Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Yakima Day Trip >>Toppenish

Toppenish Washington is a dusty little cowboy town on the Yakama Nation Indian Reservation. They're most famous for the murals all over town, and they hold a "Mural in a Day" festival every year. This year it coincided with a car show, much to Avery and Grandpa Dave's happiness. The guys, checking out the cool rides.

The Mural in a Day Festival. There are 70 some murals in this little town, and you can take a horse drawn trolley ride to visit the murals or stop by the visitor's center and pick up a free walking tour. Each option takes about an hour.
The newest mural, being painted.

One of my favorite murals. "All Aboard" by Bill Ross.

The Northern Pacific Railway Museum turned out to be a great visit. The guys enjoyed checking out all of the old equipment and even taking an imprompto trip on an old train, touring the engine they're renovating now, and exploring all the nooks and crannies full of railroad memorabilia. The train museum puts on a Rail and Western Art Show in August, the Whistlestop! bluegrass festival in late August, haunted train rides in October, and a Santa train and model train displays in December.
Avery working the switch.

The train they took on a little joy ride.

The Yakama Nation Museum and Cultural Center is right in Toppenish, and is a great museum of Native American history and life. There are many different cultural events, a restaurant, RV Park, and Casino. The museum itself is a valuable resource and the displays are quite engaging. It is open Mon-Sat 8-5, Sun 9-5, and fees are $5 for adults, $3 for children and seniors, $1 for children 10 and under, or $12 for families.
The American Hop Museum in Wapato, the town between Toppenish and Yakima, is another interesting visit. Hops are big business in the Yakima Valley, with 75% of the nation's hops grown right here. Hops are used in making beer, and are one of the earliest crops grown by European Colonists in America. Admission is $3. I don't think I'd take little kids, unless they were particularly curious and well behaved, or information about hops was somehow important to them, but it is an interesting museum for agricultural history buffs, and beer lovers.
More our pace is the Folklore soda factory and shop, right downtown at 9 N B St. Call ahead and schedule a tour of the factory and arrange to come on a bottling day. (509) 865-4772

In the fall, winter, and spring the Toppenish National Wildlife Sanctuary is a nice place to view wintering ducks and geese.
And Toppenish and Wapato are both so close it's easy to do these things one at a time, and really savor a simpler field trip, instead of making a day out of it.

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