Pumpkins and The Hellhole.

eliza and I went pumpkin picking this week. Autumn in San Diego is more of a season than we expected — trees do shed and leaves get pretty here — but the outing proved to be a much stronger and welcome dose of the east-coast Fall we know and love. After playing around like kids for a while at Bates Nut Farm, we hiked the nearby… Hellhole Canyon. Which, while its title couldn’t be much more badass, is less steep and treacherous than it is spookily beautiful.

We didn’t get a very early start on the day, and initially I wasn’t sure we’d be able to both pumpkin-pick and hike, but it only took about an hour or so to get there, and we ended up having plenty of time to galavant. A surprise bonus was how the overcast sky (rare) never opened up, and only drizzled the car on the way there. Instead of potentially wrecking the day, the clouds merely shrouded the California sunshine we’ve now come to basically expect, which helped arouse that familiar Halloween spirit.

entering Bates Nut Farm








entering Bates Nut Farm
Entering, we knew we were in for a really good time. But what we didn’t know…

























… was how freaking cute the little goats were going to be.











a goat-band photo?
A couple of ’em were able to get on top of this pile-of-logs/fort-thing. eliza rightly described this as a photo for the liner notes of their upcoming album. We poked around some more, and got down to business:











Pumpkin-hugging business.











/ cartwheeling business.









/ uhhh..











Ok, so nothing close to getting things done in an itemized way.

scarecrow: “wuttuuup!”








So funny. Look at her face close up. Reminds me of her brother, PJ.









We finally actually searched for a couple pumpkins to take home.










First, we perused the ‘discount’ section.














‘We could take it home. We could love it.’











‘And this one?’

























We decided against gooey pumps, and headed towards the glowing piles of orange, but between us and them were bins of gorgeous gourmet gourds. And things.











Including some really beautiful specimens.



















These being some of my favorites. Them veggies is sexy.












eliza and The Chosen One.









And here’s me trying to be an African lady. That’s my balancing face. Running low on sunlight, we dumped our ‘kins in the trunk — but before heading out, we made an important stop for …











CaNdY!! I was lucky to escape without blowing $30 on behalf of my sweet tooth. We got a small amount of delicious peanut butter and chocolate fudge, but I was drooling every step in the store.












On our way out. Alluring, but unfortunately this place was closed.











So, part 2, onwards to THE HELLHOLE, which, as I’ve already said, is far less physically menacing than it sounds. The change in scenery was gradual en route, but we could sense we were entering a new territory. The nearer we grew, the more the diffused light and low-looming clouds made it feel like some sort of Tim Burton environment.








‘I think we’re getting close.’



















Heading in.










Exerpt: “Some flowering plants, like this purple wildflower (Parry’s Phacelia) are called fire-followers because they appear only months after a fire.”



























Can you spot Waldo?
































A great day overall.






Capped with a reminder that we live near the other road named after Ted Williams. If you can’t read the sign here, you are clearly blind. Pretty cool. Who knew?


more photos here

eliza’s take on the day



One response to “Pumpkins and The Hellhole.

  1. Pingback: A Day in Valley Center « everything @ once

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