Mountain Empire Magazine
Mountain Empire Issue 1
Live Oak Springs Resort

Live Oak Springs Resort

There is a popular bumper sticker, seen all throughout San Diego County, that reads "Where the Hell is Boulevard?". That bumper sticker aptly shows the situation of many small back country communities. Other than the local residents, and their friends, no one has ever heard of their town. This is particularly true of any town off the main highway or past Pine Valley in San Diego County, California.

Typical destinations in this area for the ever popular "Sunday drive" are Alpine, Julian, Pine Valley, Mt. Laguna, and sights in between. Ask one of these Sunday drivers what is past Pine Valley and your answer is usually "El Centro". But there is much more past Pine Valley than the next major city. There are many camping, hiking, and other recreational areas. Restaurants are available for a good country cooked meal or a fine dinner. There is also fishing, hunting, and other outdoor activities. There is also just plenty of good old beautiful countryside to admire on that Sunday drive.

Pine Valley - A Mountain Oasis

Pine Valley - A Mountain Oasis

Nestled in a valley surrounded by rolling hills and towering peaks reaching 6,000 feet . . . rocky knolls amidst a river of trees that flow through the valley and greet the slopes of the adjacent mountains . . . an Eden amidst the dry, parched chaparral . . . an oasis dense with pines, manzanita and centuries old oak trees that once shaded only the Indians that inhabited the region: "El Valle de los Pinos", as this beautiful mountain valley was known before 1869, describes the abrupt change in scenery that only nature can explain. The surrounding desert terrain compliments the unique valley of over 1,200 acres where cedars and pines flourish amidst lush green meadows of sage and wild lilac.

Early settlers of the region included the Cocopah and Coyote Indians and later the Machados family of Old Town who had come to California as pioneers in the late 18th century. For a number of years, Don Manuel Machado and his wife, Serafina Valdes operated a cattle grazing station and lived out of a Adobe house they had built. During the summer, thin and starved longhorn cattle were brought in to fatten up in the rich pastureland.

Tierra Del Sol

Tierra Del Sol
Land of the Sun

Take a trip down a country road and discover the history, the places, the people, and the life of Tierra Del Sol.

Tierra Del Sol translated from Spanish means 'The Land Of The Sun'. To find this place you will have to travel to Boulevard, which is about 75 miles east of San Diego. Tierra Del Sol is the name of both a road and a town. In this story we will, together, take a journey on that road, visit the town and people of Tierra Del Sol and discover a bit of back country history.

To find Tierra Del Sol Road drive west on I-94 from Boulevard. The first sight after turning south on Tierra Del Sol Road is a sea of gigantic propellers suspended on tall monolithic towers. This area is a mecca for commercial windmills (more accurately described as wind powered electricity generators). On some days, when almost all the windmills are in operation, it makes one feel as if they were at a large, silent airport. There are a number of Commercial Windmill Farms in this area and some are testing new types of wind driven devices. Even with windmills, one of mans most ancient forms of harnessing nature's energy, modern technology is involved.

Country Castle in the Sky

County Castles in the Sky

There are as many different reasons for living in the mountains of East San Diego County as there are people. Many people come here to "get away from it all," enjoy the fresh air, the wide open spaces, and the relaxed living style. in the city if you move to a new area you simply search for a house in your price range. When moving to the country there are no new housing tracts to choose from and when compared to the city the selection of available housing is limited.

So, what do people moving out to the country do? They come in trailers or mobile homes with truckloads of lumber they soon plan to call home. The completed homes will vary greatly. Some people simply bring mobile homes, other start with build-it-yourself kits (log homes, domes, prefab, etc.), some build from elaborate custom plans, and others from no plans at all.

Pine Owl Knob-Cone Pine

Pine Owl

A wise old owl sat in an oak
The more he saw, the less he spoke—

THIS OWL, however, got his start in a pine tree. It was a knob-cone pine—a rather scrubby conifer of the rocky slopes of the coast ranges in California. The slender cones are woody-hard and colored like fresh-roasted coffee, They are tenacious things, often staying on the branches till increasing diameter-growth thrusts them off or, failing in that, envelopes them in wood.



Softly, quietly,
The Yuletide snow falls in crystal flake;
Naked little shrubs clutch to their hearts
Thin shreds of winter's beauteous cloak.
The brook pauses,
Then draws a long glistening robe
Snugly to its throat.

Regular Columns...

Camp Lockett History

Fact, Folklore, & Legend

Interesting facts about the Mountain Empire area of East San Diego County:

Tierra Del Sol:

In the early 1940's the town of Tierra Del Sol was known as Hi-Pass. that name dates back to when Mr. Spreckles, of San Diego, was building the railroad thru this area. The site of Hi-Pass was the highest point of the rail line. later, in the latter part of the 40's, the new owners of Hi-Pass had the idea of developing the area with solar powered electricity and hot water.

Camp Lockett History

Country Gardening

Xeriscape (zeer-ih-scape) is a landscaping method that uses low water and drought tolerant plants, efficient irrigations systems and watering techniques, and proper maintenance, while at the same time creating a green and colorful garden. Xeriscape is also a water conservation concept that involves landscaping with drought tolerant plants that are suitable to the local climate or native to the region and then watering the plants the right way. Since water is often a limited resource in country areas, particularly the Southwest, Xeriscape is a valuable method of landscaping.

Country Tales

Country Tales

One time or another, I'm sure your household, like mine, has resembled the San Diego Zoo, Seaworld, and Wild Animal Park, all stuffed between the pages of Alice in Wonderland.

Richie, the first heir to my fortune, is one of those weird scientific types, who over the years has collected, examined and studied just about every critter that crawls, flies, walks, or slithers. At the present time, our house guest, among others, include contrictors, or more familiar boa constrictor, AKA Crunch. He lives in a huge aquarium in Richie's bedroom, and dines on rats from an inexhaustible supply on the patio.

Brian, the second heir to my fortune, is the more practible type, who also has pets he keeps in the garage. They are the two wheeled species that eat gas and oil. Occasionally they try to eat Brian.

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