2014 Toyota Highlander: Apple Cider Run
December 19, 2014
Oak Glen, California is a small town just east of Yucaipa on the southeast portion of the San Bernardino Mountains. I try to go every fall to visit some of the area's many apple orchards and stock up on the beautifully cloudy apple cider. You can mosey around the rows of trees and pick your own apples during the autumn, but my schedule prevented me from visiting during the busy season. I couldn't procure my own apples in December, but I still wanted to grab some of the good stuff to use in a Warm Vanilla Cider recipe I found one day as I casually lurked on Martha Stewart's Web site. So I grabbed a few friends, tossed them into the 2014 Toyota Highlander and headed for the mountains.
I had five passengers, which I noted in my Vegas blog is an unsuitable number of adults to cram into the Highlander for a long trip. Oak Glen is only about 1.25 hours from my house, so those stuffed in the back only had to pack in for a little while. The fact that the second row can slide forward and the third row has reclining seats aids the rearmost passengers with the fitment situation.
The second row captain's chairs don't slide forward enough for easy ingress and egress, however. We had a few stops to make over the course of the day, and getting in and out of the third row quickly became a chore. Especially after we were laden by our potato, ham, bacon, sausage, scrambled egg, and cheese skillets from Apple Annie's. And red velvet fudge. And apple cider floats. It was a rough day. We rounded out our trip by grabbing gallons of delicious cider from Los Rios Rancho.
The Highlander performed well on its short excursion to the mountains. The V6 was powerful enough to deal with its six inhabitants and never really felt sluggish. As always, don't ask your passengers to spend much time in that third row unless they are small in stature or very understanding.
Cameron Rogers, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 13,421 miles