too long after that that we finished up on that side of the fields; we headed back up to the beginning to see what the red delicious apples tasted like. On the trek back (it wasn’t too far, but still quite strenuous, what with all the hills), a moth, once again, let me get very close to it so it could have its picture taken. lol
I love the design on its wings! I think I’ve always been fascinated by butterflies and moths 🙂 The intricate details and colors of their wing display always amaze me.
As you can see, Samuel wore a cute plaid shirt of his on this trip. I love how he looks in it! He enjoyed walking through the orchard, although he didn’t do much apple-picking, as Joshua was the one who was able to reach all the good ones.
The red delicious apples ended up being our favorite! They had the best flavor, and we found enough great ones to fill up our 1/2-peck bag. Life is good.
This was the first year that they had horses and mules out in this fenced-off area near the place where everyone gets on and off the tractor rides. I thought that was cool, but the experience became 10x better when I heard one of the workers tell a visitor that anyone can feed them apples – what!! At the end of our apple-picking adventure, us kids grabbed a small handful of golden delicious apples and fed them. The one below was the only one I fed; she kept getting pushed aside by another, hungrier horse and I felt bad for her.
I was sooo scared of getting my finger chopped off by their strong jaws, but I pushed the fear aside and carefully fed them anyway, lol!
Behind the area where they keep the horses and mules was a quaint red barn. It might be the one that gave the place its name, but there’s also a red barn up at the front where they sell apple desserts, so I can’t be too sure. Samuel enjoyed exploring this one up in the orchard, and I got a nice picture of it.
I think this one is used for special events, as there was very little inside, aside from a few unidentifiable props and wooden planks, as well as a moveable archway that said “wedding.” I’d never thought of holding a wedding in an apple orchard, but now I love the idea!
Once the boys were done feeding the animals, we got back on the tractor ride and headed back down through the forests and over the hills. I didn’t take any pictures on the way down, as it was the same view we had going up only flipped backward (haha), but I do have one more to share … aren’t the clouds up in Ellijay gorgeous?
Back down near the parking lot, there’s a field of flowers and pumpkins. Just like I have the other years we’ve gone, I happily went over there to snap some pictures of the flowers. Only one of those turned out nicely (oh well, haha), and I also got close enough to a monarch butterfly to get a good picture, as well!
This was the second time in my life that I’ve seen one of these butterflies up close, so I was very happy to be able to photograph it!
The last picture I have to share with you guys was one I took later in the afternoon on the drive back home; as the sun set in the sky, a tiny, horizontal rainbow appeared in the clouds. It was so cute!
Thank you so much for reading, guys!! I had a great day at the apple orchard with my family. I’m so glad we got to go this year!
Happy fall to all of you!
thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx