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 call my ‘follow-me’ number at 76O 742 one 742. 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 17, 2018

Smoke OK by High Point on Monday

From: Gray, Tim -FS []
Subject: USFS is burning at the High Point Look Out Monday 12/17/2018

If folks see smoke out by the “High Point Look Out” it is USFS doing some prescribed burning.  This is being done for Forest Health and maintenance of our Fuel Break system.  If anyone has questions or concerns please feel free to contact myself.  BC33 Tim Gray, USFS at 619-209-1414.


Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | December 13, 2018

Fire Safe Council Mtg Saturday

From: Cecelia  

The monthly PMFSC meeting will be this coming Saturday @ 10 am in the Fire Station 79 equipment bay, 21610 Crestline Rd, Palomar Mt.  All are welcome.



Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | December 8, 2018

Visit with Pearl Harbor Survivor


Scrolling through Pearl Harbor images to use with this post, I couldn’t help but think, “these are sights that Bill Leibold saw in person”!

We had such a nice visit today.  Bill and his lovely wife, Grace, built a home on Palomar in the mid 1970’s.  Known as “The Ship House” out on Birch Hill, it was ‘home’ for twenty years.

At nearly 96 years young, Bill retired as a Naval Commander and is the is the last survivor of the USS Tang.  His submarine went down two years after Pearl Harbor.  Bill was also at Pearl Harbor that fateful day in 1941.   In the past, I’ve shared some of his stories serving our country.  The stories with photos are included as links,  below.

I was so pleased to hear Bill’s voice on the phone and asked what he was doing 77 years ago today.  Sharp as a tack, he shared a bit.  At 18 years old , he and his buddies were assigned to the USS Pruitt.  It was in dry-dock for repairs, so it was stripped of it’s guns and ammunition.  The sailors had just finished breakfast and were talking about what they were going to be doing that day.  All of a sudden they heard aircraft, Bill ran to the window on that Sunday morning and saw planes flying over with “a big read meatball on the side”.  He called out, “It’s the Japs!”.

They ran to see what they could do to help.  Bill and two buddies were sent to the Battleship Pennsylvania.  They were manning the guns facing the harbor, toward Battleship Row.  These young men were firing overhead at aircraft.  Bill’s two shipmates lost their lives that day.  Bill picked up shrapnel and he and others “continued on with our day’s work, doing our job”.

A heart-felt thank you to Bill, his shipmates, all past and present US servicemen and women. Real heroes, doing their job, so we have the freedom to do what we enjoy.


Bonnie Phelps

See also:  Pearl Harbor to Palomar

Presumed Lost in WWII

Bill Leibold USS Tang Flag and Dog Tags



Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | December 7, 2018

Giving Thanks to The Greatest Generation


Ernie Cowan, a long time friend of Palomar Mountain, posted about his father being at Pearl Harbor.  Such a beautiful message, he gave me permission to share.

From: Ernie Cowan

On this day 77 years ago, my father was a sailor aboard the U.S.S. Honolulu based in Pearl Harbor. His ship was berthed against the dock, inboard of the U.S.S. St. Louis, across the harbor from Battleship Row and the U.S.S. Arizona.

He didn’t talk much about that day, but I do remember a few things. He said he was shaving when the attack began, and it was about two weeks before he finished shaving the other half of his face.

He was wearing shoes when the attack began, and it was hours later that he realized he had apparently jumped out of his shoes. It was a time of chaos.

Sometimes silence says more than talk. A “Can Do” generation came from that tragic day along with a national resolve shared by everyone. They did what they had to do to preserve this nation. I’ve known so many from that era who did amazing things and never talked about it.

I never got the sense that my father felt he had sacrificed. Instead he believed it was his honor to quietly serve. A generation stepped up and did what necessary, protecting the values that founded this nation. When the job was done they returned to factories, business, education and public service.

For a moment today, each of us should pause to give thanks to The Greatest Generation.



Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | December 7, 2018

Prevention Top Priority

The controlled burn on Palomar was a success.  After nearly 6 inches of rain, forest service, forestry and fire department crews burned prepared piles around the clock this week.  The timing was perfect, just as they were finishing up, we were treated to another couple inches of rain.

Thanks everyone who worked the long hours to give a good buffer to the Crestline and Birch Hill cabin area.

NBC Reporter, Danny Freeman sent the link to his news clip:

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | December 4, 2018

A visit to Grandma’s Cabin


1   IMG_8322

What a fun call from the granddaughter of a former owner of Cabin Fever!  Phyllis Gabler owned the cabin for 14 years and was also a realtor on Palomar.  I learned a lot from her.  Dawn Sober came all across the country from Florida to stay at the cabin with so many happy memories.  She brought the photo, above, with her grandmother’s writing on the back saying ‘My little Love’. Of course, we had to re-create the photo as close as we could to the same spot on the deck.

IMG_8324   IMG_8323

It was a pleasure to meet her and her family, including Phyllis’ great grand daughters!

From Dawn:

My grandma, Phyllis Gabler, said she came to Palomar Mountain to find God. She said it was a spiritual mountain. Oh, how I miss her.

When I saw Cabin Fever on Airbnb, I thought, “It couldn’t be!” It was. Phyllis Gabler’s old cabin was now a vacation rental!  I could stay there again!!!  The memories of making fires, bird watching and making jalapeno jelly in the kitchen ran through my mind. Memories as a young girl of 8 playing with my dolls and running through a sprinkler made me smile. She had arrived in heaven just 4 years earlier. Perhaps it would be like seeing her again.

For my first time in 16 years, my two daughters, our childcare worker, husband and I visited in July 2018. I cried all the way up the mountain. It was just as perfect as I’d remembered, maybe even more.

I am now a grown woman. Gone is the 7th grade year I spent at the local mountain school, only 2 classrooms large. I was one of five 12-year-old children in a class with 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders. It was the nineties, but it was reminiscent of yesteryear’s with one room school houses. Our little school even put on The Grinch for that year’s Christmas play, plus several of us won a poetry contest in the local school district that year. What a joy to have had that experience! I used to love walking through the General Store, dreaming of owning one of the large amethysts that were for sale. How many times had my Grandma and I had pulled up to the post office to say hi to Jennifer and Robin? Too many to recall.

Every day on that mountain was truly spiritual. Looking back in reflection, I now see how my Grandma’s yearning to connect with God led me on my own spiritual path to where I am today.

My husband and I are in in Jewish/Christian relations with Bridges for Peace. We build relationships between Christians and Jews and support Israel through around 25 hands-on humanitarian projects including a feed-a-child program, two food banks and a victims of war program. Our ministry even visits Holocaust survivors on a monthly basis to show Christian love when they only have memories of hate.

A big thank you to Nathan for restoring Grandma’s cabin and for keeping her legacy alive.  It is so heart-warming to know that people from all over the world have a  chance to experience Palomar Mountain and perhaps have their own encounter with God.

* * *

Dawn is the National Field Adviser at Bridges for Peace USA.  Everyday she connects Christians to bless Israel.  Dawn can be reached at or follower her on Instagram @DawnSober.

With Grace and Grit for Zion’s Sake,

dawn sober


Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | December 4, 2018

Wow! Feel that? Thanks USMC!


About the time I thought we were having an earthquake tonight, I saw a post from the VC Roadrunner.  Camp Pendleton has the Marines out practicing through Friday night.

Home of the Free, because of the Brave.

Thank you United States Marine Corps!

Bonnie Phelps

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | December 4, 2018

Smoke OK tonight and tomorrow, too!


This is what the smoke on Palomar looked like to Jim and Teresa McCarthy today as they were heading our way from SD.  More smoke tonight and tomorrow is being well cared for by Tim and crew and more.

Thanks for doing what you can to make our mountain more fire safe!

Birch Hill Rx Burning

Well as we anticipated the burning was slow going at first and as the day progressed piles burned better and we achieved the results we were looking for.  As the sun starts to set our Rx Fire Practitioners’ are getting the last of the piles lite before it really cools off and darkness sets in.  We will have folks on the burn overnight.  If you have a concern or question, I will have my phone near by, so don’t hesitate call.  I would rather you call me and get your question answered quickly and correctly rather than stay up all night wondering.  Thank you for reading this and we appreciate the support as we generate this GOOD Rx Smoke vs the BAD Wildland Smoke that contains who knows what that we fight all summer long and all over the United States, and beyond.  I would also like to thank our cooperators at CALFIRE/County Fire who provided a couple of crews from 10-1430 and a couple of engines for Structure protection.
The plan is to burn again tomorrow in front of the rain headed our direction later in the week.
Thank you for reading this long winded update
-Tim Gray BC33

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | December 3, 2018

Smoke OK next couple days

The controlled burn should start today for a couple days.  If you see smoke on the south side of the mountain, below Crestline and Birch Hill, it should be well cared for and give us a nice fuel break.

Thanks Tim Gray and Forest Service Crew, and everyone else involved for all you do to make our mountain more fire safe.

(Just might get a news crew back!)

Bonnie Phelps

See Also: Prescribed Burn

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | November 30, 2018

Have your tickets for a fun show?


The Christmas classic, Scrooge, opens tomorrow night!

Recognize this neighbor?  One of our mountain residents plays 4 characters with 7 quick costume changes that include wigs, hoop skirts, lace up boots and many layers of clothing… Jody Villarreal also teaches voice and music on the mountain.  She shares her amazing talent in these wonderful plays several times a year.

Four oh-so-cute kids that call me ‘GramBonnie’ and a tall guy that calls me ‘Mom’ are also in the show.  Plus, three more girls from Palomar are all at the dress rehearsal tonight.  Our daughter-in-law is putting finishing touches on too many costumes to count!  Lots of fun in store! Hope you have a chance to take in this show!

Friday and Saturday nights with Sunday Matinees over the next two weeks.

Here is a link for tickets or you can also get them at the door.

“God Bless us, Everyone!”  Tiny Tim

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