October 25, 2016
We drove to the Baraboo Hills and the Driftless Region on Sunday, thinking the fall color would be brilliant. It wasn't--it was "past peak"--but it was still an incredibly beautiful day, with partly cloudy skies, light winds, and temperatures in the high 60sF/20C.
While many of the leaves had fallen, the sunlight hitting the foliage and the bare branches was pleasant.
And the day was bright.
Actually, our quest extended beyond fall color. We were heading for some apple orchards--to stock up for pies, crisps, and snacking. Our first stop was one of our family's favorite destinations--Ski Hi Fruit Farm, just south of Baraboo. The weather was great for a picnic before apple shopping.
Fortunately, we'd packed a lunch, so the fishman and I plopped down on a picnic-table-for-two amid the fruit trees, overlooking the valley.
After buying some apples and other goodies, we explored the property and read about the homestead's history. Ski-Hi, owned by the Bassett family has been in continuous production for more than 100 years. The family grows about 25 varieties of apples on 50 acres.
It's a beautiful property with great views, in addition to the apples as the main attraction.
Our next stop was Oakwood Fruit Farm, near Richland Center. This was our first visit to this orchard, also a pleasant experience. Oakwood has an attractive display area and family-friendly farm props and activities.
It also has great views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
The pumpkins and other produce were tempting, but we already had some at home.
Oakwood, run by the Louis family, started production in the early 1900s. The orchard includes more than 20 cultivars, grown on about 200 acres.
By the end of the day, we'd purchased 15 pounds of apples (Cortlands, Spartans, and Royal Galas), a jar of Bucky Badger horseradish, and six apple cider donuts (notice two are missing?). After snapping this haphazard photo, I'd planned to re-do it, but by then there were only two donuts left. Have you ever tasted apple cider donuts?!