I downloaded the official Almond Blossom Cruise app a week before we left for our trip. We didn’t end up using it as I didn’t want to listen to the narration or music on the trip. I used my phone to record video and take photos from its car holder, so I didn’t want to have the tour app and my camera interfering with each other. I had plotted a course ahead of our trip, but I made some adjustments on the day based on our progress. Since we had done the first stop at Rodin Farms on Friday, we skipped it on Saturday. We headed straight to Oakdale Cheese & Specialties.
We arrived at Oakdale Cheese & Specialties only a few minutes after their scheduled opening time. We stopped to greet and pet a white cat sitting on the banister near the entrance to the shop. Once inside building, we looked at all the cheese and other items they had for sale. There is a space behind one of the refrigeration cases which had memorabilia and news articles from their history. There were also viewing windows into the factory where the cheese is made. There were several rounds of cheese on the racks while we were there, but the factory wasn’t in operation since it was Saturday. They also make sandwiches and baked goods which you can eat at the tables available on their front porch as well at the park-like grounds. It’s a very lovely spot to spend some time in. There are also bathrooms available for visitors’ use. We purchased some cheese, and we walked around the grounds for a few more minutes before heading back on the tour.
Our next stop was at the Knights Ferry Recreation Area to look at their famous covered bridge and the old buildings they have. We walked around the visitor center at the Knights Ferry Recreation Area which houses a small museum telling the history of Knights Ferry and the local wildlife. Once we were done inside the center, we looked at the old mill buildings they have on the trail towards the covered bridge. The Knights Ferry covered bridge is touted as the longest covered bridge west of the Mississippi River at three hundred and thirty feet long. It’s no longer open to vehicles, but it’s open to pedestrians. I wish we had had more time, and that I had brought hiking attire, as the area is beautiful and there are several hiking trails to explore.
From Knights Ferry we took the scenic route to Roberts Ferry Gourmet. It was a wonderful drive with vast hilly green pastures complete with cows and a few horses. It was quite a shock to come up upon an extraordinary number of almond farms seemingly out of nowhere. We drove past so many beautiful groves of almond trees in full blossom, we noted how many of these had beehives to help their pollination. It made me want to try some almond blossom honey. I was determined to try Roberts Ferry Gourmet’s famous almond butter milkshake. We chose the vanilla flavored option, and it was delicious! I purchased a lot of specialty popcorn packs, and bags of various candied almonds before we headed out to explore the trail they have set up for visitors to walk through in their almond groves. We put our purchases in the car, then walked through the almond trees to see an enormous oak tree standing before us. I found the buzzing from so many bees delightful. We finished our almond butter milkshakes around the same time we finished walking through the almond groves. Roberts Ferry concluded our Almond Blossom Cruise, and we headed back to Modesto to explore a museum or two.
Check back for my recap of the other things we did and saw during our stay in Modesto. If you’re interested in seeing the almond blossoms this year, you need to do it as soon as possible as they may not be there for long.