Watercolors by
  Bill Hudson     
Monthly Newsletter 
Camping In Cuyamaca
.... by Bill Hudson
For three days and two cold October nights, many of my large family shared five adjacent camp sites in the Paso Picacho campgrounds of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. One-hour east of San Diego and 5000 feet above sea level, the spacious campgrounds in the forest contain evidence of its original Indian inhabitants…such as large rocks with smooth indentations where corn was ground into maize. Within hiking distance are both Lake Cuyamaca and Cuyamaca Peak. Ten miles north, at 4,300 feet elevation, is historic Julian, a small town founded in 1870 after gold was discovered in a nearby creek. But, by 1900 the gold ran out and pioneers became farmers. Today the small town with no stop lights survives on year-round tourism and the sale of 21 varieties of apples and world-famous apple pies.

Forty years ago, Ellie and began taking our children camping in Cuyamaca. We had forgotten the joy of getting 130 miles from home, deep into country, and sharing the times and lessons-learned together. But here we were, decades later, brought back to the same camp sites by our grown kids who wanted to share those memories with their children.
The Hudson family set up camp, with five of our eight children, eleven of our youngest grandkids, and my niece and her family. And the magic returned. With plenty of space and no electronic devices, the kids played together, inventing games, and laughing with not one conflict. At one point I looked around and observed the following happening simultaneously: (1) the older grandsons were playing whiffle ball joined by a couple of moms and dads, (2) Young Charlie was leading three cousins in a game he called “Paparazzi.” (3) My son Joe was carving kids’ initials into their handmade slingshots. Every child made a slingshot with a tree branch secured while hiking, some rubber bands, and old baseball covers we had brought from home. (4) 2-year-old Stephen was threading grapes onto a campfire skewer. (5) two girls were twirling a screaming cousin wrapped tight in a hammock, and (6) 5-year-old Henry was hiding behind a tree with a string in his hand. It was attached to a stick holding up a cardboard box with peanuts underneath. Blue jays and squirrels were approaching with caution.

A half hour later, the entire gang divided into three teams. The first team was given a 10-minute head start to hightail into the woods where they left arrows showing their direction. The arrows could be drawn in the dirt or formed with sticks on their intended path. At some point they had to take hiding places. The other two teams then tracked them down.

Late the first afternoon everyone returned to a campfire where we roasted hot dogs and ate Julian apple pies as the sky filled with a thousand stars. After most of the kids were in sleeping bags, the night turned spectacular with shooting stars and a huge meteorite with a long blazing tail that took seconds to traverse the heavens. It was like God winking at us saying, “Great choice.”
After three days, we broke camp and headed home through Julian for one last stop at the Miner’s Café. The café had been the drug store where we always stopped with the kids to sit at the old-fashioned soda fountain and order malted milkshakes, cherry cokes, and lemon phosphates. Wouldn’t you know it…as we walked in with our daughter, Kim, my son Will, his wife Kendall, and their four kids were just leaving.ture Heading
Personally, I am too slow and deliberate to be considered a plein air painter. But I certainly appreciate the inspiration of painting on location. And camping in the wild provides that inspiration non-stop. What a great change!
Discovering Value and Purpose
by Bill Hudson
Released June 3, 2021

Paperback .................$ 18.99
eBook ..........................$ 9.99
Past Newsletters
Past Newsletters are listed chronologically by title in the Newsletter section of my website www.BillHudsonArt.com/newsletter/
Events & Galleries
Singulart, an online gallery selling original art from juried artists with free global shipping and returns. I recommend Singulart for any collector or contemporary artist.
Fine Art America, is an online print-on-demand gallery which sells nearly all my images. These are available in a wide range of sizes on many substrates and objects including: coffee cups, shirts, towels, greeting cards, puzzles, phone cases, and tote bags.
Art Instructor, Laguna Methodist Art Association, Mondays in January, 9:30 to 12:30