Ramona Stories

I Just Found Bigfoot

On an overcast January day in 2002, I plunged into the backcountry of East County, carrying a half-full pack and weathered walking stick. Hiking into the serene green of silence and solitude was my escape, ...

Dos Picos Park Nature Trail

Serene Dos Picos County Park, outside Ramona, nestles into East County’s sweet-smelling chaparral hillsides like a dewdrop caught in the hollow of a leaf. The name refers to two prominent mountain peaks nearby, though which ...

Ramona Will Have Its Green Jellÿ

“So far, Deicide is the only show I haven’t been able to move up here,” says Joe Troutman, who last week walked away from his four-year job booking the Jumping Turtle in San Marcos to ...

Black Canyon Bike Ride

Several back roads, some paved and some unpaved, strike off in various directions from Ramona, each offering splendid bicycle touring that doesn’t have to include tangling with snarling traffic on major roads. Black Canyon Road ...

Barnett Ranch & Luelf Pond

In the past couple of years, San Diego County has opened two new flora- and fauna-rich open-space preserves just south of Ramona. Both are key links in the county’s Multiple Species Conservation Program, which aims ...

Mountain View Community Church

The white church buses parked in the dirt lot outside Mountain View Community Church looked downright old-timey. The huge white church building rising up behind them was anything but. Inside was high and wide and ...

Black Canyon to Pamo Valley

The easy-going, mostly descending (450 feet of elevation gain/1200 feet of elevation loss), east-to-west, one-way walk or mountain-bike ride on the Santa Ysabel Truck Trail near Ramona is fine for a cool day in February, ...

First Congregational Church of Ramona

Ramona held its annual Christmas-tree lighting on the evening of December 13. At nine the next morning, the bell in the brown wood steeple above the First Congregational Church clanged out a summons to the ...

Feeding the Monster

Real estate developer Orrin Day, who has owned the Ramona movie theater on Main Street for six years, stopped showing films two years ago because people weren’t coming. So, he put the 6000-square-foot theater (built ...

Way Too Many People Live Out Here

hen development meets wild backcountry.

A lawsuit was filed in March of this year by five environmental groups — including the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club — stating that overarching land-management plans prepared by the U.S. Forest ...

There's Been an Accident. Jadean Didn't Make It.

March 6 started out pretty much like any other day. Work was busy. I got off a little late, went home, got in the shower, and when I got out, my son Marshal told me ...

Black Canyon

In Black Canyon, water amply illustrates its mindless yet artistic ability to sculpt stone. Every once in a great while, a gush of sediment-laden storm runoff tears through the canyon bottom, carving and polishing the ...

Backyard Bounty

"[To] buy a bottle of wine from me makes me a bootlegger. That's not right."

Passion vs. Permits

"Almost every winemaker [in Ramona] is either keeping his day job or is retired."

Spanish Horses, Spanish Wine

"People want the romance; they want the story of your winery, the story of your vineyard."

Dream Come True

"They want to have their own private label - the family wine."

Local Only

Like others before her, Gotfredson found selling San Diego wine to San Diegans a difficult business.

Get an eagle-eye view of the Julian-Ramona area from atop Eagle Peak's summit.

Standing tall amid lesser bumps on the west slope of the Cuyamaca Mountains, Eagle Peak has a view of the island-dimpled ocean, scattered parts of urban and suburban San Diego, and the higher mountains -- ...

New Godfather In Town

"My goal is to make California-class wines in Ramona."

Hike the West Side Road near Ramona to view the "Devils Jumpoff."

With a little hyperbole added, you might think of the upper San Diego River area as being San Diego County's "Little Yosemite." A number of waterfalls 100 or so feet high exist either on the ...

Who Killed Ramonastock?

"This is party central," says 20-year-old Jim Portinga of Ramona. "Everyone you talk to says, 'Where's the party?' There is a big drug epidemic up here. I would say 70 to 80 percent of the ...

Ramona Rising

"It's important to be able to name your dirt something."

Mount Gower Open Space Preserve, outside Ramona, rises from the ashes of the Cedar Fire.

The 1574-acre Mount Gower Open Space Preserve was hard-hit by the Cedar Fire of October 2003. Today, after the extraordinarily wet 2004-05 rainfall year and after a first wave of precipitation in the current rainy ...

Bound4Life, Ramona

"One-third of my generation is dead because of abortion. Forty-five million babies have been murdered," said Edgar Savage Brown III, 25-year-old founder of the local Bound4Life chapter. Bound4Life's website claims they are "a nonviolent revolutionary ...

Paternal Loam

“I was too stupid to know it was time to stop. All of a sudden, one day, I said, ‘There’s fruit on those vines!’”

Real World

“Not a garden, not a lawn, not a swimming pool — a vineyard.”

Riding high on the hoof in Ramona

While in Ramona on an escape from city life a year ago, I unexpectedly ran into an old friend, Karen Webster, on one of the town's back streets. She was on her horse. At first ...

Best of 2003: Best Place To See A Real Cowboy Bunkhouse

Guy B. Woodward Museum of Western Culture 1886 Verlaque House 645 Main Street, Ramona 760-789-7644 This a fascinating old French Provincial mansion filled with the history of San Diego cowboy -- not Spanish ranchero -- ...

Best of 2003: Best Picnic & Bird Watching Spot

Dos Picos County Park 17953 Dos Picos Park Road, Ramona Nestled between two mountain swells (Dos Picos is Spanish for two peaks) with boulders dotting the surrounding hillside, the picnic area in this remote state ...

Best of 2003: Best Rock Climbing

Mount Woodson Highway 67, 3 miles north of Poway Road Mount Woodson is a boulder-studded promontory rising between Poway and Ramona. Weathering and erosion have worked their will on the mountain's tough granodiorite bedrock, carving ...

Roadblock History

First it was a country/western restaurant and dance hall. When that failed, it became a biker restaurant called the Roadhouse. For the past year, the low white building on the west end of Ramona's main ...

They're Killing My Bird Right Now

Donna Heilman, manager of Birdland in North Park, takes no chances when it comes to protecting her store full of birds, from $5 finches to $10,000 macaws, which can live over 70 years. "We have ...

Thread your way around the giant boulders of Ramona's Cobbleback Peak better known as Mount Woodson.

Indians called it Mountain of Moonlit Rocks, an appropriate name for a landmark visible, even at night, over great distances. Later settlers dubbed it Cobbleback Peak, a name utterly descriptive of its rugged, boulder-strewn slopes. ...

"Big" Black Mountain outside Ramona offers a unique perspective of central San Diego County's geography.

San Diego County's "big" Black Mountain (not the smaller one looming above Rancho Peñasquitos) rises gently to an elevation of 4051 feet outside Ramona. A fire-lookout tower once stood on Black Mountain's summit, taking full ...

Explore the new Boden Canyon Ecological Reserve, outside Ramona.

Comely Boden Canyon, rich with live-oak woodland and nestled between baked hillsides redolent with the sweet fragrance of sage, has become a part of San Diego County's newest parcel of protected open space. The Boden ...

Pedal your fat-tired steed over 20 miles of pavement and rutted dirt road in and beyond Ramona's Pamo Valley.

Spared from the threat of being inundated by a large reservoir, Pamo Valley awaits a possible destiny of becoming one of the county's premier nature preserves. A large parcel of Cleveland National Forest land surrounds ...

Best of 2000: Best Worm Farm

Sharon's Worm World 310 Creelman Lane, Ramona (760) 788-4423 Buy a pound of worms from Williams, the biggest worm farm in the county, and you'll get maybe 1000 wigglers. Buy a pound from Sharon MacLachlan, ...

Best of 2000: Best Wargames

Velocity Paintball Park San Vicente Road and Warnock Drive, Ramona (858) 513-2778 Paintball battles -- stalking and shooting opponents with paint-loaded waterguns -- used to be common but are no longer staged indoors anywhere in ...

Best of 2000: Best Place For A Cyclist To Be Run Down Like A Dog On The Road

Highway 78 from Ramona to the San Pasqual Valley Pedaling north on Pine Street from Highway 67 in Ramona, it looks like it's going to be a nice ride. Once you pass EPS Lumber and ...

Visit the new Simon Park open-space preserve outside Ramona

Simon Park Preserve, a diminutive new patch of dedicated open space, has recently opened adjacent to San Diego Country Estates near Ramona. The preserve, which is maintained for wildlife habitat and light recreation by the ...

Explore serene Dos Picos County Park, between Ramona and Poway

Serene Dos Picos County Park, outside Ramona, nestles into East County's sweet-smelling chaparral hillsides like a dewdrop caught in the hollow of a leaf. On a recent weekday visit there, I spotted only a few ...

Venture off the car-clogged two-lane ribbon of Highway 78 and take a bike ride on Black Canyon Road near Ramona.

North and east of Ramona lie several back roads offering splendid late-spring bicycle riding for those who care to venture off the car-clogged two-lane ribbon of Highway 78. Black Canyon Road is perhaps the best ...

A walk along Santa Ysabel Creek near Ramona reveals the site of the never-built Pamo Valley Dam.

After flowing across the pristine, oak- and sycamore-dotted Pamo Valley north of Ramona, Santa Ysabel Creek cuts southwest down a steep gorge and finally emerges on the flatlands of San Pasqual Valley. In the '70s ...

The one-way hike from Black Canyon to Pamo Valley traverses pristine and isolated lands of the Cleveland National Forest near Ramona.

Arising on the west slope of the Volcan Mountains, Santa Ysabel Creek slides through Santa Ysabel Valley and soon enters the Lake Sutherland reservoir, northeast of Ramona. Once below the dam, water in the creek ...

Water splashes over small waterfalls at Black Canyon near Ramona.

In Black Canyon water has amply illustrated its mindless yet artistic ability to sculpt stone. Every once in a great while, a great gush of sediment-laden water tears through the canyon bottom, carving and polishing ...

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