Ramona Stories

A conversation with Sandra Millers Younger

San Diego journalist and author talks about her new book and the trials of surviving the biggest fire in California history.

Sandra Millers Younger’s new book, The Fire Outside My Window, is slated for release in conjunction with the tenth anniversary of the Cedar Fire. That devastating natural disaster burned 280,000 acres, destroyed 2,800 homes, and ...

Green Valley Falls Loop

Easily accessible falls and multiple crossings of the Sweetwater River through chaparral, riparian, and meadow habitats.

Mt. Gower Open Space Preserve, South Route

Unusual rock formations, views, and a variety of landscapes and habitats make this one of the better hikes in the county.

Louis A. Stelzer County Park Trails

Hike from a tree-shaded riparian area to a mountain peak

The varied topography and ecosystems of Louis A. Stelzer County Park make this 420-acre reserve a delight to visit. It is situated along Wildcat Canyon Creek and includes the rocky hillsides, ridgeline, and a peak ...

Milagro Farm Vineyards and Winery

Grape escape from beach boredom

Listing price: $3,500,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 3 Lot size: 110 acres Has sunning on one of the coast’s pristine beaches become a bore? Is collecting cars a bit of a drag? For San Diego’s well-to-do ...

Ramona fights solar panels

Wrong project, wrong place

Some Ramona residents don’t like at all the plan to install 42 acres of solar panels on a neighboring property…mostly for aesthetic reasons, despite assurances, promises, and revised plans from the contractor.

Owl Serenade

A blogger who’s learned lessons from owls and people who have behaved like owls.

8 days. 750 miles.

Professional cycling’s uphill climb

Rundown of bicyclists who’ve been caught doping and the Tour of California bike race.

Quail Mutterings

The owl reminds an empty nester of loneliness.

Owl vs. crows in Ramona backyard

No one hurt

For the past month or so we've had an adult pair of great horned owls hanging around in our palm trees, usually right at dusk. On May 6, at around 1 p.m., and while it ...

Video: Eagle watch at Ramona Grasslands

Youngster to fly soon

For the first time in many years, according to the Wildlife Research Institute, a young pair of bald eagles are nesting and raising a single offspring. The eaglet is about one month old, according to ...

San Diego Spinners want to make sweater from sheep in eight hours

Last year it took more than eleven hours

Interviews with alpaca owners, spinners, and weavers who live in San Diego’s East County mountain region.

Ramona Unified School District board votes to cut teachers’ salaries

Disappointed crowd erupts in shouting

A meeting held Monday night, April 22, was a disappointment for Ramona’s teachers and many parents and students. In a 4-0-1 vote, the board passed a three-year agreement, retroactively effective July 1, 2012, and ending ...

Air traffic control tower at the Ramona Airport to close

How will they see wildfires in East County?

The threat of the federal government to close the air traffic control tower at the Ramona Airport has caused the County Board of Supervisors to protest. The Federal Aviation Administration had placed the Ramona tower ...

Bald eagles have landed in Ramona

A Ramona raptor hotspot attracts a pair of bald eagles.

Ramona – San Diego’s cheapest gas prices?

Gasoline Alley

Ramona’s main street, named Main Street, is where Highway 67 from the south merges into SR-78 coming in from Oceanside on the way to Julian and the desert. The eucalyptus on the west end of ...

County's most interesting sign is in Ramona

This is the most interesting highway sign in the county. For years I have been noting the political winds of change on the southeast side of Highway 78, about three miles east of Ramona. The ...

The Armourer of Ramona

Jeffrey Hedgecock, 43, of Ramona, makes armour. Think knights, Middle Ages, helmets, sallets, breastplates, gauntlets, faulds, greaves, poleyns, spaundlers, the whole deal, tip to toe. Making Medieval armour puts you in an exceedingly select guild. ...

Where God Is Always Happy

The doctor, on the phone, suggests to the patient that she breathe through her…posterior?

Ramona Grasslands Preserve

See hawks and other wildlife in this prairie habitat

Between Interstate 15 and the town of Ramona lies a new gem for San Diego outdoor enthusiasts. Only recently opened to the public, the Ramona Grasslands Preserve allows hikers, joggers, and horseback riders to explore ...

Stars gas station owner gets employees to burn his Ramona house

Debt. Arson. Murder.

John Nesheiwat was parked in his car, a rosary on the seat beside him, about a mile from the North Woodson Drive rental home owned by James Kurtenbach, a 4000-square-foot luxury house in one of ...

Dead, Tortured Dog Found in Ramona

My daughter and I went on a Sunday drive July 17 on Black Mountain Road. We came to a large flat rock and decided to get out of the car and sit in the sun...but ...

Simon Open Space Preserve

Simon Open Space Preserve, on the edge of the San Diego Country Estates housing development, is prototypical of other such parks and open-space preserves we’re likely to see established throughout the county’s rural areas during ...

Ramona Lutheran Church

Membership: 200 Pastor: David Keil Age: 61 Born: Los Angeles Formation: California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks; Concordia Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana Years Ordained: 35 San Diego Reader: Can you think of a time when you ...

Who Is This Winery in Ramona?

Dennis Grimes spends the first half-hour of every day “tending to Twitter, being a cheerleader” for Ramona Valley wine. From September 6 of this year: “94F today, 47F low & 83F tomorrow Ramona Valley AVA ...

Not Licensed to Fly

Ramona resident Kia Turner, 16, walked away from a single-car accident on San Vicente Road, just outside of San Diego Country Estates, on July 15. The accident occurred at about 6 p.m., when, according to ...

Through Swirling Dust and Thunder

Twelve young ladies gathered in Ramona on April 17 to vie for one of four positions on the royal court of the 2010 Ramona Rodeo season. Through the swirling dust and thunder of pounding hooves, ...

Into the Path

An accident involving two cars occurred at the intersection of San Vicente Road and Arena Drive on March 30. According to several witnesses, Barbara Bremer, 80, drove her Pontiac Grand Am into the intersection and ...

Emergency Overkill?

At approximately 1:15 p.m. on March 7, two cars were involved in a head-on collision near Ramona. An unidentified 19-year-old female lost control of her vehicle and veered into the opposing lane. The driver and ...


Alisa McVay and husband Tim Lehr left home in a hurry last week after SDG&E arborist Michael Daleo informed the couple that they were "in imminent danger" and needed to leave immediately. SDG&E, according to ...

I found Bigfoot above the San Diego River headwaters

Paleontologists let me down gently

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 ...

A mountain view of mission territory in Ramona

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 ...

Stop pushing development next to Cleveland National Forest

Way too many people live out here

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 ...

A rollover truck on Pamo Road in Ramona

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 ...

San Diego homicides from the first half on 2007

Man brings lover roses then shoots her

Shocked shoppers see a woman fall to her death from a parking structure at Parkway Plaza in El Cajon. Was she pushed? In Chollas View, a mother loses the second of her two sons to ...

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 ...