“Get up! The rooster is crowing!”
Thirteen-year old boys aren’t normally eager to jump out of bed at 6 a.m., but this morning, the novelty of a live alarm clock and eggs to collect would prove too much for my teenager to resist.
At Coyote Ridge Ranch, chickens are only part of the draw. This 65-acre farm in La Center, Washington is a short 20 minute drive from Vancouver. Offering farm stays with charming bed and breakfast-style accommodations, visitors can escape the city noise, slow down, and relax in a gorgeous wooded setting.
Valerie and Kelly Alexander live on the property and run the farm she bought back in 1965 when it was nothing more than a 1000 square foot home on a wooded hillside. Today Coyote Ridge boasts gardens, two guest houses, hiking trails, a greenhouse, two chicken coops, multiple outbuildings, and an expanded main ranch house that incorporates meaningful touches of Valerie’s Native American heritage.
As my family and I explored the property and spent time together, it was easy to see why agritourism has become so enticing. Trees and flowers replace paid attractions, chickens and horses, gift shops. I found myself thinking how perfect it would be for family reunions or even special events like a concert or star-gazing party. As with any vacation destination, some are better suited for young children than others. But if your kids are old enough to follow directions and understand basic precautions necessary for being on a working farm, they might just declare, as my 11-year-old son did, “I’m having such a good time. Thanks for taking me here.”