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dsefcik
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4/7/2014
dsefcik
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After reading this book about The Impossible Railroad I now understand a bit better some of the things I have seen in Carrizo Gorge and on the railway tracks.

This was one of many telephone booths placed along the tracks in the 1940's, it helped communications between the long distances of the railway


About a mile and a half north of the De Anza Resort there are some wheel and axle debris on the side of the Gorge and down in the bottom. I always thought this was from the railway efforts, turns out to be from a 1928 movie called Beggars of Life (the train wrecks at the end but watch the whole movie anyway)

Here are some photos of the debris in 2011-2013








Workers along the route made camps as needed and many were just below or above the current tunnel or trestle project
Here are a few remains Scotty C and I found


I believe this to be the air compressor plant remains




This is at the air compressor plant area but shows an east view. You can see foundations and remnants of a tram/trail going up the canyon


Some of the incredibly tough cholla landscape they had to deal with, even with modern REI gear this is tough terrain




Rattlesnakes were always a problem as well, here is one Scotty C and I saw at the bottom of Goat Canyon Trestle on one trip...it was gorgeous but huge!!



Scotty C whacking his way thru the thick Carrizo brush in the Gorge


Part of the seven sisters trestle cluster, view from down in the Gorge


The Coors Beer car you see in the distance was an accident from a junior engineer that over throttled the train on his first run. Two Coors Beer trailers derailed.

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railexplorer
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4/7/2014
railexplorer
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Great photos. My son and I are going to try and head out to the movie wreck site before the weather shuts it all down for the summer.

There's a phone booth at the Dos Cabezas water tower.

The book is a great source of information. I know we noticed a lot of things after looking at the book, especially the work trails that are located at the tunnels. You can also see quite a few trails that head up the hillsides. I would like to get out and explore some of those trails, and see if there's a shorter route over the hills between Dos Cabezas and Goat Canyon, which would be key especially if they actually do manage to get this railroad active again.
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surfponto
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4/8/2014
surfponto
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Great post on Goat Canyon and Carrizo Gorge Daren,
Amazing history. Itching to go out and hike around there again.

I never knew about the movie angle.

Bob

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dsefcik
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4/8/2014
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railexplorer wrote:
Great photos. My son and I are going to try and head out to the movie wreck site before the weather shuts it all down for the summer.
Prepare yourself with long pants, boots, long sleeves and leather garden gloves, the catsclaw is intense. If you look closely at the pictures of Scotty C you will see red plastic all around his legs and sides of his pack, that was to allow the catsclaw to just swipe over him...worked pretty well, I used some also.







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railexplorer
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4/9/2014
railexplorer
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dsefcik wrote:
[Prepare yourself with long pants, boots, long sleeves and leather garden gloves, the catsclaw is intense. If you look closely at the pictures of Scotty C you will see red plastic all around his legs and sides of his pack, that was to allow the catsclaw to just swipe over him...worked pretty well, I used some also.



I'm thinking we'll stay up trackside...... the Robo Hiker look is a bit over more than we'd be up for, especially to get a look at some old wheel sets. Although my son my have other ideas Roll Eyes (Sarcastic)
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dsefcik
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4/10/2014
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railexplorer wrote:
[I'm thinking we'll stay up trackside...... the Robo Hiker look is a bit over more than we'd be up for, especially to get a look at some old wheel sets. Although my son my have other ideas Roll Eyes (Sarcastic)



From up above you won't see too much, maybe with some binos. Here are some more photos from another trip I did solo with shorts on.

This is near the debris and I think is almost the same photo as the one that spreads across pages 32-33 of the book


You can see some wheel sets way down, almost dead center


The wheels seen in the above picture up close


Kinda old




The catsclaw is thick down there


Misc debris on the hillside


Wear pants..!!


And find good bony scat!


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ziphius
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4/11/2014
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I see this thread was created as an excuse for Daren to post yet another scat photograph. smile For those of us who might be thinking about descending into the Gorge, where is a good parking spot? DeAnza resort? Those plastic shin guards make good snake gaiters, heh?

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dsefcik
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4/12/2014
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If just a day hike I usually will park in the shade under the freeway overpass near the resort and just walk the tracks until wherever you want to go down. I think the debris starts around a mile and half or so past the resort.

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anutami
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4/27/2014
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Daren, thanks for the heads up on a great book

Learned the collapsed tunnel #15 was later named the "mud shed" where the workers building the goat canyon trestle were served lunch.

My visit in 2013


Lunch in 1932
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dsefcik
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4/28/2014
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@Anutami: Yeah, great book...I learned lots of things about the railway reading it...highly recommended!

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railexplorer
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4/30/2014
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Came across this video today. Not sure when this was filmed, but if I were to guess it was a while ago. This "railroad" is a complete mess.



Its an interesting video, but a bit comical to see a police officer "patrolling" with a bunch of go pro cameras attached everywhere and various roll by shots.
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dsefcik
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5/1/2014
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Was he actually giving citations to people??
The blue rail cars disappeared about a year or so ago and the wind turbines were in the video so within the last year or so it was made.
The Shell/Subway parking area has become pretty much *the* staging area for mountain bikers to ride the tracks, there were probably 20 or so a couple weeks ago. Not sure what day the guy in the video went out but I am guessing it wasn't a weekend or else he would have seen tons of mountain bikers out there.
Cool car though...

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tommy750
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5/1/2014
tommy750
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My thoughts exactly on the tickets. Would be nice to borrow that guy's vehicle for a spin, however.
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dsefcik
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2/17/2015
dsefcik
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dsefcik wrote:
After reading this book about The Impossible Railroad I now understand a bit better some of the things I have seen in Carrizo Gorge and on the railway tracks.


About a mile and a half north of the De Anza Resort there are some wheel and axle debris on the side of the Gorge and down in the bottom. I always thought this was from the railway efforts, turns out to be from a 1928 movie called Beggars of Life (the train wrecks at the end but watch the whole movie anyway)


The Coors Beer car you see in the distance was an accident from a junior engineer that over throttled the train on his first run. Two Coors Beer trailers derailed.
Seems the movie on youtube was pulled, it is no longer available to watch. Also, the Coors beer car is not in the picture I noted above, it is much further south and is difficult to view without climbing down into the gorge.

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dsefcik
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2/17/2015
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Spent a few days hiking and backpacking around Jacumba and Carrizo Gorge with an emphasis on trying to find some of the old railroad construction camps. Inspired by the book The Impossible Railroad I backpacked out into the Gorge battling the Tamarisk and ticks and found several of the camps, train wreckage, historic artifacts and even more interest in this fascinating story of a railway that was jinxed from the beginning. I encourage you to read this book if you want to learn more about the history and see many unpublished photos of the railroad as it progressed from 1919 to our present day fiasco it still is.

I will post some of my favorite photos of the trip here but you can see many more in my photo gallery here

The railroad tracks are completely blocked off as of 02-14-2015 at the De Anza resort. The old train cars that have been off to the side for years have been pulled up onto the tracks completely blocking access to railway vehicles. You can see in this picture that whatever large vehicle it took to move those rail cars have dented and smashed down the actual tracks. The picture is deceiving, it looks like the rail car is on the tracks normally but they are actually laid cross wise on the tracks, like a big tractor or such just dragged them up and onto the tracks at an angle.



Young & Crooks Camp 1 down in the gorge


Most of the construction sites built up tiered foundations on the hillsides. They were very elaborate and quite impressive






Debris from the construction camp




The May 1965 derailed Coors Beer trailer


The wheels wedged into a dry fall


I found several small rooms dug into the hillsides that must have served as offices or temporary shelters




Thanks to ImpatientHiker for giving me some clues where to find this one


Or perhaps they were the supply rooms for the important stuff


Plenty of beautiful blooms starting to happen now




Most of the tunnel bypass roads were clear but some had landslide debris covering them or worse cholla land mines, this one I did not win, I took heavy casualties, even my hiking pole got several stuck on it!


Here is a nice view down the gorge towards the Seven Sisters and in the foreground is the original tunnel 15


A bit more old debris in some other construction sites










About the only graffiti I wasn't discouraged to see



Total Mylar Balloons this trip - 5 (no pictures sorry..!)


More photos in my gallery here


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ziphius
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2/18/2015
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Nice trip. Like the Huell Howser memorial. The rooms / caves are kinda cool too, now you have a place to go to when the SHTF. smile Those showy pink flowers are a species of Penstemon.

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dsefcik
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2/18/2015
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Jim (ziphius) wrote:
Nice trip. Like the Huell Howser memorial. The rooms / caves are kinda cool too, now you have a place to go to when the SHTF. smile Those showy pink flowers are a species of Penstemon.
Last place I want to be when the SHTF is in one of those dugouts, I was afraid to sneeze inside them! I had the pink flowers marked as Cleveland's Beardtongue, Penstemon clevelandii



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tommy750
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2/18/2015
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Nice trip report, Daren. So, they just drug the rail cars at Dubber's onto the main track and derailed them?? Would think blocking a bridge or tunnel would make more sense. At least no railroad police in pickups to worry about. Wonder if some barrier was erected on the far side of the gorge. Lots of nice artifact piles or did you make those? smile Need to check out the book.
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dsefcik
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2/18/2015
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tommy750 wrote:
Nice trip report, Daren. So, they just drug the rail cars at Dubber's onto the main track and derailed them?? Would think blocking a bridge or tunnel would make more sense. At least no railroad police in pickups to worry about. Wonder if some barrier was erected on the far side of the gorge. Lots of nice artifact piles or did you make those? smile Need to check out the book.
Looks to me like a big tractor or something just dragged the train onto the rails and left it there, it took some might to do that. Will try and get back out to the north side of the trestle when I can to explore there, should be quite a few more camps and such to check out. There were quite a few others out over the weekend also, bikers and hikers. I decided to park in the De Anza resort since I was leaving my vehicle overnight. Bonus to that was when I got back I was able to just strip down naked and wash myself off and nobody cared, even started up a conversation with one of the locals about hiking out there...Froot

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BorregoWrangler
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2/18/2015
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Nice trip there, Daren! I'm gonna try to get out there this weekend and camp somewhere in the gorge.

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dsefcik
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2/18/2015
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BorregoWrangler wrote:
Nice trip there, Daren! I'm gonna try to get out there this weekend and camp somewhere in the gorge.
I may be out again, feel free to email me if you want any company. FYI the gorge is pretty cleared out until just south of Goat Cyn, after that it is all tamarisk and ticks, I pulled 5 off me Sat night at camp.













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BorregoWrangler
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2/18/2015
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dsefcik wrote:
BorregoWrangler wrote:
Nice trip there, Daren! I'm gonna try to get out there this weekend and camp somewhere in the gorge.
I may be out again, feel free to email me if you want any company. FYI the gorge is pretty cleared out until just south of Goat Cyn, after that it is all tamarisk and ticks, I pulled 5 off me Sat night at camp.


Thanks. I'll probably come in from the north, drive down as far as I can and then hike in. Maybe use one of the campsites that the workers had in there recently. I doubt that I'll go much further south than Goat Canyon.

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anutami
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2/18/2015
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Nice addition to the thread Daren! Some of the best photos by far. We drove all the way to the end of the canyon in hopes of seeing your truck but looks like you started from the opposite end. We checked out the crash sites, thanks for the heads up. We also camped in oriflamme and it was very disturbing to find it bone dry. Can't believe this drought, hope the bighorns are hanging in there.
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dsefcik
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2/18/2015
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Nolan (anutami) wrote:
Nice addition to the thread Daren! Some of the best photos by far. We drove all the way to the end of the canyon in hopes of seeing your truck but looks like you started from the opposite end. We checked out the crash sites, thanks for the heads up. We also camped in oriflamme and it was very disturbing to find it bone dry. Can't believe this drought, hope the bighorns are hanging in there.
Bummer..wish I would have known...I was already camped out at Table Mtn Friday so I just stayed up top, made more sense...maybe next time!

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dsefcik
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2/18/2015
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BorregoWrangler wrote:
Thanks. I'll probably come in from the north, drive down as far as I can and then hike in. Maybe use one of the campsites that the workers had in there recently. I doubt that I'll go much further south than Goat Canyon.
The CCC guys are still out there, you should see their gear but since it will be a weekend they may not be out working. Here is a photo from last weekend of the camp just below Goat Canyon, look for the red/orange water bags in the lower left



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rockhopper
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2/19/2015
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Nice pictures and report Daren. Those railroad builders were tough! Bringing a rail line into San Diego when they said it couldn't be done was like putting a man on the moon back then.. Looks like they are permanently damaging the line for good on purpose :-o
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dsefcik
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2/19/2015
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rockhopper wrote:
Nice pictures and report Daren. Those railroad builders were tough! Bringing a rail line into San Diego when they said it couldn't be done was like putting a man on the moon back then.. Looks like they are permanently damaging the line for good on purpose :-o
This section of track has the date 1919, the year the final connecting "Gold Spike" was put into the tracks. I noticed other sections of track with 1949. There have been lots of repairs over the years, maybe the railroad line is not dead yet, just waiting for another John D. Spreckles to come along...




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surfponto
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2/23/2015
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Nice trip Daren,
It is amazing that there is still "new" stuff to discover in Carrizo Gorge.
So the CCC guys are below the trestle working now? Guessing it is easier to hike in from the North now.

Did a little wine research on Ellena Brothers

Ellena Brothers, Etiwanda
It was soon after the turn of the century that Claudio Ellena came to the United states from Australia, seeking the right location and climate to establish his vineyards. He chose the Cucamonga district c on the warm and sunny slopes of the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. Here he felt that wine could be produced comparable to the finer ones of southern Europe, where the Ellenas originated and had been wanegrowers for many generations. He founded his winery at Etiwanda, a few miles northeast of the town of Cucamonga, where his sons John B. and Frank Ellena carry on the family tradition,, producing some of the finest wines of Southern California.
John B. Ellena, the president of the company, and Frank Ellena, the vice-president, own the family enterprise. Two other brothers are active in the winery, Arnold Ellena, the wine maker, chemist, and secretary of the concern, and Louis Ellena, the master distiller. The featured brand is Regina Cucamonga Wine with Ellena Brothers a secondary label. Table wines, sparkling wines, and aperitif and dessert wines of fine quality are produced, available mainly in the Western states. They are marketed in distinctive and original squat or long-necked bottles, trade-marks of the house.


Full article
edited by surfponto on 2/23/2015

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dsefcik
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2/23/2015
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surfponto wrote:
Nice trip Daren,
It is amazing that there is still "new" stuff to discover in Carrizo Gorge.
So the CCC guys are below the trestle working now? Guessing it is easier to hike in from the North now.

Did a little wine research on Ellena Brothers

Ellena Brothers, Etiwanda
It was soon after the turn of the century that Claudio Ellena came to the United states from Australia, seeking the right location and climate to establish his vineyards. He chose the Cucamonga district c on the warm and sunny slopes of the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. Here he felt that wine could be produced comparable to the finer ones of southern Europe, where the Ellenas originated and had been wanegrowers for many generations. He founded his winery at Etiwanda, a few miles northeast of the town of Cucamonga, where his sons John B. and Frank Ellena carry on the family tradition,, producing some of the finest wines of Southern California.
John B. Ellena, the president of the company, and Frank Ellena, the vice-president, own the family enterprise. Two other brothers are active in the winery, Arnold Ellena, the wine maker, chemist, and secretary of the concern, and Louis Ellena, the master distiller. The featured brand is Regina Cucamonga Wine with Ellena Brothers a secondary label. Table wines, sparkling wines, and aperitif and dessert wines of fine quality are produced, available mainly in the Western states. They are marketed in distinctive and original squat or long-necked bottles, trade-marks of the house.


Full article
edited by surfponto on 2/23/2015



Thanks for that Bob, I wonder if these were the bottles, they appear to be broken and unopened



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surfponto
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2/23/2015
surfponto
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I can imagine working out there all day, then at night wanting nothing more than to sit on a rock and drink a bottle of wine .Buddies
They probably would have preferred a nice cold beer but the obvious lack of refrigeration would have made that difficult.... smile

dsefcik wrote:
surfponto wrote:
Nice trip Daren,
It is amazing that there is still "new" stuff to discover in Carrizo Gorge.
So the CCC guys are below the trestle working now? Guessing it is easier to hike in from the North now.

Did a little wine research on Ellena Brothers

Ellena Brothers, Etiwanda
It was soon after the turn of the century that Claudio Ellena came to the United states from Australia, seeking the right location and climate to establish his vineyards. He chose the Cucamonga district c on the warm and sunny slopes of the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. Here he felt that wine could be produced comparable to the finer ones of southern Europe, where the Ellenas originated and had been wanegrowers for many generations. He founded his winery at Etiwanda, a few miles northeast of the town of Cucamonga, where his sons John B. and Frank Ellena carry on the family tradition,, producing some of the finest wines of Southern California.
John B. Ellena, the president of the company, and Frank Ellena, the vice-president, own the family enterprise. Two other brothers are active in the winery, Arnold Ellena, the wine maker, chemist, and secretary of the concern, and Louis Ellena, the master distiller. The featured brand is Regina Cucamonga Wine with Ellena Brothers a secondary label. Table wines, sparkling wines, and aperitif and dessert wines of fine quality are produced, available mainly in the Western states. They are marketed in distinctive and original squat or long-necked bottles, trade-marks of the house.


Full article
edited by surfponto on 2/23/2015



Thanks for that Bob, I wonder if these were the bottles, they appear to be broken and unopened



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tommy750
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2/23/2015
tommy750
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More on the recent legal proceedings involving the railroad: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/feb/21/pacific-imperial-new-investors-kinsell-victorville/
edited by tommy750 on 2/23/2015
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dsefcik
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2/23/2015
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tommy750 wrote:
More on the recent legal proceedings involving the railroad: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/feb/21/pacific-imperial-new-investors-kinsell-victorville/
edited by tommy750 on 2/23/2015
Doesn't end does it....

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dsefcik
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2/24/2015
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surfponto wrote:
So the CCC guys are below the trestle working now? Guessing it is easier to hike in from the North now.
Yep, they have camps setup, one just below the trestle and another further south. Lots of tamarisk gone up to that point, it is an "easy" hike now from the north end from the road. Still bad though from the south end, in just over a single mile of trudging thru tamarisk down in the gorge last week I managed to get myself all cut up and found 5 ticks on me when I got to camp.

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