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Stories by Jerry Schad

San Diego Easter stories

Where to find an Easter Sunrise in San Diego County Whether or not you hold religious beliefs (Christian or otherwise), or you simply appreciate a fine, early-morning pilgrimage (Easter or otherwise), consider the following treks ...

April 10, 2020
Solana Beach: artists and developers

Solana Beach seeks electricity options Last month, Solana Beach announced the hunt for a service provider to help launch the county’s first local power program, which aims to curb greenhouse gases. This month, a war ...

Poway – city in the country

I Crawled Inside Brenda van Dam's Head and Tried to Guess What Went on in There Dad’s is probably the most famous barroom in America, at least this week, and what goes on here is ...

Mission Hills – don't be fooled

Book-lovers chew the fat at the Mission Hills Library His watch tells him 6:45. This Mission Hills branch stays open tonight — it’s Monday. He slaps the book closed, reshelves it, glances to his left. ...

Otay Mesa – so unsettled

Feds plan to make pond of Tijuana sewage Just how smelly are thirteen acres of raw sewage? Soon, very soon, we shall find out. Next Monday a federal agency is planning to start building an ...

December 23, 2019
Rancho Santa Fe – the most luxury homes in California

San Diego Polo Club site developed by Heaven's Gate Exclusiveness breeds itself, so it’s little wonder that when the San Diego Polo Club in Rancho Santa Fe needed a Web page designed, they turned to ...

San Carlos – nice two-story homes

The misbegotten children of San Carlos San Carlos in 1960 was a series of tract homes out in the boonies. There were plenty of hills, trails, and wilderness for a young boy to run wild. ...

Jamul – last bastion of civilization on the 94

Jamul Residents Wage Indian Blood Battle over Gaming Site The Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs is asking a lot of questions about the Jamul Indian Village. The government agency has launched an investigation to determine ...

Serra Mesa – outsiders easily get lost

New generations in Serra Mesa That first southbound walk home from Wegeforth Elementary, back in '68, was long and hot, each shadow on Mobley Street a refuge. For a transplanted fourth-grader, it was an arduous ...

Pine Valley – way past suburbia

We didn't have a street address in Pine Valley I took my children on a trip to my past. Friday after Thanksgiving, I herded Rebecca, Angela, Johnny, and Ben into our van. Lucy, who had ...

University City – UCSD's bedrooms

No trolley in my backyard A group of neighborhood conservationists in University City are hoping to put the brakes on a plan to extend trolley service from downtown San Diego's Santa Fe Depot to a ...

Idyllic Tierrasanta

East Shepherd Canyon East Shepherd, or Greenbelt, trail is interesting in all seasons, with a combination of native coastal sage scrub and nonnative plants in the canyon. Walk north on Santo Road for about 160 ...

Sleepy Descanso

Roberts Ranch Opens its Gates to Hikers Thanks to the crusading efforts of Descanso cabinet-maker Duncan McFetridge, affectionately known by some as the "Robin Hood of Cleveland Forest," two inholdings (islands of private property inside ...

Warner Springs – place of contention

The blackest of crimes committed against Warner Ranch Indians Lummis rode past sturdy, whitewashed adobe houses with thatched roofs. When he reached the center of the village, anxious eyes approached. The Cupeños were desperate for ...

Spring Valley – land of contrasts

Dictionary Hill in Spring Valley got its name from encyclopedia salesman One of the oddest things about the Dictionary Hill area, also known as La Presa, is the way the streets were laid out on ...

Del Cerro – in the shadow of Adobe Falls

Adobe Falls lovers pin hopes on Sally Roush Frost spoke of a “battle against the internet,” which continues to draw people to the area. “As of this morning, there were 7132 Instagram pictures of Adobe ...

Allied Gardens – a fight for serenity

Superior Ready Mix dusts Allied Gardens “We sweep the streets three times a day, at 4:00 am, mid-day and then mid-afternoon. We paved the interior street that is the extension of Princess View several months ...

Mortero Palms

From the trailmaster’s favorites folder. "Limmipedes,” my three-year-old son called them, those many-legged survivors from the Mesozoic era, marching across the sand in seemingly random directions, oblivious to our flashlight beams. Our land of limmipedes, ...

July 27, 2011
End of the Trail

I began writing the Reader’s “Roam-O-Rama” column on January 28, 1993, with a description of a wild and lonely campsite in the Anza-Borrego Desert called Mortero Palms. This “Roam” column, my 861st, is the last ...

July 6, 2011
San Diego Zoo Loop

For a bit of morning exercise, especially if you’re a local San Diegan, consider this quick jaunt at the San Diego Zoo — a place not normally thought of as a hiking destination. Get there ...

June 29, 2011
Imperial Beach Walk

Imperial Beach’s beaches are not as glamorous as others farther north, but they do include some very secluded stretches of sand, including the one described here, lying within the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge. To ...

June 15, 2011
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 ...

June 8, 2011
Lewis Falls

The recent opening of Highway 39 high above Azusa, after years of repair, allows hikers and campers to once again enjoy the beautiful Crystal Lake Recreation Area. Troubles began with the destructive Curve Fire of ...

June 1, 2011
Two Little La Jolla Parks

The La Jolla Heights Open Space clings to a patch of chaparral-clad hillside overlooking the village of La Jolla. Pottery Canyon is essentially a secluded ravine, right off busy Torrey Pines Road. Both are small ...

May 25, 2011
Gaslamp Quarter

Formerly San Diego’s “skid row,” downtown San Diego’s core historic area was reborn in the 1980s under a new name: the Gaslamp Quarter. Actually, gas lamps were never used for outdoor lighting in San Diego ...

South Fortuna Mountain

Mission Trails Regional Park’s 1291-foot-high South Fortuna Mountain is one of several summits of similar stature stretching from Cowles Mountain in the south to North Fortuna Mountain in the north. It’s easy to understand why ...

May 11, 2011
Chiquito Basin

If you want to spot wildlife, the earlier you make the hike to Chiquito Basin, the better. One morning, in the soft wet ground along the way, I discovered fresh tracks of a deer and ...

May 4, 2011
The New Flume Trail Out of El Monte County Park

The County of San Diego’s brand-new Flume Trail linking El Monte Park to Blossom Valley is hardly flat, as the name “flume” might imply. On the contrary, it darts relentlessly upward on a zigzagging route, ...

April 27, 2011
Find Coast Redwoods in Balboa Park

Balboa Park’s trail system is just about complete. After several years of planning and implementation, five trail “gateways” are in place, and a total of 19 trails emanate from those gateways. Throughout the park, sprucing ...

April 13, 2011
Potrero Regional Park

Potrero Regional Park hides in a spacious, live-oak-covered corner of Potrero Valley, near the forgotten south-county hamlet of Potrero — east of the Tecate turnoff and west of Campo. The word potrero is Spanish for ...

April 6, 2011
The Embarcadero

San Diego’s Embarcadero, the place of departure and arrival for vessels as small as fishing skiffs and as large as ocean liners, defines the city’s connection to the watery worlds of San Diego Bay and ...

East Tecolote Canyon

Rustic signs along some of Clairemont’s and Bay Park’s major streets call attention to one of the oldest designated open-space parks in San Diego: the 900-acre Tecolote Canyon Natural Park. The park’s unpaved service roads ...

March 23, 2011
Sheep Canyon

Remote Sheep Canyon, secreted in the middle reaches of Coyote Canyon in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, features some of the most rugged yet beautiful terrain in San Diego County. The canyon has two main forks ...

March 16, 2011
Lake Jennings

Your impression of Lake Jennings may be strongly colored by the season in which you choose to visit it — a not-unusual circumstance in many of San Diego County’s inland, low-elevation locales. Summer’s heat and ...

March 9, 2011
Upper Aliso Canyon in Chino Hills State Park

The sprawling Chino Hills State Park east of Los Angeles offers 14,000 acres of open space for hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers to roam (note: dogs are not welcome). Unfortunately, the November 2008 “Freeway Complex ...

March 2, 2011
A Safari Experience in North County

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park (in case you didn’t know, it’s the former Wild Animal Park) in Escondido sprawls over an 1800-acre expanse chosen for its resemblance to Africa’s most productive wildlife areas. Make ...

February 23, 2011
Anza-Borrego's Pinyon Ridge

Like caterpillars marching to their own drummers, the rock-ribbed mountain ridges of the Anza-Borrego Desert nose this way and that, eventually finding their roots in the sand-drowned valleys sloping downward into the Salton Basin. The ...

February 9, 2011
Vernal Pool Trail in the Santa Rosa Plateau

One of the largest vernal pools in California (39 acres at maximum capacity) lies in a shallow depression atop near-flat Mesa de Colorado, in southwest Riverside County’s Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve. Small vernal pools ...

February 2, 2011
Historical Walk in Balboa Park

The 1915–16 Panama-California Exposition site in Balboa Park is renowned among San Diegans for its incomparably beautiful Spanish-Moorish buildings, its gardens, and the graceful Cabrillo Bridge. That area is the primary destination of the walk ...

January 26, 2011
Stanley Peak in Daley Ranch

The recent purchase of a parcel of land on the east border of the Daley Ranch preserve in Escondido ensures that hikers can now visit boulder-dotted Stanley Peak, a summit that formerly lay just out ...

January 19, 2011
Anza Borrego's Coyote Mountain

The desolate ridge of Coyote Mountain rises like the dark, furrowed flank of an elephant over the sand-drowned Borrego and Clark valleys in the north part of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Scattered amid slabs of ...

January 12, 2011
Upper Las Virgenes Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains

On the Upper Las Virgenes View Trail, you look down upon the emerald-green (currently, at least) upper drainage of Las Virgenes Creek, a tributary of Malibu Creek whose tentacles reach north into the Simi Hills. ...

January 5, 2011
Del Dios Gorge

On its roughly 50-mile course from the mountain crest near Julian to the beach at Del Mar, the combined Santa Ysabel Creek/San Dieguito River courses through several steep and narrow canyons. The lowest of these, ...

December 29, 2010
Indianhead in Borrego Springs

Indianhead, a 3990-foot promontory perched along the north wall of Borrego Palm Canyon, juts dramatically from the desert floor near Borrego Springs and the Anza-Borrego Desert visitor center. There are several true mountain-climbing routes to ...

December 22, 2010
San Diego's Green Flash Phenomenon

Crystal-clear skies are visiting us again, as Santa Ana winds swoop down intermittently from the northeast, as cold winds blow from the north, or as high pressure invades the county and lingers here for a ...

December 8, 2010
East Balboa Park

Balboa Park’s easternmost section, aligned with 28th Street, isn’t well known among most San Diegans, let alone tourists. North Parkians, South Parkians, and Golden Hilliers, along with local golfers, do know of several out-of-the-way features ...

December 1, 2010
La Jolla Shores Has It All — Surf, Sand, and Sea Creatures

For beachcombing, tidepool exploration, and all-over suntanning, the coastal stretch north of La Jolla Shores can’t be beat. This coming winter’s extreme low tides (typically a tide of -1 foot or lower) are especially conducive ...

November 23, 2010
Myer Valley in the Jacumba Wilderness

Have you ever driven down Interstate 8 east of Jacumba and, eyeing the immense boulder piles that rise on both sides, wondered what it would be like to clamber over them? Here’s your chance. Follow ...

November 17, 2010
La Tuna Traverse in the Verdugo Mountains

The 1100-acre La Tuna Canyon Park, basically an open-space area with minimal picnic facilities, drapes over the north-facing slopes of the Verdugo Mountains near Glendale. On this trek, which is perfect for a cool late ...

November 10, 2010
Maple Canyon to Banker's Hill

With quaint footbridges spanning two wooded ravines, scores of historic homes, plus mature landscaping, Banker’s Hill speaks to historic elegance and the preservation of nature. The following short ramble through canyon bottom and along quiet ...

November 3, 2010

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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