Cuyamaca Indian summer

The summer heat is over and the seasons are changing quickly now, so for us it means the beginning of our fall and winter camping season.  Although it is still too hot for us in the desert, we traditionally enjoy experiencing the fall harvest season in our local Cuyamaca Mountains.


At the end of last season our trailer got its annual major washing, which was followed with a thorough washing of all trailer awnings.  Just prior to starting our new season, I applied 303 Aerospace Protectant to the seals of our Fan-Tastic Vents, windows and doors to protect them and keep them from sticking.  Then we refilled our propane tanks and checked the operation of all equipment, including the hot water heater, water pump, stove, oven, furnace and refrigerator.  Vent screens were cleaned and the trailer was vacuumed.  Tire lug nut torque checks were done along with checking air pressure and installing tire pressure sensors.  The fresh water tank was topped off and our solar panels were cleaned in anticipation of camping without hookups in the Cuyamacas.

Larry prepared the menus and food, including the baking of the buttery, rich and very delicious French apple tart seen below in its tart pan just out of our home oven to tie in with the seasonal apple harvest festival celebrated in nearby Julian, Ca.


Indian summer is an expression indicating sunny and warm weather in autumn when the leaves are turning color, often after the first frost, and before the first snowfall.  Days before our outing, Julian’s morning low was 31 degrees and we departed in the midst of a hazardous weather outlook for all of extreme southwestern California.  But within two days we experienced Indian summer in the mountains.


Besides the periodic California Santa Ana fires, another drama is being played out here and other areas of San Diego’s East County.  Thousands of oak trees are dying from infestations of the gold-spotted oak borer, which may have spread under bark of firewood.  The public has been urged not to transport firewood in or out of the county until more is known about this problem.  Even as we were camping, we could hear dead and/or hazardous trees and undergrowth being cut and turned into chips for mulching areas of the park.


Some of these oak trees were quite large, such as the one below seen on my morning walk.


Also seen during my morning walk were a Rio Grande Turkey hen and her two fledglings emerging into a clearing.


The fledglings foraged while the hen kept a sharp eye on me.


It had been chilly when I left the trailer for my walk, but when I returned, freshly baked Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits greeted me, along with a very warm trailer (we found no need to turn on the furnace on chilly mornings when anticipating baking with the oven).


One of a set of small, battery operated LED flickering tea lights (seasonal item Larry found at Costco) is seen in the votive holder above.


By the afternoon we experienced the Indian summer temperature of 80 degrees.  We used our new Endless Breeze 12-volt fan for the first time and Larry reports that it worked beautifully.

This fan is made by Fan-Tastic Vent and is available at Camping World (we ordered ours online from Fan-Tastic Vent).

It plugs into our trailer’s interior DC outlet.  Maximum current draw is reported to be 3 amps (easily supplied by our solar panels).  It also comes with clips for attaching to pet crates.

Our fall harvest/Halloween dinner table setting included pumpkins, Indian corn (also called maize), a turkey-shaped wicker basket containing Pineapple Guava, and a floral display of Plumeria (guava and Plumeria are from our yard).  The Pineapple Guava is sweet and juicy and is especially enjoyed by our pug, Pau Hoa.


And so during this golden fall harvest season, we are thankful to be able to return to and experience our beautiful parks with our loved ones, whether we are vividly awake… or enjoying Golden Slumbers.  



  1. Bill D. says

    Author’s note: The above article was originally posted on October 21 and Rich’s comment was posted on the 22nd.

    Due to recent website difficulties, they needed to be resubmitted today.

    My apologies to Insight Out for getting out of turn to the top of the compost heap… and as a consolation to the pharmacist with the newly acquired macho Schwarzenegger swagger, I’d like to direct your attention to his latest “must see” (if only with one eye) posting: “The Airstream is a gas”, which may be coming out as a movie, “Yellow Jackets vs. The Fumigator vs. The Fulminator” in an Airstream near you:

  2. insightout says

    Bill, good stuff.

    Not certain what happened in the bowels of WordPress last week. Maybe it was the permethrin toxins from the Raid on my unwashed hands that led to the crash. I’m innocent and sticking to my story.

    You guys sure eat well; I’ve gained three pounds looking at the photos. The apple dessert was delicious,
    the buttery, rich and very delicious French apple tart. I met one of those tarts, once, in Munich, 1963, but ten days of Pen VK 500 mgm. took care of the problem.

    Indian summer in the midwest is a forgotten myth. We morphed from late spring to “indian winter”, bypassing most of summer and fall.

    Pau Hoa is Hawaiian for ? Sleeping Beauty ? Pampered Pug ?

  3. Bill D. says

    Thank you, Dr. C.

    I provided mementos of the tart experience you refer to in WESTPAC, 1971-1975, by injecting 2.4 million units of thick, aqueous procaine penicillin G intramuscularly in sickbay.

    Pau Hoa is Chinese for “Precious Moon”. She is a black Pug that we brought home on a new moon fifteen years ago, and due to her age, she spends a lot of time sleeping and is indeed pampered.

  4. says

    Indian summer eh? We’ve been freezing here in Prescott for the past week. Just a few short days ago we saw sporadic snow throughout the day.

    I thought I lived in Arizona……