Friday, August 8, 2008

Lake Hodges

Pine Mountain

Hello again from Pine Mountain. I spent several days this week draining patching and sealing our cistern. It had started to leak and was not holding water like it should. The cistern catches water from the barn and house spouting during our rainy season and I use this water for growing plants in the greenhouse and other plants around the house.This week we have the story of my visit to Lake Hodges. First we have our usual sections on Alternative energy, Easy Cash, Nutrition and Health, Traveling, and Adventure.

Alternative Energy

First for those of you that have just joined us, here at the ranch, power is supplied by 2 wind turbines and a water turbine. We also have a few solar panels that charge up a battery bank. Our horizontal turbine looks like a small wingless airplane on top of it’s 80 foot tower. We purchased that one from Our vertical turbine we purchased from, it spins away on a 30 foot or 10 meter pole out by the barn. Our water turbine in the dam of our pond came from an Alaskan alternative energy company The wind has been normal for this time of year. Every day there is an almost constant 7 or 8 mph wind. In the late afternoon and early evening the wind picks up to about 10 to 15 mph.

Is your electric bill going through the roof? Are you paying $200 or even more per month for electricity? Do you want to cut costs or even learn how you can sell electricity back to the power company so they pay you instead of you paying them? Learn how you can supplement you electricity and reduce your electric bill for only a small investment of less than $200 in alternative energy. Go to and learn easy ways you can cut your electric bill.

The price of fuel keeps going up in price. Gasoline is now over $4.50 a gallon. Everyone is looking for anything that will increase fuel economy even a little. Most Alternative energy fuels are still years away but there is a way to improve your mileage, increase your horsepower, and reduce your emissions all at the same time. You will be able to turn your vehicle into a fuel efficient one with only a few readily available items from your local hardware. The instructions are easy to follow and there are many diagrams so you can see how to do it too. It does not matter if you have a gasoline or diesel engine vehicle it will work with either one. Go to to learn more while supplies last.

Do you want to increase your fuel economy and create 30% less pollution? How about increase your gas mileage and increase your power too. An environmentally safe non toxic product called Ethos will do just that. It improves gas economy by reformulating your gasoline to allow more air to be mixed with the fuel vapor. This causes cleaner combustion and increases power. Your fuel burns more completely and thus produces less emissions. All you have to do is add a couple ounces per tank of gasoline or diesel. Go to and learn more about this alternative energy supplement.

Easy Cash

Is the cost of living getting you down? Do you need to make some quick money to cover expenses? Go to , put in the access code mountain1, watch a free short movie and start making the money that you have dreamed about.

Nutrition and Health

These days everyone is concerned about nutrition and health. Most of our food is over processed and has very little nutrient value. Our food looks great but not much more. If we want to stay healthy in today’s world we are forced to take supplements. The question is: What supplements will provide what you need for the least amount of time and money? I believe one of the best supplements out there is called acaiplus. It is a blend of vitamins and minerals plus acai to promote health and long life. They also have vitamins to help improve your long term and short term memory. They also have an energy drink that gives you steady long term energy. To learn more about these products go to Check out Acaiplus, Feed My Brain, and White Lightning.

Travel for Less

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Adventure and Treasure Hunting

Do you watch movies like Indiana Jones and wish you could do that in real life? Do you like a good mystery and a good adventure? Would you like to use modern methods and tools to find long lost treasure?
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And now our feature story.

Lake Hodges

Lake Hodges has officially been a lake since 1918 when the lake Hodges dam was completed. This lake is slightly northwest of Rancho Bernardo. It is southwest of Escondido and southeast of Rancho Santa Fe. The dam was financed by the Santa Fe railroad. It was originally going to be called Carroll Lake after the owners of the property but was changed to honor W. E. Hodges who was the vice president of the Santa Fe railroad.
Lake Hodges covers 1234 acres, is 6.5 miles long and has 19 miles of shoreline. The lake has a 14.8 mile bicycle trail called the north Hodges trail and a 3.8 mile bird watching trail called the Piedras Pintadas trail. Lake Hodges contains catfish, crappie, and large bluegill. The lake has a marina and a small general store with a snack bar where you can buy bait and a few groceries and is open Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. There is windsurfing from May to October. There is a small daily fishing fee, and boat launching fee. The speed limit on the lake is 20 mph.

The coastline

The coastline has coastal sagebrush, chaparral, and riparian oak. The area is part of the San Dieguito watershed and is part of a bird and wildlife sanctuary that stretches all the way to Sutherland reservoir just south of Santa Isabel. Over 200 species of birds visit or call lake Hodges home. Lake Hodges is designated as a global bird sanctuary. This prestigious designation is the highest level a wildlife preserve can obtain. If you are interested in seeing pictures of all the birds that visit Lake Hodges go to and look under birds of lake Hodges photo album.

Lake Hodge projects

Currently there are several ongoing projects. The powerline and substation have been completed as well as the 10 ft diameter pipe and tunnel linking lake Hodges to the Olivenhain reservoir. Under construction is the 40 megawatt pump and turbine station and the bicycle and pedestrian bridge that is just west of Interstate 15. The coast to crest trail is closed until 2009 during construction.


When the dam was built in 1918, the local Indians were afraid the monster that lived in the river would be angry if the river was turned into a lake. During dam construction various equipment and supplies were damaged and destroyed and it was blamed on the monster who became known as Hodgee. Between 1918 and the early 1950’s there were numerous sightings although no one was able to take a picture of the monster. Even Scripps institute tried to capture the monster but were not successful. In 1956 tons of poison were dumped into the lake to supposedly kill off the carp that had taken over the lake. There were no more sightings after that so if there was a creature in the lake it was probably killed off with the carp.

System tie in

Now that Lake Hodges is tied into the rest of the San Diego reservoir system, the level should stay fairly constant. Before Lake Hodges spilled over the dam 28 times since 1918. The latest spillover was in 2005. At other times the lake would contract to pond size during periods of multiyear drought.


The fire of 2007 scorched most of the area around the lake but it is already staging a remarkable come back.

I spent several hours wandering around the lake. On weekends it gets rather crowded and a favorite hangout is Hernando’s Hideaway. If you live in San Diego county Lake Hodges is a quick short trip for inexpensive weekend fun.

Pine Mountain Evening

It is evening once more. I am relaxing in my easy chair. I just had Steak, baked potatoes, and a salad for dinner. Squeekers my African grey parrot is sitting on his perch eating peanuts. Tonight our sample coffee from is Highlander Grog. This coffee is a rich full bodied coffee. Butterscotch and hazelnut give this coffee it’s distinct taste. Squeekers and I just finished watching the first episode of an old series called Firefly. It was an old scifi series that lasted a year and a half in 2000 and 2001. Well it is getting late and I am ready to get some sleep. I put Squeekers in his cage and head off upstairs to bed. Good night all see you next week.