Best of East County

The Best of East County

DREAMS HAVE COME TRUE AT HACIENDA DE LAS ROSAS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2013 (Ramona) –“It all started with my horses,” Tammy Rimes told ECM at the grand opening of Hacienda de las Rosas Winery’s new Mission-style tasting room in Ramona. 

In addition to Spanish-style wines, the opening featured dazzling displays of horsemanship, including riders in Peruvian-style attire demonstrating the Peruvian Paso breed’s unique gait, steady ride ( riders  carried glasses of champagne as they rode) and a “Marinera” dance that includes a stallion, rider, and dancer with swirling skirts.  (View video of the Marinera dance.)

JACUMBA HIKERS ANNOUNCE BACKCOUNTRY OUTINGS

 

March 2, 2013 (Jacumba) – The Jacumba Hikers will host three upcoming hikes into some of the most unique destinations in our region on February 16, March 2, and March 16--including sites where you can view Native American pictographs, spectacular scenery, and a 200-foot-high railway trestle. 

Destinations include Indian Hill and Gun Powder Shack,  Carrizo Gorge, and Mortero Palms/Goat Canyon.  Scroll down for details.

BACK ON TRACK? RAILWAY ACROSS EAST COUNTY MAY BE RESTORED

By Miriam Raftery

February 26, 2013 (San Diego's  East County) -- A colorful chapter from East County's past may soon come rumbling back.

Ernest Dahlman, chief executive officer of Pacific Imperial Railroad, has announced that he has signed a 99-year-lease with the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway Company. He is raising funds to restore and operate tracks on the Desert Line to run through mountains and deserts in San Diego, Imperial County and Baja, Mexico. 

Dahlman hopes to link the freight line up with trolley and train lines in San Diego, as well as a transcontinental railway route to the East.

The route through East County includes the rugged Carrizo Gorge.  An amazing feat to complete, the line was dubbed the “impossible railroad” by engineers when it was first proposed.

FARM-FRESH FOODS DELIVERED STRAIGHT TO YOU

Our Guide to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms in East County

Updated January 27, 2013

By Ariele Johannson

Note: Please help us update this directory. If you know of any CSA programs we missed, please contact Ariele at arielejohannson@gmail.com or editor@eastcountymagazine.org. Farmers: Please send in any changes and visit our blog to connect with other farmers to help create a self-sufficient East County.

January 26, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Eating healthy means including plenty of fresh foods-- and the freshest of all are those grown here in East County. Have you thought about allotting part of your food budget to locally-grown organic fruits, vegetables, milk, meats, and more?

HAWK WATCH: AN UP CLOSE LOOK AT RAPTORS

 

Event continues each Saturday in January and February

By Miriam Raftery

January 27, 2013 (Ramona ) – A Ferruginous hawk, the largest hawk found in San Diego County, hunkers down on a treetop at the Ramona Grasslands preserve.  In a field nearby,  volunteers with the Wildlife Research Institute give visitors an up-close look at another of these magnificent birds (left), which winter in our region after migrating south from the northern U.S. and Canada.

Rainfall  moved the event indoors, where a Peregrine Falcon and a Screech Owl were shown off next. “We’ve never cancelled a single time,” WRI executive director Dave Bittner notes.  Later, as the weather cleared, Bittner displayed a golden eagle outdoors; a special report by the WRI warns that “our last remaining Golden Eagle territories in San Diego County are being threatened.”

WILD HORSES IN RAMONA: THE COYOTE CANYON HERITAGE HERD

By Ariele Johannson

January 15, 2013 (Ramona)--On a warm spring morning in the Upper Borrego Valley in 2003, the last 29 wild horses in East County--were rounded up by helicopters and driven into pens. They were then removed from Coyote Canyon and trucked to a sanctuary in South Dakota through a snow storm with temperatures 4º below zero. 

A MAN AND HIS THREE MULES

 

Story, photos and video by Billy Ortiz    

Video clip

 

 

 

Like the pioneers of old, he packs his mules...walking from town to town searching not for gold or silver or fame, but for the land that connects his three mules and himself.

November 10, 2012 (Lakeside)--A lone drifter, age unknown, rides into Lakeside, California with only his thoughts and his three trusted mules. North and south, east and west, they wander the country. Guided only by the love of the earth and its creatures, the man who goes by the name Mule allows his trusted mules to lead him.

OSPREY NESTING TOWER TAKES WING AT LAKESIDE RIVER PARK

Story, photos and video by Billy Ortiz

View video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9Y0hc267sA

November 3, 2012 (Lakeside) -- On a cool, cloudy autumn morning on October 20 in East County a group of teenage Boy Scouts from troop 801 in Coronado arrived at the Lakeside River Park. They brought heavy timbers and other materials to build what they hope will become a nest for the Ospreys that frequent a pond at the River Park. 

THE WILD AND WOOLY HISTORY OF EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery, Editor

www.EastCountyMagazine.org

October 31, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) -- With two cities (El Cajon and La Mesa) celebrating their centennials, much attention has been focused on our region’s past of late. But just how much do you know about East County’s colorful history? Take our quiz below to test your knowledge—and learn some fascinating facts.

PEDAL POWER: BIKES, SURREYS AND DEUCE COUPS NOW AVAILABLE FOR RENT AT SANTEE LAKES

September 22, 2012 (Santee) – Santee Lakes announced last week that bicycles are now available for rent.  Wheel Fun of San Diego is partnering with Santee Lakes to offer a rental fleet to visitors and campers. With a variety of options,  guests can have fun cruising as a group in a double surrey or venture off on their own with one of the cruiser bikes.

PRESERVATIONISTS SCORE A VICTORY ON EL CAJON MOUNTAIN

 

August 14, 2012 (El Cajon) – The San Diego River Park Foundation has succeeded in acquiring 157 acres on scenic “El Capitan” (El Cajon) Mountain in Lakeside’s El Monte Valley, a designated county scenic view corridor.  The victory is sweet for preservationists, since a portion of the mountain has been marred by Sunrise Powerlink and this will protect much of what’s left for future generations.  It’s nicknamed El Capitan for its resemblance to the landmark in Yosemite Valley. 

HOT TIMES AT THE OASIS CAMEL DAIRY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Nadin Abbott and Miriam Raftery

August 5, 2012 (Ramona) – What loves eating watermelon, has feet like snowshoes, and can guzzle up to 40 gallons of water at a time? 

These are among the surprising facts about camels that I learned during the Watermelon Days Festival at the Oasis Camel Dairy on a sweltering midsummer day in Ramona. The climate here is ideally suited for these “ships of the desert”, which delighted audiences at this unique East County attraction.

VINTAGES TO SAVOR AT THE BACK COUNTRY WINEMAKING TOUR


By Miriam Raftery

July 29, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – It’s one of our region’s best-kept secrets.  The Back Country Winemaking Tour, which swiftly sells out each year, is a great way to meet local vintners and savor the fruits of their labors—all with a designated driver aboard an air-conditioned bus.

This year’s tour rolled into four diverse wineries in Ramona and Warner Springs, where participants sipped, savored, and partied their way across the sun-drenched countryside in East County.

LAKE JENNINGS TO OPEN DAILY JULY 30-AUG. 12

July 9, 2012 (Lakeside)--Usually open only weekends and holidays, Lake Jennings will be open every day between July 30 and August 12 from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.  For only nominal fee, you can pack a picnic, enjoy marvelous vistas, watch the wildlife, take the 5-mile hike around the lake, or just relax with a barbecue in a wilderness just a short drive from San Diego and East County’s urban areas.

For only a few more dollars you can launch your boat ($8) or rent one (motorboat $40, rowboat $19), dip a line in the water — catching fish may be another story (fishing permit and state license fees apply) — or enjoy a paddle boat excursion around the 160 acre lake’s surface ($10/hour). 

ULTIMATE FIELD TRIP: FARM TOUR DISHES UP AN UP-CLOSE LOOK--AND TASTE--OF LOCAL AGRICULTURAL

 

 

By

Miriam Raftery

 

July 4, 2012 (Valley Center and Pauma Valley)– San Diego Farm Bureau’s latest farm tour offered guests the opportunity to visit four unique farms including a citrus ranch, vineyard, cactus farm, and ranch raising turkeys and other livestock.  Tour-goers met with farmers, took a tractor-ride, and learned about the joys and challenges of local farming.

It may surprise you to learn that San Diego County is home to more small farms (under 10 acres) than any other county in America.  Some are generations old, while others are new businesses sprouting up in the fertile soils of our sunny inland regions.

OUT OF ASHES, INTO THE FUTURE: BLUE SKY RANCH

By Leon Thompson

June 30, 2012 (Lakeside)--In October 2003 the Cedar Fire incinerated 280,000 acres, destroyed 2820 homes and killed 15 people.  Like many others, Lakeside’s Wildcat Canyon resident Ingrid Coffin was alerted in the middle of the night that she was in the path of the most devastating firestorm our state had ever seen.

DOWN ON THE FARMS: A VIDEO TOUR OF LOCAL AGRICULTURAL IN LAKESIDE

In honor of Harold Hilliker Farm Day at Lakeside Middle School, videographer Billy Ortiz created a video documentary tour of local agricultural sites

Story, photos and video by Billy Ortiz

June 30, 2012 (Lakeside)-- Lakeside Middle School held  its first annual Harold Hilliker Farm Day on May 30.  It  was a day full of information on agriculture, highlighting several Lakeside farms for the 6th and 7th graders. 

View a special video tour of local farms in Lakeside created for the Lakeside Historical Society by clicking  this link.

In addition, view a presentation at Lakeside Middle School by freelance videographer Billy Ortiz here 

BITE SAN DIEGO TAKES TO THE COUNTRYSIDE WITH THE LAUNCH OF ITS SIXTH WALKING FOOD TOUR IN JULIAN

 
Six Julian restaurants will welcome Bite guests to the apple-growing hills beginning this June 
 
June 17, 2012 (Julian) -- Taking its acclaimed walking food tour “over the hill and through the woods,” this June, Bite San Diego, the successful food walking tour, is adding to its already acclaimed San Diego Tours with Bite San Diego, Julian. The food tasting and cultural walking tour features a guided tasting tour through one of San Diego’s most historically rich towns for eats and treats.

FROM ROOTS TO WINGS: THE LA MESA CENTENNIAL FLAG DAY PARADE

 

Article by Kristin Kjaero

Video by Kristin Kjaero and Miriam Raftery


 

June 3, 2012 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Flag Day Parade reminds us that Centennials are a time to reflect.

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IT'S OFFICIAL! STATE SIGNS DEAL TO KEEP PALOMAR STATE PARK OPEN

 
May 30, 2012 (Palomar) -- It's official Palomar Mountain State Park, which was slated for complete and permanent closure this July, will be permitted to stay open for the next three years as long as local citizens are willing to cover the deficit between the park's income and expenses. Palomar was one of 70 parks destined for shuttering due to state financial woes.

THANKS TO ALL FOR OUR “CLASS ACT” CELEBRATION!

 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 24, 2012 (La Mesa) – East County Magazine extends our heart-felt thanks to the San Pasqual Winery, A Class Act Night Entertainment, Terra American Bistro and our generous readers  for making our “Class Act Night in La Mesa” a rousing success! 

TRÈS BIEN! RAMONA COMES OUT ON TOP IN INERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION AGAINST THE FRENCH

By Serena Scaglione

Photos by Dave Billick, courtesy of Ramona Valley Vintners Assoc.
 
May 7, 2012 (San Diego)—The  Ramona Valley Wine Region has proved to be a tough contender amongst some of the world’s best wines. Last month, an estimated 180 people witnessed three Ramona wines defeat the French in the French American Wine Challenge, a blind-tasting held at Fifty Seven Degrees wine bar in Mission Hills.

ROLL INTO FUN WITH SAN DIEGO ZOO SAFARI PARK’S SEGWAY TOUR

 

By Mia Myklebust
 
May 2, 2012 (San Pasqual)--With two wheels on the ground the group speeds forward, smooth cement below and nothing but grass on the horizon. Oh, and a few giraffes. I’m in the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and I’m standing on a Segway. An activity I once thought of as daunting and foreign, my Rolling Safari Tour was an easy and exciting way to see the park and get up close and personal with the animals that make it so special.

 

HIKER FINDS NATURAL BEAUTY—AND NO CROWDS AT CEDAR CREEK FALLS ON REOPENING DAY

By Miriam Raftery

April 2, 2012 (Cedar Creek) – When Ed Hale read that the National Forest Service (NFS) was reopening one of two entrances to Cedar Creek Falls starting yesterday, he and a friend headed east to hit the trail--and brought back a firsthand account of their experiences as well as some changes at the popular hiking site.

ANZA-BORREGO FOUNDATION AND PACIFIC CREST TRAIL ASSOCIATION PRESERVE OPEN SPACE

 
March 20, 2012 (Anza-Borrego) -- Pacific Crest Trails Association and Anza-Borrego Foundation are pleased to announce the purchase of 40 acres within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
 
The once privately-held parcel located next to the Pacific Crest Trail will be preserved as open space and set aside for public use.  PCTA helped pay a portion of the purchase price and Anza-Borrego Foundation will hold the land in trust for the state park. It’s the first partnership between the two nonprofit conservation groups.

VETERAN BUFFALO SOLDIERS AND DESCENDANTS RIDE AGAIN AT LEMON GROVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY MEETING

 
“Throughout history, it was hard for black men, with no education. They couldn’t become officers. They weren’t trained right. African-Americans were always left with the worst equipment (like hats and shoes) while the white officers made 50 cents more.” – Trooper John Green
 
By Megan McGlamery
 
February 10, 2012 (Lemon Grove) In celebration of Black History Month, the Lemon Grove Historical Society hosted members of the San Diego Chapter of the National Association of Buffalo Soldiers. Dressed in authentic uniforms, the speakers—including veterans of the famed regiment and their descendants--explained the history of the Buffalo Soldiers, as well as their importance to the San Diego community.

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