We went to Frog Pond Farm twice in one day – first, to pick pumpkins (used in the sense of “choose” in this context) and meet llamas, and then back again for the Spooky Walk in the evening. Very autumnal!
Pumpkins and… Llamas?
If you have been following our adventures, you may have noticed that our friend Amanda is quite a fan of llamas. So of course, when we asked her where we should pick our pumpkins this year, she suggested Frog Pond Farm!
It’s a fairly short drive from our place, somewhere around a half hour, to Frog Pond Farm. It was another very hot, late summer day (much hotter than it usually is in Oregon at this time of year!). 88F is just over 31C, so it’s well outside my personal comfort zone – I am happiest at around 15C – sunshine and a light breeze, crisp mornings, chilly evenings, soup and toast and blankets. But it hasn’t been that kind of autumn this year!
With the crops ripening late, we weren’t even sure there would be pumpkins in time for Halloween – but luckily, as we saw at this other roadside pumpkin patch, there were plenty!
We arrived at Frog Pond Farm to a very full parking lot – we usually try to arrive at opening, but as we were going to the Spooky Walk as well, we decided to make it an afternoon outing. It’s a very different experience! The trolleys have all been claimed and the day’s offerings already picked over; the animals have had plenty of treats, and the food places are closing, rather than not open yet. Overall, though, despite the unexpectedly windy day, it was an absolutely fantastic experience!
Probably my favourite thing was trying my first ever apple cider doughnut, and I will absolutely fight anyone who tries to prevent me getting more. They are light and delicious, with a faint but distinct apple flavour through the cinnamon sugar coating. Very different from a normal doughnut – the closest I can think of is a NZ fish and chip shop doughnut, but less greasy. They melt in your mouth in a similar way. I will dream of them until I get to have my next one, I think.
After visiting and feeding many more creatures, we headed for the pumpkin patch.
The pumpkin patch at Frog Pond Farm is cleverly situated on the far side of the property, leading groups through the fields past a variety of interesting livestock. Even more cleverly, as well as pumpkins, the field contains a veritable plethora of llamas.
Yes, it’s weird to “pick” pumpkins from neatly-arranged stacks in a field, but it’s also incredibly convenient. And the addition of llamas? GENIUS.
After the llamas were full, and we had picked out the pumpkins we wanted to carve, they measured and priced them. I didn’t get a chance to take a photo, but George got one later, when he got me a white pumpkin after the Spooky Walk. It’s ingenious: wherever the pumpkin fits, that’s its price.
George and Amanda lugged the big ones, and I carried the small and spiky ones, passing more furry friends on the way back.
After we had loaded up our pumpkins, we went to nearby West Linn for dinner at an Oregonian chain of American-style pubs called McMenamins.
McMenamins is known for slightly kitschy, OTT décor, and good food. This branch lived up to both! We arrived during Happy Hour, so we ordered from that menu, and there was more than enough food for the three of us!
After enjoying our sliders, salad, and fries, we put our leftovers in the cooler with the pumpkin, and headed to Ace Hardware to get some supplies.
I have never been to an Ace Hardware before, so the hammer doorhandles delighted me, as did the beautifully faced and merchandised shelves.
They also had sweets at the door for Halloween, so I got to try my first Jolly Rancher, which turned out not to be a proper Jolly Rancher, because it’s chewy. I prefer the chewy one, now that I have also tried the boiled lolly version.
After we finished at Ace Hardware, it was time to head back to Frog Pond Farm for part II, the Spooky Walk.
Here’s the video for part I:
The Spooky Walk
It was a perfect evening for creepiness, although it remained staggeringly warm. The evening sky glowed over the farm as we made our way to the start of the walk, which coincided with the sun setting in earnest.
It’s kind of hard to describe a Spooky Walk without giving too much of it away, but it involved us walking through a dark forest filled with animatronics, special sound effects, and actors playing varying degrees of creepy monster.
As they say on their site:
“We recommend wearing appropriate shoes & clothes for the 3/4 mile long hike through the woods that includes traveling through three separate 48″ tunnels (they are narrow! You’ll have to bend over to get through them). We also recommend bringing flashlights; the trail is DARK in many places!|
The walk takes about 20-25 minutes to complete & groups are sent every sixty seconds or so.
We are considered a level 7 adult scare!”
Here’s the video of the Spooky Walk:
Afterwards, we shared a delicious serving of apple cider doughnut holes (which I liked better than the one with frosting), then George got me the white pumpkin I wanted!
And here’s Loki, our personal pumpkin, examining the interlopers in our garage.