Challenge – make a weekend adventure something your family will talk about for days, but it has to be safe, fun and affordable. The answer combines two vastly different activities that actually go great together – ziplining and pumpkin picking!
The crisp, sweet smell of Fall is in the air in Kamloops, and if you’re a parent, like me you’re always looking for fun ways to entertain your kids and family, but at a price that’s somewhat affordable. When we heard about the Treetop Flyers and Pete Murray’s Corn Farm AgriAdventure, we were hooked. For $40, you get two zip line rides on the new Flying Fox with the Treetop Flyers and a tractor hay ride which includes an opportunity to feed some pretty feisty sheep and pick a pumpkin to take home with you. (for those of you who have kids too young to zip line, you can pay $5 and you still get to watch the fun at the zip line, but get the Pete Murray Corn Farm experience complete with pumpkin!)
We headed out on a blue sky Fall day for a quick 35 minute drive from Kamloops to Chase along the Trans Canada Highway heading east. The fall foliage is exploding in the valleys as you drive following the South Thompson River, spotting osprey and eagles fishing in the river.
Before we knew it, we were at Pete Murray’s Corn Farm located on a huge piece of property on the river. The corn farm is famous for its sweet and delicious corn, but I wasn’t aware that the pumpkin patch was so extensive. We had a great time talking with Pete Murray about the farm and the adventures of being a farmer as the kids wandered around checking out the chickens, farm dogs and a snuggly cat that wasn’t shy about looking for some attention. The families then were each given an ear of corn and hopped on a flat bed with hay-seating towed by a tractor to head up to see the sheep. These sheep, though friendly, are feisty things. As soon as you put your ear of corn through the fence, you better hold on because if you didn’t, it was gone! My boys thought that was the greatest thing they’ve experienced and we all shared quite the laughs at these sheep. The only other thing funnier than that was the tired working sheep dog laying on his back, paws up, soaking in the sun and trying to get a nap amongst the flurry of activity.
We then went back on the tractor-towed flat bed andheaded out to the field of pumpkins. There were so many pumpkins in so many different shapes and sizes and everyone got to pick their favourite. My 5 year old Calum found a darling little pumpkin (which he snuggled in the truck all the way home) and my 8 year old Maclean found the largest one he could somewhat carry, betting that this would be chock full of seeds to roast at home. The feeling on the farm was one of warmth and fun and we enjoyed every minute. Then, on to the zip line!
The guys at Treetop Flyers are some of the nicest people I’ve met. Our guides were Matt and Daniel, two spirited guys who had a real focus on safety, but also in having a great time. They completely put my 8 year old at ease, who was a little apprehensive at first. (note to parents: your kids need to be at least 60lbs to ride the zip line – so best to weigh them at home before you get there so there are no unpleasant surprise with not being able to ride).They took Maclean and my husband Jeff over to the tower where they climbed the “bouncy” wooden ladder to the top, ready to zip. I don’t know what they said to Maclean, but as soon as he launched, he rode hands off most of the way with a smile as wide as his face. When he got to the bottom, the first words he said were, “can I do that again?”. The second zip line he had was even more adventurous, hanging somewhat upside down, again having the time of his life. We’re looking forward to spring of 2012 when the two new zip lines through Chase Canyon Falls is complete. And our son Calum, who is 58 lbs (we had weighed him at home first to confirm this), is looking forward to the fun next year.
The AgriAdventure tour runs until October 30, so make plans to do this soon. It’s well worth it!