Sunday, August 9, 2009

California Citrus State Historic Park is for the dogs...

Stunned and amazed. A State park that actually allows dogs free reign, as long as they're leashed. I didn't quite believe what I had read about this place, that poochies are allowed on all trails and generally everywhere throughout the park, as long as they are on a leash - no freakin' way!! Last I heard, Canis familiaris was Fido non grata in the vast majority of the KALEEFORNIA State park system...

We trekked out to the pleasant environs of this SHP on July 18th and made a preliminary stop by the visitor center to first get our bearings. The ranger on duty was very informative and confirmed that dogs are indeed welcomed here with open paws, including inside the visitor center.

So, we forced Hana to enjoy our trek through the citrus groves in 90+ degree heat (don't worry, PETA PEOPLE, we had loads of water for her & stopped at every conceivable millimeter of shade along the trail). Besides, Hana loved amusing herself by goosing all the round, ball-like fruits within her reach in the grove...

What a cool place. The park opened in 1993 and preserves a very important slice of our state's history, when "Citrus was King" during the second "Gold Rush" in California at the turn of the 20th century. On the 377-acre site, there are over 75 varieties of citrus growing in the "Varietal Grove" near the Visitor's center, and miles of trails through picnic areas, Craftsman-style structures (including the historic Grower's House, the Sunkist Center and Interpretive Gazebo), and 180 acres of working citrus groves.

And of course you can't leave without stopping at Gless Ranch's fruit stand at the park entrance to buy a 20-lb bag of locally grown oranges (for only $8 bucks!) and avocados for a guacamole fix. I was juicing oranges for about a week after our trip and we were imbibing on fresh OJ at least 3 times a day thereafter. I'm not ashamed of our unabashed indulgence and plan to do it again, very very soon.

I am one with the Orange.

For the full gallery, go to:

Citrus State Historic Park is at 9400 Dufferin Ave., Riverside, CA 92503

Buddha's Hand Citron at Varietal Grove

1889 Grower's House Farm House

Gazebo at Sunkist Center

Gilbo and Hana on Varietal Grove Trail

Gilbo and Hana squirrel-scouting near group picnic area

Gilbo haggling with vendor at Gless Ranch fruit stand

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