Fall is my favorite season.  Once a young lad, I spent many an autumn raking the fallen leaves, sipping chai tea in the brisk evening air, and baking apple pies for my family.  Just kidding.  I was shooting rabbits with my bow and arrow, planning out ‘Mischief Night‘, calculating my trick-or-treat route, and making traps in the woods and covering them with leaves for unsuspecting victims.  I lived in New Jersey.  The bar of morality and righteousness wasn’t very high and I was damned if I was to trip over it.  So, I crawled under.

Now that we live in San Diego, we don’t get the big weather changes that strongly signal the closing half of the year.  So to imitate the fall season here, we decorate the house in orange and brown, turn on the air conditioning, and parade around in turtlenecks.  Hooray!

To further the charade…at this age Worm will believe anything…we drive out of the city to pick pumpkins from a fake patch on the side of the freeway.  Just like the pilgrims used to do!

A little bit northeast of us (you can’t really go anywhere except for north and east of San Diego) is a little town called Ramona.  Yeah, that one.  The former “Turkey Capital of the World”.  It’s been a long time since the feathered kind of turkeys have been spotted there, but you’re sure to run into a few of the human variety.

If 70 Degree Autumn Weather Disgusts You, LOOK AWAY!

Ramona is home to Mountain Valley Ranch, a nice little stop off the 67 highway, near the edge of town.  Mountain Valley Ranch delivers the goods with pumpkins by the truckload!  Pumpkins as far as the eye can see, which from Worm’s 34″ of elevation, is only about 20 feet off into the distance.  So, the Ranch was perfect for him, and for us!

Worm decided the patch was a bit too ‘natural’ and went for the easy kill, the peck of pre-picked prepared pumpkins in presentable propriety.  This was an area where white collar children could pick the pumpkin (or supervise a parent picking the pumpkin, as in our case) without expending too much energy or leaving the comfort of his/her dry-cleaned and pressed clothing.

Mom, I Think This Is the One!

Then it was daddy’s turn.  And I wanted to do the real deal.  Let me forage through the patch and find myself a pulchritudinous specimen.  For this, we needed a wagon.

Worm, I Feel Like I’m Doing All The Work…BTW, Does The Earth Seem More Tilted To You?

A few hours later and deep into the isqoutm squash patch, I found the cucurbit of my dreams!  It was the finest pumpkin 2012 had ever delivered and I laid eyes on it first.  Quickly, I kicked the little monkey out and used his shirt to provide a cushioned wagon ride for ‘Pepita’ all the way to the cash register.  (In case you’re going for a visit, Mountain Valley Ranch only takes cash!)

Where Fore Art Thou, Pepita?

Worm, exhausted from the extra walking effort on unpaved ground, fell asleep on the hour long ride home.  And I spent that quiet car time basking in the thrill of the hunt and relishing in the glory of my find.  It was as if Tebow shined brightest upon ‘Pepita’ for mine own eyes to see.  Now that I’ve found you, I cannot wait to gut you, carve out your eyes, and light a match inside of your head…


As a side note, Mountain Valley Ranch also has: petting zoo, corn maze, corn cannon, and more!  It’s a fun, memorable place to take little ones!  You can check out their website for more information.