Best of East County

The Best of East County

WHERE EAGLES SOAR: VIEW WILD RAPTORS AT HAWK WATCH IN RAMONA EACH SATURDAY IN JANUARY


By Millicent Arko
 
January 2, 2012 (Ramona) – The Ramona Grasslands and Wildlife Research Institute (WRI) invites the public to visit and view wintering and resident birds of prey. Programs begin promptly at 9 a.m. and end at noon every Saturday in January. This free event is held at the WRI headquarters at 18030 Highland Valley Road near the intersection of Rangeland and Highland Roads in Ramona.

ADVENTURES IN LEARNING - ANZA-BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK – DECEMBER 2011


December 4, 2011 (Anza Borrego)Winter is a beautiful time to visit our desert region. The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is offering a series of interpretive events in December to help you explore the area’s many wonders. Options include hikes to hidden canyons and caves, bird watching walks, lectures on paleontology and archaeology, animal tracking, a sunset/moonlit hike, and much more. Scroll down for a complete list of activities and links to register.

GO-KART TRACK ROARS BACK TO LIFE IN EL CAJON AFTER 17 YEARS OF ABANDONMENT

 

 

October 13, 2011 (El Cajon) – Many East County residents have fond childhood memories of revving up at the Go Kart Track at the old Marshall Scotty’s facility. Now, 17 years after the site closed down, Go Kart riders will once again be able to take a victory lap.

 

IN SEARCH OF THE GREAT PUMPKIN? CHECK OUT THESE PATCHES

 
By Miriam Raftery
 
October 8, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Halloween is coming soon and with it, the annual tradition of finding the perfect pumpkin for carving a jack-o-lantern—not to mention sweeter varieties for baking pumpkin pies!  Fortunately, there are several great places in East County to find giant pumpkins, as well as fun family activities from corn mazes to petting zoos. 
 
Here are a few of our favorites:

STARGAZING, POTTERY AND ANIMAL TRACKING CLASSES AMONG FALL OFFERINGS IN ANZA BORREGO

 

 

October 6, 2011 (Borrego) –If you plan to enjoy Anza-Borrego this fall, why not make your visit a learning adventure?  Deepen your connection to nature, strengthen your understanding of the environment, and of course, have fun.  The Anza-Borrego Foundation announces a variety of fall classes and tours in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  For the full list, visit their website at http://theabf.org/events and scroll down for highlights.

 

MIRAMAR LAKE– IT’S NOT JUST A WATER RESERVOIR

 

Story and photos by Iolanda Scripca

 
 
 
October 2, 2011 (San Diego) --As autumn falls upon us with its charm of a girl in an orange dress who just said “Goodbye!” to summer, I decided to venture to inland San Diego, away from my beloved Pacific. I did not know what to expect… networks of snakelike freeways and paved surface streets guided me east as multi-colored cars were carrying faces locked in the air-conditioned reality of another day of work.
 

LA MESA CENTENNIAL CALENDARS ON SALE AT OKTOBERFEST

 

 

September 29, 2011 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa Historical Society opens its Centennial year activities with the release for sale of its special edition 2012 Centennial Calendar at Oktoberfest, which runs Sept. 30 through October 2.

 

Calendars feature historic photos plus fun Centennial facts.

THE 39TH ANNUAL POWAY RODEO

 

 Story and Photos: Ron Logan
 
 
 
September 26, 2011 (Poway) – It was my conscious decison to get out of my comfort zone when I photographed my first rodeo – the 2011 Poway Rodeo. The rodeo grounds are just a couple miles from my home, and although it has taken me some time to warm up to the idea of residing in Poway, there are certain aspects of the city that are starting to grow on me. "Country living" is one of those aspects.
 
I am what you would call a greenhorn.
 

SANTEE LAKES RECEIVES BEST CAMPGROUND AWARD

 

 

September 21, 2011 (Santee) -- Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve recently received the 2011 San Diego's Best Campground from the San Diego Union Tribune's Readers Poll.

 
"Thank you to the residents of San Diego for their continued support,"  said Jonathan Skinner,director of park and recreation. "The staff and volunteers at Santee Lakes are dedicated to maintaining the high quality standards, which our patrons have come to expect."
 

COUNTY PARKS OFFER FREE PROGRAMS IN SEPTEMBER

September 12, 2011 (San Diego County) – September is a beautiful time to head outdoors and enjoy over 350 miles of hiking and biking trails at more than 90 parks in San Diego County spanning 44,000 acres—mostly in East County and our region’s inland areas. Many have organized activities, as do local community and recreation centers.   Below are listings for some of the fun activities planned this month. The listings contain the information needed to go to the activities and recreation centers: maps, phone numbers, dates, and special interests.
 
 

SAN PASQUAL BATTLEFIELD STATE HISTORIC PARK: A PIECE OF HISTORY FACES OBLITERATION

 

Bill in Sacramento may save park from closure; public help sought

 

By Megan McGlamery

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

 

September 4, 2011 (San Diego)--Since their inception in 1864, Califonia’s state parks have served to enlighten citizens about nature, history and culture. Unfortunately, severe budget cuts have led to imminent closure of many of these beloved landmarks.

 

Located eight miles east of Escondido, the San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park is just one of many amazing pieces of living history slated to close forever next July, when 70 California state parks will be shut down.

FRUITFUL ENDEAVORS: WINE-LOVERS SAVOR GRAPE STOMP AT ORFILA

 

 

By Jeremy Los

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug. 28, 2011- Sweltering heat couldn’t keep East County wine lovers from kicking off this year’s grape harvest at San Diego’s award winning Orfila Vineyards and Winery’s 18th annual grape stomp in Escondido’s San Pasqual Valley yesterday.

 

Roughly 420 people channeled their inner vintner by stomping freshly picked grapes with their bare feet, leaving many astounded with the sheer gooey nature of the after product.

LANTERN FESTIVAL CELEBRATES ASIAN HERITAGE IN LITTLE SAIGON DISTRICT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 28, 2011 (City Heights)—A shimmering dragon marched past, trailed by followers beating cymbals and carrying glow sticks. Hundreds of lanterns glowed softly against the night sky, accentuated by the streaming lights of carnival rides. I sampled Thai chicken-on-a-stick, along with fried bananas and yams—all at the third annual Lantern Festival in City Heights.

CONCERTS ON THE GREEN CONTINUE THROUGH SEPTEMBER

 

 

August 22, 2011 (El Cajon) – Looking to kick up your heels and dance the night away? Or just kick back with a picnic dinner while enjoying some live music under the stars? El Cajon’s Concerts on the Green continue each Friday night from 6 to 8 p..m. now through September 30th.

IT'S A WILD VENUE FOR VENDORS AT VIEJAS SEPTEMBER 18


 
 
August 11, 2011 (Viejas) --Are you a vendor looking for a wild venue?  Monarch Mania, set for Sunday, Sept. 18 at Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine, is for you!  Last year's Monarch Mania event drew thousands of visitors, eager to witness the release of hundreds of magnificent Monarch butterflies and take part in other Festival activities, along with shopping for unique arts and crafts from event vendors. 

COMING SOON: THE NEW EAST COUNTY GUIDE!

 

August 1, 2011 (San Diego's East County) -- Very soon, East County Magazine will be unveiling a very special guide to East County written by travel writers -- offering you tips of all the very best attractions and activities.  Watch our sneak preview 7-minute video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9xrwUQnymk


Sponsors needed! Call (619)698-7617 or e-mail editor@eastcountymagazine.org to learn how you can become a sponsor for one of our 10 "video adventures" for your region in East County. Each region will highlight the history, culture, and attractions. We will also have special sections for dining, lodging, wine tasting, activities, a shopping and services directory, seasonal favorites, festivals and events, and much, much more!

TEA TIME: JAMUL HAVEN OFFERS HIGH TEAS IN A CHARMING VICTORIAN INN

August 1, 2011 (Jamul) – A little-known but very special treat in San Diego’s East County can be found at Jamul Haven, an authentic Victorian-era bed and breakfast inn in Jamul, California. Built in 1899 as the home of “olive king” Charles Gifford, the elegant mansion later served as a stage coach stop.

 

FUNBELIEVABLE PROVIDES OFF-THE-WALL PLAY ADVENTURES FOR KIDS

 

"Seeing is believing!" Lynne McTurk, Funbelievable

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 20, 2011 (Lakeside) – Now there’s a place where you can let kids climb the walls—plus run, jump, and bounce to their heart’s delight. It's a great place to beat the summer heat and let the kids run wild. 

 

SAN DIEGO CHILDREN'S DISCOVERY MUSEUM MAKES BIG MOVE IN ESCONDIDO

 
  
July 13, 2011 (Escondido) --  San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum (SDCDM) announces a new home in historic downtown Escondido.  The new location has more than 12,000 square feet of space (half indoor, half outdoor) for educational exhibits and programming to serve tens of thousands of people annually.

BREEDING SUCCESS OF ENDANGERED MEXICAN WOLF AT THE CALIFORNIA WOLF CENTER

 
 
July 9, 2011  The endangered Mexican wolf received a much needed boost to its population this April as four pups (two males and two females) were born at the California Wolf Center.  
 

The Mexican wolf is one of the rarest land mammals in the world, with fewer than 50  in the wild and about 350 in the global population.

HORNS APLENTY: BIGHORN SHEEP NUMBERS INCREASE IN ANZA-BORREGO


July 8, 2011 (Anza-Borrego) –Dozens of volunteers braved 120-degree-heat at the annual four-day count of endangered Peninsular Bighorn Sheep in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park last weekend.

 

Participants reported good news—sighting 329 sheep. That’s the second highest count on record (after 356  in 2009) and substantially more than last year’s count of 255.

 

CAMPO, THE FORGOTTON GUNFIGHT BRINGS EAST COUNTY'S COLORFUL PAST TO LIFE

 

Campo, the Forgotten Gunfight by Bryon Harrington (www.CampoGunfight.com, 2009 Campo, 372 pp.)
 

Review by Miriam Raftery
 

July 3, 2011 (Campo) –Few San Diegans are aware that a Wild West shoot-out deadlier than the famed O.K. Corral confrontation occurred in our own East County.

 

A patron in a Tecate cantina overheard a notorious group of banditos boast of plans to rob the entire town of Campo, a frontier settlement near the Mexican border. So he rode north and tipped off the Gaskill brothers, owners of the Campo Store. The brothers asked San Diego’s Sheriff to send a posse for protection—to no avail. Left to fend for themselves with their lives on the line, the townspeople planned a defense. Then they mounted a vigil that lasted for weeks, until the fateful showdown on December 4, 1875. 

EXPLORING CEDAR CREEK FALLS’ NEW TRAIL

 

Story, photos and video by Elena Peña



June 29, 2011 (San Diego’s East County)--Nestled in between slopes in the Cleveland National Forest lies a gem known as Cedar Creek Falls, often referred to as The Devil’s Punch Bowl. A wondrous waterfall is the picturesque background to the swimming hole at the end of this approximately four-mile hike.  The location used to be accessed mainly from Julian.  But due to a newly revamped trail out of Ramona, it’s now more accessible than ever before--and more populated, especially on weekends and holidays. 

“AMERICA’S GOT TALENT” ACROBATIC TROUPE TO HOLD SHOWS AT SAN DIEGO ZOO SAFARI PARK

 

Story, photos and video by Miriam Raftery

 

June 30, 2011 (San Pasqual)--A talented troupe of Tanzanian acrobats is the newest attraction at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, performing Saturdays starting this weekend through late August.  

 
“We started in East Africa. We are all from the same village,” Konde Kalema, a member of the troupe, told East County Magazine. “We started when we were little, in school, watching Chinese acrobats and combining the Chinese arts with African traditions.”

ACCESSIBLE CABINS OPEN AT DOS PICOS REGIONAL PARK

 

Donated Dwellings Expand Camping Options at Scenic Ramona Getaway

 


June 9, 2011 (Ramona) --County Supervisor Dianne Jacob joined County staff and a local nonprofit donor Thursday to unveil two new cabins the public can now reserve at Dos Picos Regional Park in Ramona.The 200-square-foot cabins are designed to accommodate disabled users and the general public. They were donated by Cabins by the Lake, Inc., a local nonprofit dedicated to establishing accessible cabins around the region.

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