Adventures in Apple Picking

SB was out of town for the weekend, so on Saturday, Jackie and I took off for Stribling Orchard.  In coming up with Something Fun To Do, we decided it needed to be Outdoorsy, but not Too Outdoorsy, and should preferably end with beer.  Apple-picking fit our requirements to a T.

Stribling Orchard is a nice day-trip length drive from DC – about an 75 minutes total, though our drive was broken up by me driving to Fairfax, then Jackie driving the rest of the way.  Her GPS apparently thought we needed church more than apples, so we made a brief side trip to a tiny, tiny Baptist church at the end of something that could only dubiously be called a road.  Nice try, GPS.

Upon arrival, we were given maps, offered bags, and pointed in the direction of parking – but only after witnessing the spectacle of people trying to fit the very long apple pickers in their cars.  I think I’d completely forgotten about apple pickers until that moment – we would fight over them at my grandparents’ house when we helped pick the Lodi apples for early summer applesauce.

Apple Jack(ie)

Thusly armed, we set to work on the Serious Business of apple picking.  Stribling has a variety of apples spread out over 30 acres, including Red and Golden Delicious, Macintosh, Jonathan, Rome, York, and Granny Smith.  There were apples up high:

Apples in the sky!

and apples down low:

Sad apples

The Granny Smiths seemed pretty well picked over, but we found an abundance of other things to fill up our bags.

What's in my Queen Bee bag?

In case you’ve ever wondered what 30+ pounds of apples looks like, wonder no more! We also found some pigs:

Messy-faced pig

We did not, however, find any bears – to our great dismay. When looking for an orchard to visit, we stumbled upon this tantalizing tidbit on the “rules” page of Stribling’s website:

Are there bears here? Yes. Bears live in the woods and love to eat peaches. If you see a bear in the orchard, leave the area immediately.

I won’t deny that a large part of the appeal was the possibility of seeing a bear and having to leave the area immediately. Unfortunately, the only bear we saw was a wooly one:

Tagalong

All told, it was an excellent day of being Outdoorsy.

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