Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | October 2, 2019

For Sale signs going up!



Often new listings take very little staging or prep to get the photos taken and put on the market.  Not the past few months!  This is one of those times I spend much longer assisting to get things ready before my sign goes up than after.  Currently properties are finishing up getting groomed for Cal Fire and Forestry safety requirements, but most important so buyers can get and keep insurance. The contractor, painters, roofers, handymen, are almost done at some new listings.  Sellers are about ready getting some things taken care of so we have a few more cabins ready for your viewing pleasure!   Running out to put up more signs for some photos today so stay tuned!

Meanwhile, it has been a busy week with showings back-to-back and two offers.  We have such a low inventory and more and more full timers are dreaming of making Palomar their home.  We could use some properties with more bedrooms.  Some of the folks are ok with a fixer (depends on their terms as some lenders have stiffer requirements) but some are looking to move right in.  Always, little cabins are in demand for weekend getaways.  This is the perfect time to market and show so the new buyers can be in when the snow is falling.

Glad to get your questions answered anytime.  New listings heading your way soon!

Bonnie Phelps, Realtor-on-the-run!

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | October 1, 2019

Friends of Forrest McKinley


Everyone who ever had the pleasure to meet Forrest and Pearl McKinley has happy memories.  For over 30 years, on Labor Day weekend we had a Fire Department BBQ.   As part of the fundraiser, you could buy tickets to dunk neighbors in a big dunking booth, filled with freezing cold water.  The photos above are from the Palomar Mountain Views book, Volume II, 1983-84.  At that BBQ, Grace Liebold paid top dollar for her chance to dunk Forrest McKinley.  Such fun times.

Most of you know Cliff and Susie Kellogg. Forrest was her dad and as Cliff said, the best father-in-law you could ever have.  Her folks were initially drawn to the mountain when the Lodge was for sale.  The asking price was $30,000 but he thought that was far too much for the condition it was in.  Ralph Kulk was the mountain Realtor at the time and suggested they look at land to build a house.  They made 80 acres their own and turned that into about 12 parcels, developing Palomar Vista and the Fern Meadow subdivision off State Park Road.

First they built a one room cabin, then the big home on what is now Chesney’s property.  Then they had fun building a log cabin on their largest parcel.  One of the original lots was sold to Tom Cunningham.  Eventually, Tom had cabin envy and talked Forrest and Pearl into selling them their charming cabin.  Forrest and Pearl took Tom up on the deal which included trading for Tom’s six acres across the road, that Forrest has sold him a few years prior. That was just her dad’s way of doing business.

It worked out just fine as Forrest and Pearl built the first and only ‘underground’ cabin on Palomar.  It was such a fun getaway looking out to their 100 year old apple orchard. When they moved off the mountain, Cliff and Susie acquired the underground and lived there, while they built their home.  They enjoy the family property to this day, thankful for her wonderful parents and the real estate venture that brought them to this mountain.

Please keep reading the tribute below and info about his service this Sunday:

image1 (002)   IMG_2379

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Aug. 23, 2019

Forrest Shields McKinley October 24, 1925 – August 9, 2019

Forrest McKinley passed away peacefully on August 9, 2019, at his home in Rancho Bernardo, CA, at the age of 92.

He was born October 24, 1925, in San Diego, CA to William and Betty McKinley. He attended La Jolla High School and after graduation he enlisted in the army where he met his future bride Pearl Fenton at Camp Stoneman in Pittsburg, CA.

Forrest and Pearl were married on October 25, 1947, in Compton, CA and resided in El Cajon from 1950 thru 1974, six years of which were as owners of the popular picnic ranch known as Holiday Ranch near Flinn Springs. They later built a home on Palomar Mountain where they lived for seven years until moving to Rancho Bernardo.

Forrest was a real estate developer and broker in San Diego County for over 60 years. He was a past president of the La Mesa Board of Realtors and the El Cajon Chamber of Commerce, served on the El Cajon City Planning Commission, was a licensed private pilot, one of the founders of the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department in 1976  and for nearly 30 years he and Pearl played mandolin in the San Diego Mandolin Orchestra.

Forrest is survived by his wife, Pearl, daughter, Susan Kellogg and her husband, Cliff of Palomar Mountain, son-in-law, Joe Brunetto of El Cajon, daughter-in-law, Judith McKinley of Oaxaca, Mexico, brother Bill McKinley and his wife, Sue of Arizona; grandchildren, Ben McKinley, Melissa James, Daniel McKinley, Jake Brunetto, Anna Brunetto, Ben Brunetto, Dave Mendez, Elias Mendez, and Lucinda Konrad, plus 19 great-grandchildren. His son, Jon McKinley, son, Steve McKinley, daughter, Sharyn Brunetto and brother, Bob McKinley all predeceased him.

Forrest will be remembered for his great sense of humor, wit, wisdom and generosity. A life celebration will be held at 12:00 noon on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019 at Marechiaros Restaurant in the Forrest Room (so named by Joe Brunetto in honor of his father-in-law), 14120 Olde Hwy 80, El Cajon, CA.

More photos are posted here .

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | September 30, 2019

Apple Chips from Cindy


Burt and Anne Johnson family enjoyed their cabin up here for many years.  Daughter-in-law, Cindy just couldn’t resist these first few days of fall.  She made a very yummy apple sauce but I hadn’t seen apple chips before.

They are going in the oven later today at our house!  Pop by for a sample!  Here is Cindy’s recipe:

Apple peel chips are super easy. In a bowl, pour melted butter over peels to coat then sprinkle sugar and cinnamon mixture, mix to evenly coat. Place strips on parchment paper lined pan and bake at 400 for about 12-15 minutes. Depends on thickness of peels. Remove and you can sprinkle more sugar/cinnamon if desire. Cool and enjoy!

From all of us enjoying the first fall pickings on Palomar, thank you Cindy!

Bonnie Phelps

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | September 30, 2019

Power Out? Plug In!

electrical-socket-clipart-8   free   th (1)

As you locals probably know, SDG&E has a planned outage today.  Power should go out about 8:30 for 5 hours.  Our generator will be humming and internet should be working fine, if anyone would like to plug in. Several outlets are waiting for you around the patio and we have options in by a warm fire.

Our driveway is also the Free WiFi Hot Spot on the mountain.  Hosted by Woodpecker Firewood, we often have cars parked out front or folks sitting at our patio tables checking messages.  Just sign on as our Guest and there is no password.

Message me for address if needed.  You are welcome any time!

We’re here for you and loving this intro to Fall,

Bonnie Phelps

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | September 25, 2019

The Smith Mountain Band is Back!

Dutch and Bruce

Long time mountain friends, Dutch Bergman and Bruce Druliner have been singing together since the 1970s. We’ve enjoyed their music at local gatherings around the campfire, at weddings, birthday parties with, oh, so many great memories! Now by popular demand they are back with a manager as The Smith Mountain Boys! Their manager happens to be Dutch’s wife, Denise and she really has them booked for our listening pleasure!

YOU are invited to bring your family, friends, invite the neighbors and go listen to some great music. You’ll be humming along, tapping your feet or even be up dancin’. The venues offer food so that makes it even better!

A group of mountain fans started carpooling to Borrego Springs and Julian. Like to meet up and go along? Just let us know, or put your own group together and we’ll more than likely see you there!     Keep reading for schedule from Denise.

Bonnie Phelps

From: Denise Bergman

Here is a lineup of Smith Mountain Boys gig dates and locations that we have on the books as of now:

Saturday, Sept 28 American Legion, Borrego Springs, 5-7pm
Sunday, Sept 29 – Volcan Mountain Winery, Julian, 1-4pm
Saturday, Oct 5 – Volcan Mountain Winery, Julian, 1-4pm
Friday, Oct 11 – Wynola Pizza, Julian, 6-9pm
Saturday, Oct 19 – La Casa del Zorro, Borrego Springs, 7-10pm
Saturday, Nov 9 – La Casa del Zorro, Borrego Springs, 7-10pm
Friday, Nov 15 – Wynola Pizza, Julian, 6-9pm
Friday, Dec 13 – Wynola Pizza, Julian, 6-9pm

Denise sends out a monthly newsletter that outlines the gigs for that particular month. If you want to be added to the monthly newsletter, please send your email to and Denise will add you.



Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | September 22, 2019

Correction regarding ADUs

Recently you have heard a lot about ADUs in the news.  Click for info I shared recently.  One of the Crestline folks really went to work on some research to add one to his property.

Alas, he brought to my attention that the Palomar Mutual Water Company share is not set up to add ADUs.  I was unaware of this so looked it up on their bylaws where it is mentioned in item six:

From what I understand, water share holders may still be able to add a garage or shed (of course there are other requirements to work through with the county).

So, if you have property anywhere else in San Diego County, except where you have a Water Share with Palomar Mutual Water Company, you may be able to add an ADU.

Hope you are enjoying this wonderful change in the weather with our official first day of Fall tomorrow!

Bonnie Phelps


Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | September 21, 2019

Juice, Coffee, Cookie or Breakfast Club


It is pretty fun to meet your neighbors at Mother’s on Saturday mornings.  Pop in to say ‘hello’ or linger awhile.  No rules.  Make it work for you.  Come for a cup of coffee and cookie like Mike Pique did last week or a full-on breakfast.  (Those waffles are delicious!)

Mother’s Kitchen, 9 am-ish, Saturday morning, Sept 20th

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | September 21, 2019

Same size as a Fire Truck?


In an emergency situation, it would takes some work to get a fire truck into many places I’ve been to lately off Crestline and Birch Hill.  Kenny Lindquist, new owner of Center Septic was up to do a cert for a new listing.  I knew it was going to be tight getting their truck in.  I drove Kenny in first since there are two ways to access this cabin.  The lower road was not going to work at all.

He was confident taking the upper road after we trimmed quite a few branches. Kenny’s driving skills really were impressive!  He had about an inch and a half on the left, between a stump and 3 inches on the right along the side of a tall fir.   I couldn’t help but think that his truck is the exact same size as Cal Fire’s main fire truck.

We had such wonderful rain this spring so our forest is really doing well.  This is just a gentle nudge to check out your access.  Rather have someone else do the work?  Click for some options for ‘Local Resources’ on the Fire Safe Council webpage.

Bushes and trees are just like children!  They grow up so fast!

With you,

Bonnie Phelps



Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | September 18, 2019

Three cheers for soft serve ice cream!

IMG_7709   IMG_7088

Oh yes!

How fun it is to be able to pop in Lake Henshaw Café for a great burger or very yummy pizza and (drum roll!)  Soft Serve Ice Cream!  Chocolate, vanilla or swirl, of course!

So, now you know!  Grab your family, neighbors and friends and head to the lake for some good eatin’ topped off with a cone!  Enjoy!

See also: Lake Henshaw Café – Great food with new owners!

Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | September 17, 2019

Last Night’s Sunset

70596555_502107703687928_5069456483377217536_n  71103404_398442607533734_6947340709175230464_n

Fall sunsets from Palomar are pretty special.  Smoke from a local fire added contrast to the always beautiful sky.  Coming up from Henshaw, we pulled over twice to get these for you.  What a difference a couple curves make!

The locals never tire of our amazing views, welcome our change in seasons and enjoy so much, our lifestyle on this wonderful mountain.

Dreaming of your own piece of Paradise on Palomar?  I keep promising new listings to Fall for….  Have keys to several.  Let’s connect on your wish list and we’ll see what we can do to welcome you as a new neighbor.

Bonnie Phelps

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »