Best of East County

The Best of East County

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.

RESTORING LAKE JACUMBA


By Howard Cook
 
February 3, 2012 (Jacumba)--Jacumba is located in San Diego County on Old Highway 80 next to the Mexican border, Imperial County and south of Interstate 8. Native American Kumeyaay called it Ahkum, which translates to bubbling water. Indeed, Jacumba is blessed with a bubbling spring and wells producing both hot (101 degree) and cold waters. The spring was always important for plant, bird and other animal wildlife. The Kumeyaay also utilized the spring for its water and heat. They would dam the spring outflow and create ponds. Later in the 1800s, early settlers were attracted for the same reasons.

HOW SWEET IT IS: OUR GUIDE TO THE BEST DESSERTS AND CANDY SHOPS IN OUR REGION

By Mia Myklebust

January 27, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Looking for something luscious for your special someone?  We promise you’ll love our guide to the most delectable treats in town! Whether you’re seeking candies, cakes, crepes or gelatos, we’ve found an appetizing array of choices.  Or surprise your heart’s delight with a special gift—such as candy-making class or a gourmet chocolate-of-the-month club.

Scroll down for these delicious options, and more "sweet" surprises.

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.
 

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