Saturday, June 30, 2012

Union Gap Ag Museum

I'll leave most of the gritty details of the drive back from Walla Walla to Jonathan; needless to say we will not be planning any cross country road trips with children anytime soon.  That is much more family togetherness in close quarters than we can handle right now!

However we did find interesting things on our way back.  In Yakima the kids were ready for lunch and a break to stretch their legs.  While in the local McDonalds we saw not one but two full court quinceaneras  stopping for a bite to eat between festivities.  Both arrived in stretch hummers.  Melissa was awed by the elaborate "princess" dresses.  She was a bit disappointed to learn that quineanera isn't a part of our family's culture, so no, we wouldn't be throwing an elaborate 15th birthday party.

We'd forgotten Corinna's sippy cups in Walla Walla and needed sunglasses for the return trip so after lunch Jonathan dropped us off at a nearby park and stopped at a drug store.  Posted near the park were signs for the Central Washington Agricultural Museum, so when the children tired of playing jedi knights in the park with the other kids in the park, we decided to explore further.

A creek we found on the way to the museum.

 Little factoid I learned:  Yakima is considered a desert and only receives 6-8 inches of rain a year.  Yet it is a farming community due to advances in irrigation from the Yakima river.  The land itself is fertile, just very dry.  Driving through, the hills were brown with small wisps of vegetation except where the river flowed.  There it was lush with trees.

Matthew and Melissa checking out an old, fully-equipped chuck wagon.

Water wagon

The museum is located on 17 acres and there are walk-through and drive through portions.  The walking parts had little restored houses and cabins with a lot of attention to detail from the furniture right down to the toys, clothes, and kitchen gadgets from 100+ years ago.  There were also sheds filled with buggies, harnesses, and all kinds of tools.

Dad, this tractor is as old as you!

Rows and rows of old farming equipment. See the barren hills?  They extend for many miles; the Yakima river that snakes through the valley offers the only bit of green anywhere.  

A 100 year-old combine harvester (1910)

Acres and acres of farm equipment used to make the desert fruitful.

 This detour was a pleasant little find and offered a much needed break from driving. Certainly unique!

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