Saturday, October 22, 2016

Ride In A Time Machine!!

There aren't many places in California that you can take a trip back 65 million years to the time of the dinosaurs.  Amazingly, I can drive just one mile on any day in October and come face to face with HUGE creatures.  This is Hunter Farms Pumpkin Patch.  I think this is one of my all time favorite images!!  Looks pretty real, right?
I told you about Wil Hunter and his family building this huge Halloween attraction in the middle of their almond fields.  Yesterday I finally got back to photograph the dinosaurs and pick up some more pumpkins for my mini entryway attraction at my front door.

The Hunters are behind ... and ahead ... of the times.  This water wheel helps provide electricity, as do the hundreds of solar panels around the farm, none of which you can see.  This space was created for family pictures.
Hunter Farms has contacted every school district within our County and scheduled visits for the kids, all free of charge.  First they get a little classroom instruction in where their food comes from (you'd be surprised how many kids don't know what a tomato is or how it grows), then it's on to the hay ride, tricycle races, a long stint on the bounce pillow, gold mining where they actually can find tiny pieces of gold and diamonds, and finally a ride on the time machine tractor.  

The cars were all hand built from salvaged airport luggage carriers.  They started with four, but now fill ten cars and make one trip every thirty minutes.  That's a LOT of kids!!
Since I have an inside connection, I got a personal tour in a mini time machine four-wheeler.  This is Pistol Pete's mining operation, complete with mine, rail cars, a sluice box and a river.  His cabin is out of site on the right, surrounded with critters and dynamite.  
I missed taking pictures of the Indian village since the big time machine was heading our direction.  Here's just a few of the creatures ... this one has a nest and babies.  Now really, we all know this type of dinosaur probably didn't lay any eggs ... but the kids don't know that!!  When they came around the first corner, they all screamed and pointed, then said AWWWWW in unison when they spotted the eggs.
Pretty realistic, don't you think?  I mean really, Disneyland doesn't even have THESE guys!!  I may have mentioned they all come from overseas at a cost less than the shipping to get them here, which is astronomical.
Velociraptor?  Who knows ... I just know there were a LOT of them and the kids were screaming with delight!!
That is until the tractor came pretty close to this one jumping from the palm tree.  Yup, they even planted a palm tree for this one to jump out of!!
I jumped out of the four wheeler a couple of times to get pictures of the tractor coming through the field.  
This is the kindergarten group ... you could hear them yelling all the way around the course.
Another dinosaur ......
and yet another!!  I'm telling you, there are at least 30 hiding in the bushes around here!!
I think most are five to six feet tall, except for not one, but TWO T-Rex's!!
Here's the big guy himself, waiting for a tasty morsel to come his way.  
Just escaping by the skin of their teeth, this group of kids heads back to today as their time travel comes to an end.  
It's not the end of their adventure however, as every single kid gets a free pumpkin to take home.  EVERY SINGLE KID ... which totals in the thousands.  This is MY kind of family adventure!!  It's definitely a labor of love, as no profit has or ever will be made here.  For those schools that can't afford the bus, Hunter Farms delivers pumpkins straight to the school.  On this afternoon 800 were being delivered to a school near me.  My newest goal is to provide those buses next year, because no kid should miss out on the fun this ranch has to offer.
I didn't come away empty handed either.  A truckload of pumpkins is now on my front porch as I get ready for the big day.  At least it LOOKED like a truckload.  They didn't go very far on the porch, so I just might have to make another trip.  

One nice large pumpkin has become today's project.  A little pumpkin carving is on the schedule.


  1. Amazing story Nancy...perhaps a "Go-Fund-Me" page for $$$ for bus rentals might work if, indeed, money is an issue with the schools.

    1. I thought of that, but Go-Fund-Me takes a chunk of the donations, which I hate. I'm thinking myself and Elks Bingo can afford a few buses ... we'll see when I get the cost.

  2. You can do a "Go-Fund-Me" page or even call the school district or school and see if they are going. If they're not going, then you can ask to see what the expense would be for them to be able to go. Classes usually start planning right at the beginning of the school year, so you would have to enquire then or even at the end of this school year.
    Don't know if this will help or not.
    Liz-Boise, ID

    1. That's my plan ... to contact the principals and see why they aren't participating. There are only a couple who say there's not enough money. Elks Bingo makes lots of different donations for local children .. I think this would be a good one, depending on the cost of course.