Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | December 1, 2009

What do you love about Palomar?  How about the views?  You see Point Loma out there with the San Diego skyline and islands dotting the Pacific – so close and yet so far away –  up here in the beauty of the Four Seasons! Have a message to go out?  Simply send it my way.   If you don’t see it posted within 24 hours, please reach out to me. Glad to keep the news heading your way about our favorite mountain!  
Bonnie Phelps,  Palomar Mountain News Editor since 1998
and Palomar Mountain Real Estate since the beginning of the Century!
Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | December 4, 2022

Need an Electrician?

Paul Donica saved the day! He lives in Valley Center and loves to come up to Palomar. We were so pleased with his professionalism, service and such a pleasure to deal with. Five Stars!!!

Give Paul a call for all your electrical needs 760-207-4417

Like to search for something on Palomar Mountain News? Maybe you’d enjoy scrolling through the archives? You can also subscribe and the news of your favorite mountain lands right in your Inbox. Simply check out PalomarMountainNews.

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | December 4, 2022

4 View Acres with 4 Bedroom Home For Sale

Come away to the Cuca Ranch. Look up to see the occasional beauty of snow capped Palomar Mountain in the winter with a bit of a dusting for you.

Wake up every morning to beautiful sunrises and wind down in the evenings watching the sun set over the valley. Do you work from home? Great internet awaits. Would you like a place for the kids to run around and play in the big outdoors? How about your own well for a farm? Or, are you a car buff? Lots of room to add garages, an ADU or two, a big barn or whatever would make your dreams come true.

Click for all the details and we’re glad to open the doors.

Nathan Phelps, Broker 619-576-1826

Bonnie Phelps, Realtor 760-533-1742

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | December 1, 2022

No Music tonight!

The Smith Mountain Boys had to cancel their concert at Lazy H tonight. Dutch has that bad flu bug going around. So we’re all staying in and hope to see you at one of the other concerts real soon.

Get better quick, Dutch!

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | November 29, 2022

Smith Mountain Boys and their Guitars

Over the last five decades, mountain men Dutch Bergman and Bruce Druliner have been strumming their guitars and singing along.

The first time we heard them sing was about 1975. Thompson’s Summit Grove (now Mother’s Kitchen) had Saturday Night Steak Dinners for $3.95. True story. But, it wasn’t just the great dinner that drew so many people to the mountain on those summer nights. Being locals, we knew to show up early as there was always a long line outside to get served and enjoy the fun music with the band.

About once a month we still have a great time meeting up with friends at one of the venues.

Looks like we’ll be at Lazy H this Thursday with other mountain friends. Like to carpool? Share our table? Love to have you. Just let us know.

You have three options for December:

December 2022 Smith Mountain Boys Gigs from Denise Bergman

Thursday, December 1, 2022
5:00pm – 8:00pm
Lazy H Ranch      
Pauma Valley, CA 
email =
**Reservations recommended by email

Friday, December 16, 2022
6:00pm – 9:00pm
Heroes (formerly Wynola) Pizza
Julian, CA 

Saturday, December 31, 2022
6:00pm – 9:00pm (9pm Borrego midnight)
American Legion Post 853
Open to the Public !!  New Year’s Eve 
Borrego Springs, CA 

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | November 29, 2022

Cement Mixer For Sale

Many of you know Bruce Graves, he poured a lot of cement from this mixer but has taken up other projects these days. So, now it is YOUR turn. Would you like to make it yours? Give Bruce a call 619-444-1227 and he’ll make you a deal. Please call after 6 am and before 6 pm.

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | November 29, 2022

Movie and Cookies at Bailey’s Resort

Tom Mendenhall, Operations Manager at Bailey’s Resort, is inviting the community to an evening of old-fashioned fun.

Bundle up and meet up at the historic Bailey Dance Hall. It will be a delightful evening to enjoy a private showing of the Christmas classic, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.

The Resort is hosting the fun get-together. We are all invited to make up a batch of our very favorite cookies to share. You can enter to win a cozy Bailey’s fleece throw. How fun is that!?!

Directions: State Park Road to Bailey Meadow Road. Drive to the end and you’ve arrived!

Saturday, December 10th from 6pm to 8pm

Thank you Baileys! We’re going through our recipes!

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | November 23, 2022

Lots to be Thankful for!

Would you like to join us ’round our table for Thanksgiving tomorrow? This is a real invitation. Realizing most of you have big plans, just wondering if anyone might be by yourself or maybe not motivated to cook this year and like to come on over. We have a few last minute extra seats. We’d love to have you with other mountain neighbors for our favorite holiday.

There is something very special about living on this beautiful mountain. This has been our home for 27 years now. The View from my Desk could never grown old. Love the four seasons, lifestyle and all our wonderful friends. I often say being on Palomar is like going back in time a hundred years or so. Simpler times.

If turkey, all the fixings, pies and of course eggnog (‘Milk of Human Kindness’ for all you Scrooge fans), interests you, we have a place for you.

Happy Thanksgiving to All,

Bonnie and Don


Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | November 23, 2022

Hutch’s Hidaway Cabin History

Properties I’ve had the pleasure in selling since the beginning of the century have some stories to tell. Thought I might share a bit. Just thinking about a cabin that sold a few months back. It sold it for the fifth time and it has quite a fun history:

An old scrapbook was hidden away with the first page dated 1952. (No, I didn’t sell to them … that was the year I was born!!!) Click to see a sketch of their cabin, ‘Hutch’s Hideaway’ and read some delightful guest entries. I’m guessing they sold to a very nice couple I had the pleasure in meeting one day, Harold and Marie.

About 20 years ago on a Sunday afternoon, we’d just gotten home from church and I needed to run out to Birch Hill. Driving along, there was a little couple standing outside their cabin, holding hands. They looked like your favorite grandpa and grandma. We’d never met, so I pulled over to say hello. They hadn’t contacted me at all but were expecting me and introduced themselves as Harold and Marie Overgagg. “We knew you’d come, we’d like to have you sell our cabin”.

So sweet, they shared wonderful stories about how much they enjoyed their time on Palomar and all the friends they’d made over the years. Oh, their vintage furniture was so charming. The sofa and rocker were a split wagon-wheel style, covered in naugahyde. They were very proud to tell me that they purchased the set from ‘Sears and Roebucks’. It looked just like new.

Artist, Gail Rose was their buyer. She saw the potential to design the perfect places to show off her leaded glass windows, add beautiful hand-made tile and breathe in new life to this little gem she named ‘Mountain Rose’. Her next door neighbor and our Mountain Contractor, Tom Fortney, waved his magic hammer, doubling the size, and making the cabin a charming getaway.

Gail lived there about 10 years or so and moved out of state when she sold to Dick and Pat. After escrow closed, they told me they had a company do a feasibility study on vacant land across from their cabin. They wanted to buy the land and build out on the rim. The Rose was so close and they had such a great time walking back and forth, watching the construction. They also had fun updating the cabin with new flooring and some big picture windows to enjoy the views even more.

When Dick and Pat moved to their new home, their buyer, was so pleased to move to Palomar because of the ‘dark sky’ as he was a star enthusiast. However, his commute to work off the mountain, got a little much so he sold to John Washburn, the most recent seller. It had been 10 years since the remodel, so John had quite a bit of work done with repairs and new paint. One fun discovery with all the cleanup, was a pretty nice, vintage sidewalk and stone edging that saw the sun for the first time on my shift the past 22 years.

So, why did John want to move? He came over wanting to talk about ideas to add on to his house. He was dreaming of a garage, workshop, enlarging the kitchen and adding a master bedroom downstairs, too. He really appreciated the craftsmanship of his home so asked my opinion on having Tom take on his remodel. I said, “You should buy Tom’s place! He has been talking about selling for years! It has everything you have on your wish-list including a great garage and you wouldn’t have to live in a construction zone!”

Well John was curious about his idea so went ahead and had Tom take a look. They went over some options then Tom said, “You should buy my place instead!”

Now the rest is history. We sold John’s home to a nice young family (stay tuned!) and he packed up and moved next door!

Yes, Real Estate is always interesting on our favorite mountain. Ah, the adventures on Palomar!

Always glad to connect to do my part to help with the new chapter in your life.

Bonnie Phelps, Realtor and Storyteller

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | November 19, 2022

Three concurrent escrows had everyone running!

Recently I ran to take pix of my newest listing. The sun was slipping in the sky. I had to slow down a moment to appreciate the beautiful setting and just breathe…

Here is the latest fun that had us out of breath!

So many potential new neighbors and investor buyers were intrigued with the 9 acres for sale on South Grade. It is the listing with the 100 year old home, purchased for $1.00 and brought to Palomar in two pieces. Crestline neighbors decided to make an offer but it would be contingent on selling their cabin to own that Rim-of-the-World view!

Well, a client came to see cabins. Joseph loves Palomar. After years on the coast, he really wanted to live in the forest. I showed him what was active and then realized my new-listing-in-the-wings might be perfect. He fell in love with that view, too. He wanted to make it his own, but his purchase would be contingent on selling the home he inherited in Oceanside:

We called Nathan (my broker and son) who was on his way back from another run to Missouri. Nate met up with Joseph a couple days later, listed the house and had a ton of offers. We recently closed concurrent on his Oceanside property and his home on Palomar!

So, we have some happy sellers and buyers. Rim-of-the-World folks are finishing up their due diligence real quick:

Oceanside Fixer Sold!

Crestline View Home Sold!

South Grade Rim-of-the-World PENDING!

Like your property sold? We’ve teamed up 24/7 these days and on a roll.

Let’s connect, and get your questions answered.

Bonnie Phelps, Realtor, with son Nathan-my-Broker, too!

On the Mountain 760-742-1742

Out and About 760-533-1742

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | November 19, 2022

Hello again! Palomar Mountain News is back!

It’s long story. ‘Operator error’ locked me out of one of my favorite hobbies; editor of PMNews. Trying to resolve it myself was not working. A few weeks ago I got a notice from WordPress about updating my charge card to pay the annual fee. Finally I had a source to get into their customer service and walk me through how to be up and running again. They wanted their $$$ and there is so much waiting to share. All is well! We have a lot of catching up to do since my last posting about 5 weeks ago.

For those of you off the mountain, our neighbor, Jim Hamerly reported 10 inches of rain last week! We had a lot of wind too, but still enough leaves on the trees yesterday for beautiful fall color photos.

This SD Union Tribune article popped up recently. The Mountain News had it’s beginnings in 1998 and then way back in 2003, it was a fun day to have Cheryl Walker come up to interview me for her story, below. Soon after, it was getting more and more complicated to email to over 2000 subscribers. Finally in 2009 I got shut down as a spammer and set up on wordpress. This post today will be number 2586, sharing the news about our favorite mountain.

Cheryl tells some of the back story with comments by a few of you that were subscribers a couple decades ago:

The San Diego Union-Tribune

Town Focus Palomar Mountain – Wired Wilderness

E-mail broadcast keeps cabin owners up on Mountain News

Bonnie Phelps started an e-mail broadcast of Palomar Mountain News that goes to more than

500 property owners and residents.     By Cheryl Walker, January 2003,  Community News Writer

Palomar Mountain — Bonnie Phelps enjoys a slower–paced life on Palomar Mountain. But when it comes to communicating with her neighbors, it’s fast and easy with e-mail.

In 1998, Phelps casually started an e-mail broadcast that could be viewed as an electronic newspaper. It allows her to let cabin owners on and off the mountain know about Palomar’s news.

I thought it would be fun to do,” she said. “I thought I’d probably end up with 30 e-mail addresses, but to my amazement, it goes out to more than 500 property owners and residents. We have cabin owners around the United States as well as other places in the world. One owner currently lives in Saudi Arabia (Bobby Dahl), and there’s another family in Antigua (Curt and Barbara Waite).”

Phelps and her husband, Don, bought a house on the mountain in the 1970’s. Don Phelps was the last Resident Deputy Sheriff in that area. Later they sold the house and moved to Escondido. In 1998, they decided to move back to the mountain, buying back their previous house. Now, she works out of her home as a real estate agent.

“We love the mountain,” she said. “It’s a life that’s a step back in time. I love the four seasons, the smell of a wood fire burning, and I can see deer or turkeys from my window usually several hours a day.”

Phelps as well as other people living on the mountain found communicating by e-mail especially helpful during trying times such as bad weather or an emergency.

“It was the LA Jolla Indian Reservation fire in 1998 that really expanded my e-mail address book,” she said of the 1999 fire that burned several thousand acres. “I’m thankful it was in place as it was a wonderful way to let people know evacuation information.”

Electric broadcast has also helped residents if they’ve needed a handyman, baby-sitter, tree trimmer or contractor. It’s even helped residents sell their homes.

“We had a resident who had a serious illness and had to be hospitalized. He had to sell his lifetime dream home, and it had been on the market for over three years. I wrote a story about it on e-mail, and it sold immediately.”

Phelps has received many appreciative responses to her broadcasts. The majority of cabins here were built in the ’20s and ’30s and have been passed down from generation to generation. It’s like a family, and even if people no longer live here, they still remember families who do.”

Phelps loves being able to get the word out on mountain happenings, especially when it’s good news. She didn’t have to worry about missing anyone on the list when she celebrated her 50th birthday at the Palomar Mountain Lodge. And it was especially nice when the mountain received it’s first snowfall this season, and residents gathered at the lodge for an impromptu celebration.

“After I sent out the notice about the first snowfall, I got a response from a couple in Oregon who no longer have a cabin. She wrote that her heart raced when we celebrated the first snow and told us to have a cup of hot chocolate for them. All these little things really brings us closer together as a mountain family.” 

By Cheryl Walker, Community News Writer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, Saturday, January 11, 2003

You do such a good job with the Palomar Mountain News.  I do truly enjoy your articles.  I don’t know you well, but I appreciate you much.  Betty Birdsell, Julian 

** *

All of us here on Rancho Palomar thank you for your constant and diligent reporting of the mountain news, especially during, and following, the firestorm events.  Your energy and enthusiasm for all things “Palomar Mountain” is awesome.  You have so many talents and use them in caring, loving, beneficial ways. . .thanks!  Bruce Druliner

* * *

Subject: Re: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!   Thank you for the photos – us “off mountain” folks love to see the snow when it comes – We appreciate all you do for our community – Throw a snowball for me, Karen 

* * *

Let me take this opportunity to thank you for all you do for all of us Palomar Mountain people who love it as you do.  We spend most of our time here in Oceanside because it’s so close to Mary’s work, but we do come up for an afternoon or an overnight as often as we can.  I just wanted to put in my two cents to let you know how much we enjoy the feeling of community that you give “our” mountain.  You are a true friend to all of us,  Dave ‘n Mary Deckert, Nate Harrison Grade

* * *

Subject: Thanks and have a great Thanksgiving 

Bonnie, if I haven’t said it enough, I really appreciate all you and Don do for all of us … and wish your family a great Thanksgiving… Do enjoy your lives and the sudden rains!  All best – Mike Pique  Wednesday, November 26, 2008

* * *

I want to thank you for doing what you do. Besides all your Real Estate duties you are the one on Palomar that keeps every one up-to-date on pertinent news, activities, events, mountain history, and so much more. Palomar is such a special place to more people than we will ever know and you keep it all together for everyone.  I never did live on Palomar full time, but did spend every summer and most weekends on the mountain while growing up. Palomar, past and present, will always be part of my life.  Thanks, Steve Bailey, Denver, Colorado since 1972

* * *

Just wanted you to know how interesting I find life to be up there on the Mountain, with all the news reports and whatnot. I’m extremely impressed with your dedication to the Mountain. I know we didn’t know each other all that well, it was all about selling the Palomar property, but I have gotten an insight into the life up there and I never knew how much there was going on, and it’s just been very illuminating. I think Palomar Mountain, and its residents and animals (!) are VERY lucky to have your help with everything, your insight, your updates, information, the newsletter, your commitment and love for your home territory is just incredible. The service you provide people is immeasurable. Just thought I’d let you know, as a bystander looking in……..they’re lucky you’re there. Best regards, good luck to all of you, Stephanie Voss

* * *

I just want to take this opportunity to thank you so much for being the voice of Palomar Mountain. Especially through these challenging times. You truly make a difference in your community and I want you to know how much we all appreciate you. B. J. Williams, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, County Crime Prevention Specialist, San Marcos

* * *

we always enjoy getting your e-mails…especially this one with the good news about the fire…you have one of the best web sites we have ever seen…we have sent some of your “for sales” to our real estate friends to show them what a great job you do…keep up the good work…betty ann and david johnson

* * *

I just want you to know how much we appreciate your dedication in getting the word out to all of us who are so concerned about the fire on Palomar. While there has been some news reporting from the media concerning our beloved mountain your messages are so much more informative. We are totally relying on YOU to provide us with accurate information. So keep up the good work.. Thank you again…Joanne Marugg, President, Palomar Mountain Mutual Water Company.

* * *

My daughter Celena informed me this morning about your website. I just had to take a look and see for myself. It brought back some really good memories of that most beautiful “Mountain”. We used to live there back in the mid 80’s till the mid 90’s. I was employed with the Forest Service (fire) and we lived at the Guard Station for 10 years before moving on with the changes of life (bitter sweet). I could of retired up there, but destiny takes the lead. I see a lot has changed, new faces mixed with some familiar ones.  I do miss the small community life and the atmosphere that the “Mountain” gives to those who embrace and cherish. Oh, I just had a flashback of riding in the back of Dutch’s horse trailer singing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve. . . It was pleasure to visit this site and I do plan on visiting again in the future, with a smile on my face.” Robert M. Sanders, Salt Lake-Cache National Forest, Battalion Chief, “old fire dog who doesn’t know when to quit”

* * *

Speaking for everyone up here on the mountain, Bonnie, you really help us out with your news, updates and resources. You and Don are great neighbors and friends. Love, Casey and Kathy Derengowski

* * *

Thank you so much for taking us around the mountain. Your willingness to share your knowledge and experience is greatly appreciated. We look forward to being on your e-mail list and becoming a part of the community.

Sincerely, Suzann & Bill Leininger, Escondido

* * *

Please keep me on the list to receive all the news of Palomar Mountain. Thank you very much for all the effort you put in to keep us informed. You’re a realtor and a journalist and we appreciate you for doing such a good job at both! Dennis Huckabay, Oceanside

* * *

Greetings from Colorado! I’ve been getting your e-news for about a year. I love it! ! Makes me want to come back to my roots.  My sister who lives in the Bay area has been getting forwards from me and I think it is time that she has her own subscription. We had a family cabin at The Bailey place for many years but had to close it out in 1992. It is fun to read about the doings and some of the names are ones we recognize. Keep up the good work! Sincerely, Tom Pogue, Fort Collins, Colorado

* * *

From the Sheriff in “Creator Lake Monster”, filmed on Palomar in the 1970’s:

Just a short note to say “thanks” for keeping me on your list even though I live miles away from the mountain. I always read your emails and the ones I received today are super! Mike Johnson’s photos are excellent! As a photographer, I can really appreciate his composition and the exposure, in such difficult conditions, is right on the money. Kudos on keeping us lovers of Palomar informed! Richard G. Cardella, Hydesville, CA

* * *

Thank you for your splendid and professional efforts to create my web page on your Palomar Mountain News internet site. I’ve received many compliments, several job offers, and CD sales since your announcement. So let me direct the compliments to you . . . nice job! Bruce Druliner, Rancho Palomar  

* * *

aloha bonnie
i want
to thank
you again

for keeping
us posted
down here
in town…

it was
your emails
that kept
me up-to-date

during the
recent firestorm
and since
have given

me a
much greater
sense of
community than

i’ve ever
known up
on the
mountain… since

i was
1 year old (1967)
i’ve only
been going

up to
our cabin
at doc’s
pond with

an occasional
meal at
the lodge
or a

stop at
the store
or mother’s
kitchen… about

the closest
i’ve come
to the
community is

skateboarding down
crestline drive!
your emails
have taught me

that there
is a
whole lot
that i

don’t know
about on
palomar that
i’m looking

forward to
learning about
and experiencing!
anyway today

i’m coming
up the
hill to
winterize our

cabin and
take in
the beauty
of the

mountain and
am wondering
if i
might be

able to
meet you
and say
hello… either

way enjoy
this beautiful
day! much
thanks again


keith anderson

Fabulous Fall to all of you and I’ll keep Palomar Mountain News heading your way!


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