Best of East County

The Best of East County

TAKING A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY ABOARD A WORLD WAR II B-17

 

 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

October 9, 2018 (El Cajon) – Aboard an exhilarating flight on a World War II B-17G warbird named the Sentimental Journey, WWII veterans told spellbinding stories about their experiences as combat pilots and prisoners of war.  This peace-time flight out of El Cajon’s Gillespie Field was offered on October 1st  to members of the press and public, thanks to the Arizona Memorial Museum’s staff and flight crew.  

PHOTOS OF THE MONTH: SANTA YSABEL MISSION’S BICENTENNIAL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 29, 2018 (Santa Ysabel) – Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego presided over a mass on September 16, 2018, commemorating the bicentennial celebration of the Santa Ysabel Asistencia. The ceremony was held at the outdoor site of the historical Santa Ysabel Indian Mission,  recently discovered through excavation work.

Parishioners gathered for the outdoor religious ceremony, with music provided by St. Stephen’s, Valley Center.

After the service, the Bishop gave an episcopcal blessing to the restored “Our Lady of Visitation” shrine, at “Ellykwanan” (the Native American name for the Santa Ysabel area) honoring Mary, mother of Christ.

TOBY THE T-REX HAS NEW HILLTOP HOME IN LA MESA

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos provided by Jeff Phair

September 28, 2018 (La Mesa) – Last week,  San Diego Union-Tribune writer Karen Pearlman posted a photo of a Tyrannosaurus Rex metal sculpture that mysteriously appeared in La Mesa at the future site of the La Mesa Summit Estates, raising the question of why the giant dinosaur statue had suddenly shown up in the Jewel of the Hills, as La Mesa is known.

EXPLORE MORE AT RAMONA GRASSLANDS

 

 

Source: County News Service

September 28, 2018 (Ramona) -- The County has opened a stretch of trail in another section of Ramona Grasslands County Preserve. The Old Survey Road 97 Trail has been closed to the public due to many sensitive species including golden eagles that live and forage in the preserve. Now, the trail is available on a trial basis - to a limited number of people who pass a seasonal permit test - from 8 a.m. until sunset on Saturdays and Sundays now through Nov. 15. To visit, you must watch a quick video and take a short survey, confirming you understand the “dos” and “don’ts” of this unique wildlife habitat.  

BENGAL TIGER CUB JOINS WHITE TIGER AT LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS IN ALPINE

 

By Briana Gomez

August 5, 2018 (Alpine) - Moka, a Bengal-hybrid tiger club rescued from smugglers attempting to cross the border from Mexico into the United States, was released into the Tiger Trails exercise area with his new companion, Nola, last week at Alpine’s hidden gem, the Lions, Tigers, and Bears sanctuary. Nola, a young white tiger, was recently rescued in New Orleans.

HISTORIC HIGHWAY 94: TRAVELING THROUGH TIME

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 20, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – A trip along Highway 94, a state-designated historic highway, is like traveling through time—a place where you’ll find elements ot the region’s colorful past juxtaposed against new elements such as the region’s emerging wine industry, an Indian casino and golf courses.

ON THE ROAD ALONG A PASSPORT THROUGH TIME

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Robert Gehr and Miriam Raftery

 

June 24, 2018 (San Diego’s Est County) – Dozens of riders revved up outside Indian Motorcycles in El Cajon yesterday morning to start their journey on the  “Passport Through Time Fun Ride.” 

The event organized by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce took a caravan of motorcycles and other vehicles along a road trip that included stops at sights along historic highways 67, 78, 79 and 80. Indian Motorcycles served up a light breakfast and swag including free bandanas, cookies, a commemorative event coin, and a multi-use tool complete with flashlight, screwdriver, and level. Then with the sound of rolling thunder, the group headed off to begin a day of adventure.

Participants collected stamps in a special passport at pit stops along the way, enabling them to vie for prizes drawn at a lunch at the destination’s end at Por Favor Restaurant in El Cajon.

SAN DIEGO’S RIVER AND LAKES REGION: OUTDOOR ADVENTURES AND MORE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our guide to unique lodging and adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry

By Miriam Raftery

June 13, 2018 (Santee and Lakeside) – The Lakeside and Santee areas in San Diego’s East County encompass portions of the San Diego River Park as well as multiple lakes and reservoirs idyllic for fishing, boating, hiking, and birdwatching. Lodging options range from camping and cabins to a casino and spa resort on tribal land.  You’ll also find museums, a rodeo, racetrack speedway, breweries, nature preserves, parks, live theatre, modern shopping and quaint downtown district to explore.

There are wonderful getaway adventures to be found along local trails, ranging from easy hikes to mountain climbing, as well as fishing,  kayaking, canoeing, pedal boats, inner tube floats, rowboats and even places to bring jet skis and water skis.

RAMONA WINE REGION ALSO HAS PARKS, PRESERVES AND HISTORIC SITES TO EXPLORE

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

San Diego’s Ramona Valley has emerged as a nationally recognized wine region that also has a historic downtown district and beautiful natural settings including many parks, preserves and trails to explore. You’ll also find seasonal activities such as a musical festival, country fair, grape stomp, camel dairy festivals and holiday celebrations.

AT VINTAGE ALPINE, GUESTS SIPPED, SAVORED, AND RAISED $23,000 FOR CHILDREN’S CHARITIES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 23, 2018 (Alpine) – Amid the beautiful garden settings at Summers Past Farms in Flinn Springs, hundreds of guests at Vintage Alpine savored the flavors of foods from around25 local restaurants, over 40 regional wineries and breweries – all to support Alpine Kiwanis Club’s charitable efforts for local children’s causes.

DAY TRIPPING IN ANZA-BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK

 

 

Backcountry hidden pleasures:   Our guide to unique adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry

By Liz Orient

May 16, 2018 (Anza-Borrego) -- Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a unique destination for anyone looking for a fun day trip from San Diego. There are two classes of people: those who love the desert and those who hate the desert. I happen to be one who enjoys the bizarre plants, resourceful animals, and how the mountains change colors at sunset. I hadn't been to Anza-Borrego in several years and it was time to revisit one of my favorite places in California!

FARMER’S MARKET DEBUTS IN LA MESA’S DOWNTOWN VILLAGE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 4, 2018 (La Mesa) --  I took a trip into La Mesa’s downtown village today to check out opening day of the new Farmer’s Market, which has moved to downtown La Mesa along La Mesa Village.  The market is now operated by the La Mesa Village Association instead of the city, with a new farmer’s market company.

THE BEAUTY OF BORREGO

 

Backcountry hidden pleasures:   Our guide to unique adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry

By Miriam Raftery

April 24, 2018 (Borrego Springs) – Located in the heart of the Anza-Borrego Desert in the furthest east reach of San Diego County, Borrego Springs is a place where visitors are surrounded by nature, can stargaze in an internationally designated “dark skies” region, enjoy spring wildflowers, visit the largest state park in California, gaze at whimsical statues across the desert and also find cultural attractions from art shows to musical programs in a performing arts center.

LAKESIDE RIVER PARK FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES SPRING AND SUMMER CLASSES, ACTIVITIES

 

 

 

East County News Service

March 25, 2018 (Lakeside) -- Spring is here! The flowers are blooming, the trees are beginning to sprout new leaves, and the birds have begun to sing. TheLakeside River Park is offering a series of educational classes and workshops, most of which are free. Here are some upcoming opportunities, and you can find even more at the River Park’s website.

ANZA BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL DARK SKIES DESIGNATION

 

 

Backcountry hidden pleasures:   Our guide to unique lodging adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

Photos credited to ©Dennis Mammana/dennismammana.com

January 22, 2018 (Borrego Springs) – Night sky photographer Dennis Mammana made this announcement Friday on Facebook: “Proud to announce that our thousand-square-mile Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has just received its official designation as an International Dark Sky Park. That means that the Dark Sky Community of Borrego Springs is now completely surrounded by an official Dark Sky Park!”

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: ROCKIN' DOG

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 2, 2018 (Ramona) -- Recently, our editor's husband took a hike to Potato Chip Rock in the Mt. Woodson area near Poway with our Siberian husky, Juneau, who obligingly posed for photo ops.

The trail is about 7.5 miles and rated challenging; sturdy shoes are recommended for hikers. Dogs must be on leash and be sure to bring plenty of extra water if you bring your dog along. Start early, as the trail has very little shade.  Only dogs in good physical shape should be brought on this trail. 

HOLIDAY LIGHT PARADE, SNOW FESTIVAL DRAWS BIGGER CROWD

 

By Jo Moreland, Alpine-Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce

December 7, 2017 (Alpine) -- “Merry Christmas!”  That cheerful message was shouted often during the “22nd Annual Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights & Snow Festival” on Dec. 1 in Alpine.

VIEJAS ICE RINKS NOW OPEN: HOLIDAY ON ICE SHOW NOV. 11

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2017 (Alpine) – The largest outdoor ice rink in Southern California is now open for the season  (through January 28) at the Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine, transforming the grounds into a winter wonderland.  On Saturday, November 11, the rink will feature a Holiday on Ice  show and lighting of a large holiday see.

THE STARS HAVE LINED UP FOR PERFECT MOUNTAINTOP CAMPING CLOSE TO HOME IN SAN DIEGO

 

 

Backcountry hidden pleasures:   Our guide to unique lodging adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry

By Jack Riordan

Photo, left: The Desert View Trail at the Burnt Rancheria Campground is a very easy and dog-friendly one mile scenic loop through the campground to a rewarding view of the desert floor below.  Photo by Jack Riordan.

November 1, 2017 (Mount Laguna) -- Nestled in the pines, beneath a blanket of starlight, you’ll find Burnt Rancheria.  As part of the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area in the Cleveland National Forest, this lush east county campground sits at 6000 feet above sea level, offering dream-like mountain scenery, as well as an easy escape from the day to day life in the city.

GHOSTS, GHOULS AND GLOWING GAMES AT HAUNTFEST ON MAIN 2017

 

By Robert Gehr

October 21, 2017 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon held its sixth annual HauntFest on Main in downtown El Cajon last night, with a Ghostbusters theme this year.

I had a quite a time weaving through the crowds trying to capture the fun and energy I saw on the faces amongst everyone with my camera. There were literally thousands of people attending this ever-popular event, which can make it challenging to navigate around. One simply cannot be in a hurry to any particular destination.

FINDING JEWISH STORIES ON INTERSTATE 8

 

By Mimi Pollack

October 17, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- If you go to the website of the publication, San Diego Jewish World, you will see the motto, “There Is a Jewish Story Everywhere!” Owner and publisher Don Harrison delights in traveling, meeting people, and sniffing out those Jewish stories.

BLASTS FROM THE PAST AT THE LAGUNA MOUNTAIN RENDEZVOUS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Mark and Miriam Raftery

 

October 15, 2017 (Santa Ysabel) – The Laguna Mountain Rendezvous in Santa Ysabel continues this week through October 22nd, offering fascinating glimpses into the rugged skills of mountain men, frontiersmen and Revolutionary War era militia members. 

A TALE OF TWO OKTOBERFESTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 7, 2017 (El Cajon) – Crowds flocked to Oktoberfests in El Cajon and La Mesa for bratwurst, beer, and festivities. The two community events differed sharply, with the German-American club’s event at its headquarters in El Cajon focused on authentic offerings such as a German band and Bavarian pastries, while La Mesa added some international elements and carnival attractions.

ANIMAL TALES: SIBERIAN CUPCAKES IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Mimi Pollack

October 1, 2017 (Santa Ysabel) -- There are five luscious Siberian cupcakes residing near Santa Ysabel, on the way to Palomar Mountain. What are Siberian cupcakes? These are domesticated Russian foxes-- and this author was lucky enough to meet all five of them at the Judith A Bassett Canid Education and Conservation Center.

THEY’VE GOT RHYTHM: SYCUAN POWWOW 2017

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 15, 2017 (El Cajon) – The  28th annual Sycuan Powwow was held last weekend at the Sycuan reservation, drawing tribal members from across the U.S.   The grand procession and ensuing Native American dance competitions provided a panoramic vista of swirling colors and patterns, as participants clad in full regalia performed timeless steps to the accompaniment of pulsating drum rhythms.

A JUICY STORY: RAMONA'S FIRST GRAPE STOMP IS A SUCCESS

 

Video: Teams compete at the 2017 Ramona Grape Stomp Competition

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 10, 2017 (Ramona) – To the strains of songs like “Mountain Dew”,  teams of competitors vied to see who could crush the most grapes in two minutes and emerge champion at the first-ever Ramona Grape Stomp this weekend.

Teams chose names such as the “Juicy Lucys” or the “Toe Jammers.”  One team member stomped the ripe purple grapes, the other filled a cup with juice spurting out of a spigot on a wine barrel.

A Grape Stomp princess was also on hand to help officiate as contestants hopped in feet first, demonstrating their stomping skills on stage as the audience cheered them on with gusto.

HOT TIMES AT THE RAMONA COUNTRY FAIR CONTINUE THROUGH SUNDAY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

August 25, 2017 (Ramona) – Midway rides, crafts, critters, fair foods from funnel cakes to bacon-wrapped hotdogs,  kids activities and more are all part of the fun at the Ramona Country Fair, which continues tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.  From 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday you can also enjoy the Ramona Bluegrass Festivals on the Main Stage, plus a Gymkhana equestrian show in the arena from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

We visited  today, arriving to the aroma of slow-cooked, barbecued meats and the sights of butter slathered corn on the cob.

JUST A FEW TICKETS LEFT! LAUNCH OF OUR EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB AUG. 25



 

Premier Event:  August 25 at Fabrison's Country French Restaurant

13881 Campo Rd., Jamul

We still have a few spaces--and the restaurant has graciously allowed to take a few people at the door with checks to East County Magazine but please RSVP to be sure there is still room.   Reserve now for summer's hottest party! 619-698-7617 or 619- 303 8593 after 3 p.m.

August 3, 2017 (San Diego's East County) -- East County Magazine proudly announces launch of our East County Dining Club! 

We've pulled out all the stops for our launch party at the fabulous Fabrison's Country French Restaurant on August 25 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. We have thousands of dollars in prizes, a delicious all you can eat gourmet French feast, winetasting from the Toast of the Coast winning Deerhorn Valley Winery, music by "Diva" star Lenelle Wylie and more!

Try fabulous foods, win amazing prizes, bring your friends and meet new ones, plus help sustain nonprofit news in the public interest and wildfire/emergency alerts for East County.

Sign up for invitations to future East County Dining Club adventures to savor cuisines from around the world (and the best American foods, too!)-- all in East County.  Email editor@eastcountymagazine.org with "Dining Club" in the subject line.

Reservations and payment are required by Aug. 20 for this very special dining club launch party. See the delicious details below!

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