Best of East County

The Best of East County

GUESTS KICKED UP THEIR HEELS AT CAMPO CREEK VINEYARDS' PICKNG AND STOMPING PARTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 20, 2019 (Campo) – Guests kicked up their heels in more ways than one at the Campo Creek Vineyards first-ever Grape Picking and Stomping Party on September 7th

Wine club members and other visitors first got a taste of what it’s like to pick grapes, getting tips on harvesting ripe Pinot Noir grapes on the vines. 

Located on a cattle ranch that dates back to 1888,  the vineyard now has 10,000 vines and the winery produces hand-crafted wines, many with labels featuring cattle, cowboys and ranching themes.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S HISTORIC PLACES: BANCROFT RANCH HOUSE

By Donald H. Harrison

Reprinted with permission from San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

September 2, 2019 (Spring Valley) - Speculation was popular from the 17th through 19th centuries that Native Americans might have been descended from the Lost Tribes of Israel. In this community off State Route 94, there once lived a famous historian who was among those who investigated the Lost Tribe theory and then dismissed it as being fanciful.

500 TURN OUT TO PARTY ON THE HILL AT THE HEART OF MT. HELIX

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Twilight atop Mt. Helix during auction at HeART of Mt. Helix

 

August 16, 2019 (Mt. Helix) – More than 500 art aficionados, philanthropists, food and drink fans, and people who like to party turned out at the 12th annual HeART of Mt. Helix  The event benefits the Mt. Helix Park Foundation which maintains the stone-stepped amphitheater, historic cross, surrounding park and wildlife habitat atop the mountain.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S HISTORIC PLACES: SAN PASQUAL BATTLEGROUND

By Donald H. Harrison

Originally published at San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

Photo:  plaque overlooking battle area.

August 11, 2019 (San Pasqual) - When a U.S. Marine Corps detachment from the USS Cyane marched from the shore of San Diego Bay to the plaza in Old Town San Diego on July 29, 1846 and raised the American flag without serious challenge, thus ending  Mexican control over this city, someone must have thought, ‘Wait a minute! Isn’t this too easy?”

A SUMMER’S EVE TEA AT THE LAVENDER FARM

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 31, 2019 (Valley Center) – My daughter and I savored a soothing summer’s eve at Keys Creek Lavender Farm in Valley Center, partaking of an outdoor high tea on a shaded patio--an idyllic way to relax and indulge in some scrumptious treats.

After rambling down winding country roads, we arrived to be greeted with a hand-washing station complete with a lavender sugar scrub that left our hands not only clean, but soft and smooth.  I recommend arriving early to take a stroll past lavender fields, albeit past the peak spring bloom season.  

SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S HISTORIC PLACES: JULIAN

By Donald H. Harrison

Originally published at San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

Photo:  Julian Hotel, formerly Hotel Robinson

July 21, 2019 (Julian) - Whites who had been slaveholders and blacks who had been slaves contributed to the early history of Julian.  Today, in the colorful mountain town of gold mines, apples and antiques, both groups of people as well as other ethnic groups  are remembered and honored.

A MAGICAL PLACE: HUBBELL HOME, STUDIO AND GARDENS

By Miriam Raftery

July 13, 2019 (Julian) – A visit to artist and architectural designer James Hubbell’s property atop a hill overlooking the Volcan Mountain Preserve in Julian, California is an entry into a whimsical world, where buildings appear to have sprouted from the landscape, complementing curves and rugged forms in nature, punctuated by colorful stained glass, murals and more.

Every year on Father’s Day, the Ilan Lael Foundation opens up the property to the public for a tour of the property, where James and his wife, Anne, still reside.  I had the pleasure of taking the tour this year.

MECCA IN THE HIGH DESERT: JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

By Daniel Smiechowski

Spa exterior, restaurant and running pictures courtesy Daniel Smeichowski.  Spa water photo courtesy Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- As I drove east on Old Highway 80 about five miles to the I-east junction, I came upon a God-forsaken outpost of ramshackle homes, a trailer park, County library, elementary school, a few churches and a grocery store. What brought me here, however, was the iconic spa named after the town itself, the Jacumba Hot Springs Resort & Spa.

It seems like yesterday when my Mother and Father brought me here on a Greyhound bus from Milwaukee 54 years ago. In 1966, this spa served as a waystation for Greyhound bus lines. Interstate 8 did not exist in 1966 going through the El Centro corridor. But what was my real motivation in coming here? I came here for the sake of my beloved sport of triathlon. It was a match made in heaven. Mecca in the high desert. Blissfully sensual and healthier than 20 Spanish Pamplona bulls. Yes, I considered the extreme temperatures but common sense solved any dangers to the body and mind.

RAILWAY CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL

By Miriam Raftery

July 11, 2019 (Campo) – The San Diego & Arizona Railway, known as the “Impossible Railway” for the many challenges faced during its construction, is celebrating its 100th anniversary with two major centennial events on September 7 and November 16.

 

On Saturday, September 7, a Groundbreaking Festival will commemorate the 1907 groundbreaking of the railway, which took a dozen years to complete. 

Then on Saturday, November 16, a Centennial Celebration Day will include a reenactment of the 1919 golden spike ceremony, when John D. Spreckels drove in the final spike to complete the rail line in Carriso Gorge.

Both events will be held at the Campo Railroad Park & Museum operated by the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, a nonprofit organization. 

At the events, the public is invited to come and enjoy train rides, view vintage railway cars and unique railroad equipment including a 1902 steam pump engine, an operating scale steam train exhibit, plus food, drinks, souvenirs, commemorative program and fun for the whole family.

CAR SHOW REVS INTO LA MESA

Story and photos by Emily Alessio

July 6, 2019 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa’s classic car show is back! Whether you’re a hot-rodder or a lowrider, there’s something for everyone at this show.

 

The show and music event complete with bandsis now being held every Thursday night from 5 to 8 p.m. through August 29th. Classic cars line La Mesa Boulevard in the downtown village for the summer show season, sponsored by Johnny B’s Burgers, Brew, and Spirits. 

 

SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S HISTORIC PLACES: LEMON GROVE

By Donald H. Harrison

Reprinted with permission from San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

June 8, 2019 (Lemon Grove) - If you travel to Hamburg or Frankfurt in Germany, you’ll find that in neither place is a “hamburger” or a “frankfurter” a staple of local diets. Wouldn’t you think that in Lemon Grove, one could get a glass of fresh-made lemonade? Lido’s, a popular family-owned restaurant serving Italian food for nearly a half century, indeed has lemonade on the menu. However, the waitress advises, it’s not fresh-squeezed; it’s from a dispenser.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S HISTORIC PLACES: LA MESA'S WALKWAY OF THE STARS

 

 

By Donald H. Harrison

Originally published at San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

May 23, 2019 (La Mesa) - Between La Mesa Boulevard in the heart of this city’s business district and the Allison Avenue Municipal Parking Lot which serves as a venue for Farmers Markets held on Friday afternoons is an innovative walkway in which murals celebrate volunteerism and stars on the sidewalk honor local volunteers. This small urban mini-park is called The Walkway of the Stars.

SAN DIEGO HISTORIC PLACES: ADMIRAL BAKER FIELD, PART TWO

 

 

By Donald H. Harrison

Originally published at San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

May 9, 2019 (San Diego) - Who was the Admiral Baker for whom Admiral Baker Field with its two golf courses is named?

His son, also named Wilder Baker, replied in a telephone interview from Darien, Connecticut, that in the U.S. Navy, Admiral Baker perhaps was best known as the chief of staff to Admiral John S. McCain, whose grandson, John McCain, became a senator from Arizona and the 2008 presidential candidate.

SAN DIEGO'S HISTORIC PLACES: ADMIRAL BAKER FIELD, PART ONE

 

 

By Donald H. Harrison

Originally published at San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

May 9, 2019 (San Diego) - At Admiral Baker Field, home to two side-by-side golf courses, one anticipates an occasional “birdie” or an “eagle.” However, here you will also encounter herons, egrets, coots and other birds. The golf courses featuring a pair of artificial lakes created from the San Diego River also are frequented by deer, fox, coyote, bobcat and, very rarely, mountain lion.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S HISTORIC PLACES: MOUNT NEBO

 

 

By Donald H. Harrison

Reprinted with permission from San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

April 30, 2019 (La Mesa) - Sherman C. Grable, a Methodist from Ohio who evidently knew his Hebrew Scriptures quite well, purchased hundreds of acres of land here in 1906 and decided thereafter to offer to potential settlers a view that the Prophet Moses might envy.

SAN DIEGO'S HISTORIC PLACES: AEROSPACE MUSEUM ANNEX

 

 

By Donald H. Harrison

Originally published at San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

April 22, 2019 (El Cajon) - Near the northwest corner of Gillespie Field is an annex of the San Diego Aerospace Museum, where visitors can hear lore and legends about aircraft from people who, in some cases, made them originally or who are helping to  estore them to museum quality.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S HISTORIC PLACES: SANTEE LAKES

 

 

By Donald H. Harrison

Originally published at San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

April 19, 2019 (Santee) - As you feed the ducks in the Santee Lakes, or watch naval enthusiasts sail radio-controlled model battleships and cruisers on its waters, or picnic along its shores, you may not realize that you are standing at a venue that back in the 1960s was a sensation of the water reclamation world and a magnet for delegations from parched countries everywhere.

SAN DIEGO'S HISTORIC PLACES: LAKE MURRAY

 

 

By Donald H. Harrison

Originally published at San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

April 11, 2019 (La Mesa) - The 198-acre Lake Murray reservoir is a magnet for humans, animals and plants of all sorts. With a few notable exceptions, all are welcome, says reservoir keeper Gayle Havens and Friends of Lake Murray founder Barbara Cleves Anderson.

BLOOMS, BIGHORNS AND BUTTERFLIES





Superbloom season is in full swing



By Miriam Raftery

March 15, 2019 (Borrego Springs) -- What a glorious day in Borrego Springs!  The desert is in full bloom --- a huge contrast to just a few days go, when I last visited and found some early blossoms but not the spectacular flower fields now delighting visitors.  Something about frolicking in a field of flowers elicits pure joy. (Photos left and right, along DiGiorgio Road.)

MIGRATORY BUTTERFLIES FLUTTER ACROSS REGION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 13, 2019 (Borrego Springs) – This year’s super bloom season has brought an added bonus.  “Butterflies are gracing us with even more color,” says photographer Bob Kutscher, who snapped this image south of Clark Lake in the Anza-Borrego desert.  Swarms of the Painted Lady butterflies on their migratory path from Mexico are being reported across Southern California.

RAINS BRING EARLY DESERT WILDFLOWER BLOOMS: BOOKMARK THESE RESOURCES

 

 

East County News Service

January 22, 2019  (Borrego) -- Thanks to the rain, wildflowers are blooming early this year in the Anza-Borrego desert, according to Sunbelt Publications. If you’re planning to visit the Anza Borrego Desert State Park, these sites will provide updates on where and when to view those beautiful blooms:

BIRDS TAKE WING AT HAWK WATCH IN RAMONA

East County News Service

January 17, 2019 (Ramona) -- The Wildlife Research Center in Ramona will present “Hawk Watch” each Saturday in January and February.  This year the event will be held at the Begent Ranch in Ramona (18528 Highland Valley Road.)

Arrive at 9:30 a.m. for coffee and doughnuts before the program begins at 10 a.m. You will  meet birds of prey up close in the Ramona grasslands such as hawks, owls and eagles. Charles Gailband of Wild Wings, his apprentice, Spencer, and fellow falconer Cisco who bring their amazing raptors to share with the public.

A SPIRITED HOLIDAY CELEBRATION WITH EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE







By Briana Gomez

Miriam Raftery, editor of East County Magazine hosted a spirited holiday party on Sunday, December 16 at her home on Mt. Helix.

In attendance at our "Feasting and Merrymaking" celebration were staff members, board members, and volunteers for the non-profit publication, as well as community members who purchased tickets to support the online magazine.

GIFTS FROM THE EAST: OUR 2018 GUIDE TO UNIQUE LOCAL HOLIDAY SHOPPING

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 23, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Shop local this season to find unique gifts that reflect our East County communities and help support our local economy.  From hand-crafted wares to pampering products to delicious locally made delicacies, here are some hints to help you with your holiday shopping this season.

ANIMAL SERVICES RESCUES UPSIDE-DOWN COYOTE

 

A coyote is right-side up again after County Animal Services rescued her from a predicament that left her hanging upside down from a fence in Ramona.

The animal was apparently leaping the fence along a property on Royal Vista Drive Wednesday when her foot became caught. County Animal Services was called in after someone spotted the coyote hanging by one leg.

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.  

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