Colony Magazine #22 • April 2020

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Hikes, Walks & Rides Plus: Social Distancing 34 Homeschool Survival 14 Comfort Food 27

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ROUND TOWN 10 Creston: The High Road 12 Santa Margarita: Wildflowers 14 Homeschool Survival Guide 15 Natural Alternative: Tips to Fend Off COVID-19 26 Sip & Savor — Exploring the Enclaves: The Back Roads Wineries

TENT CITY 28 Atascadero Lake: Let’s Fish! 30 SLO County Office of Education:

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Benefits of Outdoor Education

COLONY TASTE 32 Taste of Americana By Barbie Butz

LAST WORD In This Together 34 Directory to our Advertisers 34


Atascadero Lake Photo by Nicholas Mattson

Colony Magazine | April 2020


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“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” — Fred Rogers “Love seems to be something that keeps filling up within us. The more we give away, the more we have to give.” — Fred Rogers


s we start to see the changes in the season allow for more light and warmth in the air, we are faced with a challenge never seen nor experienced before. This issue of Colony Magazine was planned out eight weeks ago with our annual theme in mind for April. Featuring stories of the beautiful Wildflowers, enjoying the great outdoors with our Hikes, Bikes, Walks & Rides, and sharing our community love for Pets and Animals. April is one of our favorite times of the year because it seems to be the month that we as Californians start to get that sunshine bug to get outdoors after months of hibernating inside due to the cold and darker days. And even though the sunshine is starting to shine again and that bug is nipping at our toes, we all have been forced into an economic health crisis like never before. For only a month ago, we were a prosperous and lively community. Today we are all trying to make sense of a life that literally was written for a movie screen and not reality. With the school closures, our cities declaring a State of Emergency, social distancing becoming a necessary new form of “normal.” To mandatory “Shelter in Home” and all businesses, not essential fighting to find a way to connect with their loyal consumers in order to remain safe and open, has made us stop and reflect on what really is important. As the publishers of Colony Magazine and The Atascadero News, we are facing the same challenges as everyone else. No one person or company at this time is immune from this economic impact. We are all in this together, and that is what we are pulling strength and hope from. Together we are one. Together we will get through this, it just may not look like what we planned when we walked into 2020. Our promise to you, we will continue to tell the stories of the incredible people and businesses that make up our community, and that is why we did not change the featured stories in this issue. We value each of our business partners’ support, which allows us to print and mail to every home in the North County and beyond. We will use our platform to seek out and recognize the Essential Hero’s whose stories may not have been told if this epidemic had not occurred. We will do everything we can to help support and love our communities as we all walk through this no matter what it looks like on the other end. Because at the end of the day, we genuinely believe that we are all in this together. And together, we can do anything. We hope this issue of Colony Magazine brings a smile to your face and warmth to your heart. Please be safe and well. All our love, The Mattson Family

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Commentary reflects the views of the writers and does not necessarily reflect those of Colony Magazine. Colony Magazine is delivered free to 17,000 addresses in North San Luis Obispo County. Our costs are paid entirely by advertising revenue. Our Local Business section spotlights select advertisers. All other stories are determined solely by our editors. For advertising inquiries and rates email, or contact one of our Advertising Representatives listed above.

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If thou wouldest win Immortality of Name, either do things worth the writing, or write things worth the reading. — Thomas Fuller, 1727

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| Creston

Jennifer Best


undreds of road cyclists were slated to take to Creston’s highways and byways in April, but as with so many events and gatherings across the nation, SLO Bicycle Club’s Wildflower Century and the Creston Women’s Club’s related annual Creston Spaghetti Feed have been canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fundraising effort has been replaced by a community endeavor to keep our elderly, frail and immune-compromised safe by providing neighborly deliveries of staple items.

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The Creston Women’s Club emergency relief effort aims to further make connections between the frail and volunteers who can deliver staples, toiletries, prescriptions and necessary items from town. To request assistance, visit Before the cancellations were within the realm of possibility, SLO County Library Director Chris Barnickel got a jump start on the ride with an eventful ride of his own that demonstrated just how close and wonderful our little community is. Barnickel was taking advantage of the cool weather with a late winter ride on Creston’s newly paved sections when his bike’s rear derailleur pulley went through his spokes. He’d made last-minute route changes, unforecasted rain was threatening, homes were few and far

between, and cell service was spotty. But of all the places he could have broken down, there he was, just down the hill from Susan Poteet’s picture windows. Susan, a past president of the Foundation for San Luis Obispo County Public Libraries, and her husband, Neal, have enjoyed working with and getting together with Chris and his wife, Catharine. “I thought it was great he’d call up to the house for a ride to Santa Margarita,” Poteet said. “I could see him down there, talking to me on his phone. It just illustrated the fact he’s done a great job making relationships in the community, not just with library friends, but between a lot of different organizations here to bring together this amazing gift we have in this county.” Anyone who has lived in SLO County for long has experienced some unique meetings: finding each

other on a trail, fishing alongside work buddies who chose the same day to play hooky, meeting up with favorite shop owners off the beaten path. “All these connections in SLO County are phenomenal,” Barnickel said. If you have it in you, please continue supporting the nonprofits that are having to cancel their fundraising events. Creston Garden Club will dig deep to keep the garden beautiful for all without its annual Plant and Bake Sale, and Creston Women’s Club will be doing what it can to continue supporting student scholarship. And please continue supporting our local small businesses shuttered by these events. At press time, The Loading Chute was taking call-in orders for pickup and Creston Market was still open for business. Colony Magazine | April 2020

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W I Beyond L D F L Beauty OWERS Simone Smith


very year as winter’s chill begins to give way to warmer spring temperatures and longer days encourage the awakening of flora and fauna, the North County comes alive with activity. This is the magical time when tender new sprouts emerge from the soil, the surrounding hills and valleys transition from winter brown to spring green, flowers start to bud and bloom and the air comes alive with the buzzing of bees, flutters of butterflies and songs of birds. As a designated Gateway to the Carrizo Plain National Monument, businesses and residents in Santa Margarita start hearing questions about the wildflowers almost as soon as the new year begins. The Carrizo Plain, on its own, is a spectacular and unique area no matter what time of year. With its wide expanse of open native grassland, chalk white Soda Lake, herds of pronghorn antelope and tule elk, Chumash pictographs, remnants of old ranching operations and visible evidence of the San Andreas Fault, it’s the wildflowers and possibility of a super bloom that get people the most excited. Questions and reports about wildflower blooms change from week to week. “Is it happening yet?” “What colors are there?” “Darn it’s only yellows!” “Now there’s some blue!” “Where are the poppies?” “I was hoping for more colors!” “It’s at its peak!” “Not as good as last year.” “So amazing!” “Did we miss it?” Thoughts of a kaleidoscope of rainbow colors painting the landscape is the stuff of dreams, but no matter where you are, every year is different and the mix of wild-

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flowers growing and blooming varies depending on location, soil, sunlight, periods of wet and dry, heat and chill, timing, etc… Maybe it’s the unpredictability that makes it so exciting, kind of like winning the lottery. But there’s more to wildflowers than just their beautiful blooms. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a Wildflower is “a flower of an uncultivated variety or a flower growing freely without human intervention.” Pick up a wildflower book and you will find a wide array of plants featured including native and naturalized flowering trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and even weeds. But pick up a pack or look up info on wildflower seeds and you’ll find a wide assortment that can make your head spin — “All Annual,” “All Perennial,” “Deer Resistant,” “Regional Mix,” “Dry Mix,” “Butterfly Mix,” “Bird Mix,” “Low Mix,” “Tall Mix,” etc.! If you do decide to “intervene” and do a little wildflower planting, the choice is yours, however, thinking beyond the possibility of seasonal beauty, you may want to consider a few additional factors. Native plant species (those that have developed naturally over time with adaptations to their specific environment) help to support native wildlife in a variety of ways. These plants provide wild-

life with life’s necessities such as food, in the way of foliage, seeds, nectar, fruit, nuts and pollen; nesting materials and shelter for raising young and for protection from weather or predators. Some species are dependent on specific types of plants during a point in their life-cycle for their very survival (such as the Monarch butterfly larvae which only feed on milkweed plants). Some wildflower species are beneficial for soil health. In addition to being our beautiful state flower, the California Poppy not only provides seeds for small mammals, abundant pollen for important pollinating insects and coverage for lizards and small birds it is also often added to erosion control mixes due to their wide adaptability and deep taproots. Western Redbuds, Ceanothus and Lupines are all examples of beautifully blooming plants who have nitrogen fixing capabilities helping to enrich surrounding soil. A third factor for wildflower consideration would be their benefits to

pollinators. We’ve heard over the past years about the declining health and numbers of bird species, bees and butterflies which along with beetles, flies and small mammals perform the very important task of pollination. According to “pollinators are responsible for one in every three bites of food that we eat.” Just as we need shelter and a diversity of food throughout the year to supply the necessary nutrients to keep our bodies healthy, so do our pollinators. The next time you notice a wildflower, take a moment to appreciate it, big or small, shrubby or weedy, even if it isn’t a poppy or your favorite shade of blue. Wildflowers are so much more than beautiful. To learn more about our local wildflowers and California native plants see California Plants, A Guide to Our Iconic Flora by Matt Ritter, Pacific Street Publishing, 2018. Go to to learn more about attracting and supporting pollinators, download a Pollinator Fact Sheet or an Eco Regional Planting Guide.

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Home School Survival Skills A how-to guide for sheltering-at-home

with pencils and pens, pencil sharpener, paper, scratch paper, calculator if needed, ow that the kids are there with you every ruler, etc. Again, all of this helps get them morning, you are probably experiencing in a ‘school’ mode of thinking and learning. some ‘shock’ and wondering, “How do I 4. Most home school moms have found that do school at home?” Don’t panic. You can do they get all the academics done in three this. Here are a few strategies I’ve developed hours in the morning, 9-12 works well, with through ‘trial and error’ over the years in differlunch and then a play or quiet time break ent school-at-home settings: after lunch, maybe 12-2. Some moms find it helps to have everyone go to their room 1. Give your school a name, maybe a mascot, for one quiet hour to do whatever they a starting time, a permanent place in the want, but not computers or social media home, some ground rules, recess times, and — this gives mom a needed break to just lunchtime. Your kids are used to this kind ‘nerd out.’ (And the kids like it too, after of structure, and they will feel more secure they get used to it) in it. 5. Choose a good book that you will read 2. Before school, have kids (and you) dress for aloud to them every day, for 15 minutes or school, comb hair, make beds, eat breakfast, so — this is a real bonding time, and you just as if they were ‘leaving’ for school — all get to share the story evolving. this reinforces the fact that this is, indeed, 6. Fun activities can happen after the noon real school, even if it is at home. How break. This ‘shelter-at-home’ season opens about a flag salute at the beginning each the door to a lot of old-fashioned actividay? And, oh yes, NO TV on during school. ties: bake a cake, cookies or bread; have a 3. Each child will have their own ‘seat’ at your cooking contest, cook part of the dinner; school table, wherever it is. ( Just like at art projects galore and setting up an easel school, they get a sense of ownership and for drawing and painting; learn to sew territory for their spot.) School should not or embroider; glue pieces of scrap wood happen on the sofa or on the floor or in together; play board games; plant a garden their bedroom. Have school supplies ready from seed; learning to sing together (find at your school table: laptops, containers some old song books); puppet shows; create By Connie Pillsbury


a mini movie that someone films on their iPhone; take a walk; make a nature scrapbook; take photos, and on and on. It’s amazing how creative kids can be when removed from schedules and computers and watching TV. 7. Speaking of computers, avoid the temptation to let the kids play computer games all day. I know, you can get a lot done while they’re absorbed but it can so easily become addictive and mindless. Computer games should be saved for the last hour before or after dinner, like 5-6, and limited to just that hour (Yes, you’ll have to be tough and consistent on this one!). 8. When in doubt, trust your instincts. You really can guide your children in schooling, and you’ll find you actually have a lot to share with them. Just your enthusiasm in being there with them and for them during this hiatus will really enrich your relationships. Be patient with yourself, don’t expect perfection, and smile a lot. Be long on praise and short on criticism. This time at home may turn out to build some of your best memories with your children. h Connie Pillsbury is an elementary teacher, resource specialist, home school mom and grandmom.

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Colony Magazine | April 2020


Tips to Fend Off


he coronaviris outbreak has changed our lives dramatically. Most are experiencing the fear of becoming infected, running out of food and necessary supplies, and canceling events. The team at The Natural Alternative has been busy planning our big 25 Year Anniversary Appreciation Day in April, but we have decided to postpone it at this time. We do want the community to know that we are still here for you, taking every precaution to keep you safe as you enter the store, diffusing essential oils and continually wiping down the counters, merchant machine, and door handles. We are working hard to continue to restock all the necessities and have the following suggestions: First of all, don’t panic! Stress lowers your immune response. Focus on deep breathing, try yoga at home, take a walk and notice the beauty surrounding you. Practice good hygiene such as washing your hands well — 20 seconds minimum! Eat healthy — support our local restaurants and order takeout soups, salads, barbecue and have a picnic at home! Avoid sugar and junk food which suppress your immune system for hours! Don’t forget vitamin C and zinc-rich foods: most fresh fruits and vegetables — make your plate colorful! Zinc-rich

foods include animal proteins as well as pumpkin seeds (add to your healthy salads). Antivirals to keep on hand: Elderberry, Colloidal Silver, Andrographis, Eleuthero, Astragalus, and more. We are doing our best to restock and meet your needs so please give us a call to make sure we have what you need in stock. Probiotics and Vitamin D support immune response. Cod Liver Oil contains both Vitamin A and D for added support. Herbal tea with lemon and Manuka Honey (shop our tea section!) is not only warming for the soul but Manuka Honey has strong antiviral properties. Don’t forget your essential oils! Eucalyptus, tea tree, thyme, oregano, frankincense, and Thieves blend — strong antimicrobial properties — diffuse throughout the house! If you are elderly or immune-compromised, always take added steps to avoid exposure. If you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, etc. please contact your healthcare provider. If you wish to place an order by phone, we are offering curbside service for added convenience. We are here for you! The Team @ The Natural Alternative Nutrition Center






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Horseback Riding on the central coast Options abound, from riding on the range to beautiful ocean views


By Camille DeVaul

f you haven’t explored the Central Coast by horseback, then you haven’t really experienced it! As an area with a rich history in agriculture and desperados, traditions like horseback riding are offered on both sides of the Cuesta Grade.

CENTRAL COAST TRAIL RIDES If you are a lover of wine and want a unique experience, Crystal Hallett at Central Coast Trail Rides, based in Creston, has plenty to offer. Specializing in horseback rides with some of the area’s most famous wineries, they currently have rides with five different packages and more in the works. Hallett and her husband Brian operate the business together as a family with their two children, Taylen, 7, and Mattix,15. Soon, riders can look forward to having little Taylen as one of their lead wranglers! To give customers the best experience possible, they partner with some of the area’s most well-known wineries, ranches, vineyards, and resorts. Central Coast Trail Rides brings their customers packages with Cass Winery, Halter Ranch, Calcareous Vineyard, and a ride at Santa Margarita Lake. One of Hallett’s newest part-

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nerships includes Hearst Ranch. “We ride at the Hearst Ranch and were pretty proud of that one,” Hallett said. “The Hearst Castle property out there in San Simeon is; definitely, I’d say one of my most prideful connections and partnerships.” Along with her partnerships at local wineries and ranches, guests at hotels and rentals such as Allegretto Vineyard Resort, Camatta Ranch, and others can inquire about their “stay and play” options. Hallett is consistently creating new partnerships to offer as many diverse options as possible. “Always expanding into new properties, new places to ride, new package opportunities,” Hallett said. “Big hills that we switch back onto the top to get the California Coastline views. That is called Cottontail Creek Ranch in Cayucos and that’s our newest, the only one that has ocean views.” The cost of rides ranges anywhere from $95 to $165 per person, depending on location and length of the trip. Groups from two up to 14 people can book with beginning to expert riders welcome. With 27 horses to choose from, riders are sure to find their perfect match. If you are looking to create a special moment — say a proposal — Hallett and her

husband are happy to help those dreams come true for you! There are many new opportunities in the works for Central Coast Trailrides. Riders can expect new experiences with more of the area’s favorite wineries. For more information on Central Coast Trailrides, their horses and experiences offered, head to cctrailrides. com.

FOSS FARMS Local little ones who are itching to get out on horseback can look to Jenn Foss at Foss Farms for horseback riding lessons. Foss has been providing riding lessons since she was 18 years old. She moved to San Luis Obispo when she was 19 from San Jose and never looked back. She and her husband settled on a small ranch in Atascadero, where she started Foss Farms. With a background in early childhood education and development, Foss specializes in children ages 2 to 12. “The opportunities range from me going onto their property giving lessons on their own personal horse, or they come to our house in Atascadero,” Foss said. “I have two lesson horses to choose from, and my more advanced students have the option of showing with me at local schooling shows.” There are several lesson Continued on Page 17

Colony Magazine | April 2020

Continued from Page 16

packages riders can choose from, all within an accessible price range. Half-hour lessons are $35, and full-hour lessons run at $50, both having package options available. It is essential to Foss that her lessons are at a realistic cost for all families. Both of Foss’s horses are rescue horses. Her first horse, Thomas, is a rescue horse from North Dakota and has provided more than 100 students comfort as they take one of their first riding lessons. “We didn’t grow up with a lot of money in San Jose—we couldn’t really afford lessons,” Foss said. “I want to keep my prices affordable and competitive and realistic.” Along with riding lessons, Foss owns and operates her own micro or urban-farm. “We farm heirloom vegetables, usually year-round depending on the season obviously and we raise chickens that are show quality and

I also raise quail for meat and egg production,” Foss said. Foss humanely and ethically raises her quails from incubation to butcher herself and is the only known quail farmer in the area. She specifically raises Japanese Coturnix Quail for meat and eggs. Her products can be found at local vendors like Nature’s Touch in Templeton, SLO Natural Co-Op in San Luis Obispo, Railroad BBQ in Paso Robles, and more. If you’re in the area, be sure to visit the farm stand in front of Foss Farms and get some fresh produce! Visit to book your riding lesson, shop for produce, and learn more about all Foss Farms has to offer!

MADONNA INN TRAIL RIDES If you’re a fan of pink champagne cake (honestly who isn’t), it might be in your interest to check out Madonna Inn Trail Rides. Since 2012, Haddie Townsend has been

guiding rides at Madonna Inn for hotel guests and day visitors. Rides are suitable for beginners and experienced riders alike. No matter your rider experience, the trails at Madonna are sure to impress. The three-and-a-half mile trail takes riders up Cerro San Luis overlooking San Luis Obispo and Laguna Lake, offering stunning views. A wine and cheese pairing with the trail ride package is also available to guests and visitors. Rides at Madonna Inn run seven days a week, operating between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Ages 7 and up are welcome to ride. Small to large groups, with a max capacity of 15 riders, can make reservations by calling Haddie Townsend at (805) 550-5307 or visit madonnainn. com/trail-rides-1 for more information. When you’re done taking in the views on the mountain, treat yourself to taking in a piece of that champagne cake!

HARRIS STAGE LINES Harris Stage Lines in Paso Robles makes it their business to embrace western traditions. Bring a picnic, visit the ranch and ride stagecoach just as they did in Paso Robles in the 1860s! Call Harris Stage Lines at (805) 237-1860 for more information on tours or to make a stagecoach part of your weddings and special events.

PISMO PRESERVE Those with their own horses who are looking for an ocean view are welcome to visit the Pismo Preserve. With 880 acres and 11 miles of trails, riders can enjoy scenic views of the Pacific Ocean from the Irish Hills to Point Sal. Trails are currently closed due to coronavirus concerns and lack of physical distancing by visitors.


In Templeton, guests can get cozy on one of Z Ranch’s cabins WORK RANCH and plan a trail ride with vineyard At the edge of Monterey County, views. Z Ranch has 22 acres and in the Cholame Hills, resides the a 360 view of the hills, vineyards, Work Ranch. Since the 1880s, the and oak trees. Be sure to say hello Work family has owned and oper- to their horses, alpacas, and even ated their 12,000-acre ranch in San a zebra! Miguel. Now, they welcome guests from all over the world to explore ur Central Coast has the rolling hills they call home. a deep connection Riders of all experience can partner with western heritage. with one of the Work’s well-tem- Because of this, there are plenty pered horses, or guests can bring of opportunities for visitors and their own! locals to see our countryside by With urban life miles away, horseback. This region has some you’ll be able to breathe and take of the most various and beautiful in all the details nature has created. terrains. Each trail ride offered The majority of their land remains is different, always ensuring an untouched by man as it did over 100 unforgettable experience. years ago. Rides are offered yearAn outstanding horseback ride round with seasonal hours. Trails through the various terrain of the run an hour-and-a-half, with longer Central Coast can be the perfect rides available upon request. Special activity for those visiting and even rates are provided for groups of five locals. Book a horse ride for your or more. girls’ trip, celebrate a milestone, If you are in search of an experi- or your family Sunday Funday. ence that showcases the untouched No matter your reason, a journey beauty of North County, Work through our beautiful county will Ranch is undoubtedly the place to be sure not to disappoint. be. To book a ride with the Work Ranch, call Kelly Work at (805) For all trailheads and rides, 610-0961 or visit please call ahead to conf irm trail-rides-horseback-riding/ for that operations are as listed, more information on the Work due to coronavirus concerns or Ranch and all their upcoming state orders to close non-essenevents! tial services.


April 2020 | Colony Magazine | 17

redwings horse sanctuary - nonprofit horse rescue moving to paso robles By Camille DeVaul


or almost 30 years, it has been Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s mission to eliminate the causes of equine suffering. They started their journey in Carmel with only a few volunteers, rescuing 15 horses their first year. Today, they are located in Lockwood, and have grown to become one of the most well-established equine rescues in Monterey County. The staff at Redwings are looking forward to moving into a new and permanent facility within the next year. Thanks to a donor’s generous bequest gift, the team at Redwings was able to purchase a 141-acre ranch at 6875 Union Road in Paso Robles, where construction for a new facility has begun. The latest move will allow an increase in volunteer capacity and educational outreach with more donor and sponsorship opportunities. Redwings provides a sanctuary for horses from all kinds of backgrounds. From retired racing thoroughbreds to wild mustangs in the Pryor Mountains of Montana, all are welcome. There are many equines within our state with very uncertain futures. This creates a great need for organizations like Redwings Horse Sanctuary, which receives, on average, 20 calls or e-mails a month requesting help for an equine in need. The staff prioritizes the rescue and reh a bi l it ation of the most at-risk horses.

Sara Ruggerone, Redwings Equine Care Manager, said, “We’ve been working closely with SLO County Animal Services lately to take in abused, abandoned and neglected horses and bring them back to health and hopefully offer them out into adopted homes later on.” In some occurrences, these horses are unavailable to adopt and seek a forever sanctuary. Some of these are mustangs and burros from the Bureau of Land Management population control round-ups or rescues from Premarin farms. But not all the rescues come from an abusive or neglected past. Some were service horses for organizations such as the border patrol who served our country. Others come from a partnering organization called the California Retirement Management Account. Through CARMA, the rescue accepts retired off-track California racehorses who came from loving owners and are highly adoptable. Redwings Horse Sanctuary was founded in 1991 with a mission to end the abuse of horses, p on ie s ,

donkeys, burros, and mules. When their lease in Carmel came to an end, the owners of the property decided to sell their ranch, leaving the rescue to re-home. In 2000, they landed on a 167-acre ranch in Lockwood. By 2002, all 90 equines, staff members and volunteers made the transition to their new home. The staff and residents of the sanctuary would like to send out a special thank you to Jack and Marilyn Clifton for generously leasing the Lockwood property to Redwings for the past 20 years. Since 1995, the rescue has been established as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All veterinary costs, land lease fees, employee salary, and equine needs are paid for with Continued on Page 19

Say hello to Lover Boy and Melissa. Photos by Jim Vincolisi

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Colony Magazine | April 2020

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preciated donations. The rescue is accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, making it one of the most well-established horse rescues in the state. Those wanting to support Redwings can do so in several ways. If you wish to contribute, but can’t afford a donation, volunteers

are always welcome at Redwings! Desirae Cogdell, Redwings office manager, said, “All of our volunteers take a training course with Sara. We call it a level one class which teaches basic horsemanship — primarily, our volunteers groom and give extra love and attention.” After completing the level one class, volunteers are welcome to come to the facility’s open hours, which take place Tuesday through

Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and spend time with their level one equines. Tours and visiting hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at no cost to the visitor. One of the best ways to contribute to Redwing’s cause is to go through their foster to adopt the program. “We have a very unique adoption program — we don’t charge adoption fees at Redwings,” says Ruggerone. Instead of paying an adoption fee and leaving, potential adopters must foster their horse for one year. The foster home is required to send monthly updates and expect quarterly v isits from the staff at Redwings. “We offer both riding horses as well as just compan-

ion horses,” Ruggerone said. “For somebody that maybe has a big beautiful pasture and one horse that is maybe a bit lonely.” Since the creation of their Foster to Adopt program in 2014, Redwings has placed a total of 52 horses in new homes. A total of 28 horses have been formally adopted and currently 24 in foster homes are on the path to adoption. For more information on the Foster to Adopt program, visit foster-to-adopt. Donations can be made through the Redwings website at or by calling their office at (831)386-0135. Donors can contribute through a one-time occurrence, a monthly donor program, or done through a horse sponsorship. The caring staff at Redwings Horse Sanctuary is looking forward to their move to Paso Robles and have many exciting opportunities in the works for visitors! h

The Redwings team breaking ground at their new permanent facility on Union Road in Paso Robles. Thanks to a donor’s generous bequest gift, horses get to graze a 141-acre ranch.

April 2020 | Colony Magazine | 19

Trails Ahead By Jeannette Simpson


pring is here and provides wonderful weather and seasonal sights that encourage us to go out and commune with nature. Lucky for us, San Luis Obispo County is an outdoor enthusiasts dream area because it is home to so many diverse beautiful natural places to roam and explore. Many of the best known existing trails are found along our majestic coast with new trails opening recently and more planned to come. These are wonderful places to explore and visit and we encourage you to check them out too.

Yet, closer to our own backyard, there are several great spaces and places to walk, jog, stroll and bike right here in North County. Whether you are seeking views, water features, hikes, biking, walking, jogging, horseback riding, kid-friendly, dog-friendly, bird watching activities or year round, seasonal and other helpful information, we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together a list of local nearby places that include a little something for everyone and provide useful information such as length of trail, difficulty rating, elevation

gain, features, accessibility and activities lists and helpful notes to give you the basics and inspire your outings and adventures. Be sure to check for additional information, maps, directions, weather conditions, hazards, parking options and any fees required before you head out to ensure the best possible experiences. So grab a buddy and get out there and have fun! As with any outdoor adventure it is wise to be prepared before you set out so make sure to check out our Pro Tips before you go!

Atascadero atascadero lake park (loop)

• • • •

Length: 1.3 Miles Rated: Easy Elevation Gain: 26 feet Features: Lake, Views, Wild Flowers, Bird Watching • Activities: Hiking, Running, Walking, Paddle Sports, Nature Trips • Notes: Kid Friendly, best used March September, Dogs on leash allowed, Right next to Zoo stadium park trail (loop)

• Length: 1.9 Miles • Rated: Easy - Elevation Gain: 524 feet • Features: Views, Wild Flowers, Bird Watching • Activities: Walking, Hiking, Nature Trips, Running, • Notes: Kid Friendly, best used April October, Dogs on leash allowed jim green trail (loop)

• Length: 1.6 Miles • Rated: Easy • Elevation Gain: 167 feet

three bridges oak

preserve trail (loop)

• • • •

Length: 3.5 Miles Rated: Moderate Elevation Gain: 669 feet Features: Forest, River, Views, Wild Flowers, Bird Watching • Activities: Walking, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Nature Trips, Running, Horseback Riding • Notes: Kid Friendly, Dogs on leash allowed, Can be muddy boyscout bridge & loop,

los padres national forest

• • • • •

Length: 4.6 miles Rated: Moderate Elevation gain:1,154 feet Features: Views, forest Activities: Hiking, running, walking, camping, nature trips • Caution: Poison Oak and tall grasses line trails cerro alto trail loop,

los padres national forest

• • • Features: Forest, River, Views, Wild • Flowers, Bird Watching, Wildlife • • Activities: Walking, Hiking, Moun- • tain Biking, Nature Trips, Running, Horseback Riding • • Notes: Kid Friendly, Dogs on leash allowed • heilmann regional park

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Length: 4.5 Miles Rated: Difficult Elevation Gain: 1,607 feet $10 fee Features: River, views, wildlife, wild flowers, bird watching, forest Activities: Hiking, mountain biking, running, horseback riding, camping Notes: Dogs on leash allowed. Starts half way between Atascadero and Morro Bay Continued on Page 21

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salinas river walk

• • • • •

Length: 3.9 miles Rated: Easy Elevation Gain: 85 feet Features: River, views, forest, wild flowers, bird watching Activities: Hiking, mountain biking, running, walking, road biking • Notes: Kid-friendly, All skill levels, Dogs on leash allowed, Paved trail, Has a small park with playground city park trail

• • • • • •

Length: .5 miles Rated: Easy Elevation Gain: 6 feet Features: Views, bird watching Activities: Walking, hiking, nature trips Notes: Kid-friendly, all skill levels, dogs on leash allowed, wheelchair-friendly

centennial trail

• • • • • •

Length: 1.9 miles Rated: Easy Elevation gain: 82 feet Features: Views, wild flowers, bird watching, forest Activities: Hiking, running, walking, road biking, city walk Notes: Kid-friendly, all skill levels, dogs on leash allowed, paved trail, wheelchair-friendly

cuesta grade area, stagecoach road

• • • • • •

Length: 5.4 miles Rated: Moderate Elevation Gain 859 feet Features: Views, wild flowers, bird watching, wildlife Activities: Hiking, walking, mountain biking, nature trips Notes: Kid-friendly, dogs on leash allowed



san luis obispo and south coast

• • • • • • •

Bishop’s Peak, San Luis Obispo Madonna Mountain Loop, San Luis Obispo Montana De Oro, Los Osos Elfin Forest, Baywood Park/Los Osos Bob Jones Trail, Avila Beach Lighthouse Trail, Avila Beach Pismo Preserve, Pismo

north coast

• • • • • • •

April 2020 | Colony Magazine

Cloisters Wetland to Morro Rock, Morro Bay Harmony Headlands, Harmony Estero Bay Bluff Trail, Cayucos Whale Rock Reservoir, Cayucos Cambria Boardwalk, Cambria Fiscalini Ranch Preserve Trails, Cambria Salmon Creek, Ragged Point

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Continued from Page 20



better together

It is more enjoyable to share your experiences but also much safer to be with a buddy in case of any emergency, yours or someone else’s. h2o

Our ever-shifting micro climates can fool us easily, but it gets warm, dry and windy at times so make sure you’ve got more than enough water with you for your journey. snacking

If it’s going to be long day, you may want to bring a picnic, but having a few snacks with you is always a good idea, even on a short hike. attire

Proper footwear and attire for the terrain and weather conditions are a must including layers, jackets, hats, tick/bug repellent, sunglasses and sunscreen, of course. gear up

Know your tools and equipment, check them for proper working order before you head out and bring basics: map, compass, flashlight, fire starter, knife/multi-tool, first aid kit (don’t rely on your cellphone which may not have a signal that many apps and maps need to work properly). Cerro Alto. Contributed photo

selfie evaluation

A serious or life threatening injury just isn’t worth a social media shot. Always use common sense and err on the side of caution when taking photos and exploring. wander inside the lines

Stay on designated trails, do not trespass, be considerate of habitation, animals, plants, locals and other adventurers. locking it up

Stadium Park. Photo by Luke Phillips

Make sure you leave valuables at home, do not leave wallets, purses, electronic devices in vehicles, lock your vehicles and take keys with you. slo lanes

When hiking or biking narrow country back roads, remember that cars often can’t see or hear you until it is too late to stop or slow down to avoid an accident. Be aware, be cautious and courteous. Wear visible clothing, stay single file around curves, on bridges and narrow sections. Atascadero Lake. Photo by Nicholas Mattson

Other Unique and Interesting Places • Biking Wine Tasting Tours with Tour Guides and Bike Friendly Transportation Vehicles • Vineyard or Farm Tours that can include walking, hiking, picnicking, ATV rides • Cal Poly Architecture Graveyard to view previous student building projects

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check in, check out

Let someone know your plans ,where and when you are heading out and when you’ll check back in. pack in, pack out

Be a good steward and bring anything you brought in with you, back out with you. Don’t litter! smokey says

Pay attention to fire danger levels and warnings. Do not start a fire anywhere without a permit or outside a legally designated area. Colony Magazine | April 2020

April 2020 | Colony Magazine | 23

Annual Trail Ride to Support Historical Adelaida Schoolhouse Due to coronavirus concerns, changes may be made to the event after the date of this publication. Please check with event organizers

By Camille DeVaul


The Adelaida Schoolhouse was initially built in 1917 as the Lincoln Schoolhouse. Back then, Adelaida acted as a way station for horses and riders to rest when transporting goods from the coast to inland. Travelers noticed the land in Adelaida was ideal for farming, and mining mercury, then settled the area. During its hey day, the community was home to three schools, three post offices, two general stores, and a dance hall. Students in first through eighth grades came to the schoolhouse

for lessons until 1964. Afterward, the building stood through the weather and the test of time. Even after the town slowly dried up, the schoolhouse remained. It is now the only original Adelaida building still intact. The Adelaida Farm Bureau holds its monthly meetings there, just as they have done for more than a century. Although the building has done a remarkable job surviving on its own, she needs a little help. The Adelaida Historical Foundation formed in 2003 to begin

ll are welcome to come and join the Annual Adelaida Round Up Trail Ride and BBQ this May 2, 2020! The annual fundraiser, presented by the nonprofit Adelaida Historical Foundation, benefits the former Adelaida Schoolhouse. For over one century, the little one-room schoolhouse has stood off Chimney Rock Road. Surrounded by orchards and nestled at the bottom of a hillside, the building stands as a 103-year-old reminder of the once-bustling town of Adelaida. Days of one-room schoolhouses and riding horses to school instead of buses have passed. Evidence of these days has become harder and harder to come by, but next time you’re taking a drive through Adelaida looking for your next wine venture, take a turn onto Chimney Rock Road, where you’ll find one of the last pieces of the The Annual Trail Ride will run through stunning properties, such as that original town of Adelaida. of Halter Ranch. Photo by Adelaida Historical Foundation

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renovating the schoolhouse. The foundation is a nonprofit and entirely run by volunteers. Some of those attended the school before its closing. So many upgrades have already been made to the building! These updates include replacing the foundation, roof, and siding, and updating the kitchen and utility lines. But there is so much more to be done. Luckily, the foundation has created an event where people can not only donate to keeping the schoolhouse alive but also have a great time. The Annual Adelaida Round Up Trail Ride and BBQ will begin at the schoolhouse with a trail ride at 9 a.m. and take folks around the unique surrounding terrain. The trail runs through the beautiful bordering properties, including Halter Ranch. If available, horses can be rented through Central Coast Trail Rides for an extra fee. Those bringing their Continued on Page 24

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horse can expect a 4-5 mile trail, which comes to about a three-hour ride. If riding isn’t an option for you, no worries! You can still join the fun on the Tenderfoot Wagon! This wagon leaves the station at 10 a.m. with both wagon and horse riders back by 1 p.m. for the barbecue and auction. Ticket donations are $100 for the trail ride and barbecue, $65 for the Tenderfoot Wagon ride and barbecue, or $40 for barbecue and back-hills jawing. Ages 7-18 are $20 for lunch only and free for ages six and under. All adult tickets include a raffle to win a mixed case of wine! This year’s proceeds will go toward improving the existing parking lot, adding AC and heating, and readying the building to host bigger events such as weddings. They are currently open to hosting smaller events as a unique and historical venue! The schoolhouse is more than an old building on the side of a country road, it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and remains an active reminder of a community that once flourished to locals whose families were the area’s original homesteaders. Anyone looking to join the fun and support the Adelaida Schoolhouse should call 805-674-4811 or go to to ask about the 2020 trail ride, as many events have been canceled or postponed due to coronavirus concerns.

April 2020 | Colony Magazine | 25

| Exploring the Enclaves


Paso Robles

the 30-acre estate vineyard planted predominantly to merlot. The wines are structurally balanced — ringing with black fruit aromas and bracing minerality, they are muscle-flexing yet elegant in an Old-World style with seamless tannins and velvety finish. Add to this an unforgettable tasting he Back Roads Wineries of experience (by appointment only) Paso Robles are just that, hosted by Goran and wife Ksenija boutique wineries tucked in a gorgeous salon where you savor away along the back roads of east side home-made Slovenian charcuterie Paso Robles. Perhaps the region’s most paired with their wines. This is wine beautiful terrain, lined with miles of tasting at its best. running fences, acres of well-maniFurther up, amidst the rolling hills cured hillside vineyards and expan- of Creston, Chateau Margene is sive ranches inhabited by longhorns, located on the old Huer Huero Mexisheep and horses. While most of the can land grant. Founders Mike and wineries are located along the four Margene Moony produce complex main arteries — Linne Road, Union Bordeaux-style wines from their Road, Creston Road and El Pomar estate vineyards and superb pinot noir Road, there are many ensconced along sourced from Santa Lucia Highlands. hidden country roads. At Still Waters Vineyards, some 14 This enclave, touching the districts varieties are planted on the spectacular of Templeton Gap, El Pomar, Geneseo hillside ranch, dotted with 130-year and Creston, reflects the full diversity old trees. It’s predominantly cabernet of Paso. This means both Rhône and sauvignon and merlot produced here Bordeaux-style wines are produced in with petite sirah sprinkled in most this region, with cabernet sauvignon blends for an added depth. taking the lead. However, there’s pinot While there are dozens of wineries noir growing in a sweet spot of Sculp- in this enclave, some 30 winemakers terra Winery’s vineyard and chardon- have formed the Back Roads Winernay at Still Waters Vineyards. In the ies group that hosts several events southern part of Templeton Gap annually. The upcoming spring event District, Chris Ferrara, founder of will take place at Cass Winery on Italian-focused Clesi Winery, has April 4. planted five acres to sangiovese and “I had to scrape to find 13 winermontepulciano. ies,” mused Steve Cass who was A hidden gem in the Creston instrumental in the group’s formaDistrict is Aleksander Wine whose tion. “Now there are 30.” impressive Bordeaux-style wines Cass Winery is located in are a rare find in Paso. The two Geneseo’s warm district, with soil merlot-driven blends can rival those composition of clay loam and alluof Bordeaux’s Right Bank. Owner vial. As in other parts of Paso, both Goran Bjekovic crafts his wines from Rhône and Bordeaux-style varieties do well here, Cass noted.

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“Rhône whites are perfectly happy,” said Cass, known for his viognier and roussanne wines plus syrah, cabernet sauvignon and bodacious Rhône blends, all savored with Cass Cafe’s wine country cuisine. Cass offers an Adult Summer Camp, an immersive wine country experience at its 145-acre ranch, offering farm and garden education, cooking classes, wine blending sessions, horse riding and lodging at Geneseo Inn — an eight-unit B&B constructed out of recycled shipping containers. Nearby, Sculpterra Winery & Sculpture Garden has much to offer, with an abundance of giant metal and stone sculptures, historical panels of Paso history, a gazebo and exquisite

gardens. More visual feast abounds indoors where you can taste from a portfolio of some 20 wines — a tropical viognier, an earthy pinot noir, a smoky primitivo or the powerful Bentley Ironworks cabernet sauvignon. A collaboration between two noted winemakers, Andrew Jones and Curt Schalchlin, the Fableist Wine Co. has a wonderful story to tell not only with its catchy labels inspired by Aesop’s fables but the tasting experience conducted in the historic home. There’s no single tasting counter; a sit-down tasting is offered in one of the many cozy rooms. “It’s what Paso is all about, pick

a room to taste in,” said Schalchlin. The portfolio of well-structured wines ranges from cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir to chardonnay and zinfandel, sourced from noted vineyards in Paso and along the Central Coast — all priced at $20 per bottle. Further up, Bovino’s panoramic 83-acre hillside ranch offers a range of 12 wines, under two labels — Joludi and gen-er-os-i-ty. Talk about diversity, here you can taste from albariño and arneis to zinfandel, with a lineup that also includes grenache, sangiovese, tempranillo and Bordeaux-style blends. On weekends, the scenic deck is filled with visitors savoring Chef Jeff Puckett’s culinary delights prepared from locally sourced ingredients at Cafe Bovino. Tucked along a dirt road, the gated hilltop Ambyth estate is Paso’s first and only Demeter-certified biodynamic winery that was founded by Phillip and Mary Hart in 2000. The uphill drive is flanked by dry-farmed vineyards and olive trees, with cattle, sheep, llamas and chickens on the range of this panoramic hillside. The hallmark here is low-alcohol wines with minimal intervention and aged in terra-cotta amphorae. The focus is on Rhône style wines, with some tempranillo, zinfandel and cabernet sauvignon. The new arrival of 7 Angels Cellars in Templeton is drawing enophiles to its bold and complex Rhône-style blends and deep-hued, age-worthy petite sirah. The white wine line up of viognier and grenache blanc is deliciously refreshing. And for a palate refresher, there’s no place like Rava Wines, Paso’s first winery to focus on Méthode Champenoise process of crafting sparkling wines. The menu includes a range of six sparkling wines produced from chardonnay, pinot noir, albariño and grüner veltliner. For more information, visit

Magazine | April2020 2020 Paso RoblesColony Magazine | April

| Guest House Grill

see you at

Guest House Grill


By Meagan Friberg


f you know Atascadero, you know Guest House Grill. As a local favorite, diners have been enjoying the vast menu offerings and hometown ambiance of this restaurant since 2008. “We really do have something for everyone,” Owner Eric Peterson said. “Guest House Grill is that neighborhood restaurant with great food – it’s that comforting, local dinner house.” As one of the longest running restaurants in Atascadero, and a favorite gathering spot, chances are you’ll see a neighbor or coworker dining at a table nearby. “Everybody seems to know each other when they visit – the teachers, the principals, the police chief, the firefighters, cashiers – you are almost guaranteed to see someone you know when you come to Guest House,” Peterson said. SENIOR PROJECT BECOMES FAMILY BUSINESS

Guest House Grill came to fruition when Peterson partnered with

April 2020 | Colony Magazine

his close friend and former roommate, Trevor LaSalle. The two had worked together at AJ Spur’s as bussers. Peterson later became a server and manager, and continued working and gaining experience as he put himself through Cal Poly SLO to earn a degree in business finance. As graduation day loomed near, he started thinking about his senior project. “The instructors always said, ‘Do what you know’ and, at that time, I had been in the restaurant industry for about five years,” Peterson said. “I approached Trevor and said, ‘Hey, let’s try opening a restaurant’ and he helped me put it all together. So far, it’s worked out pretty well.” Their partnership also resulted in an Oregon restaurant in 2016, the purchase of Country Touch Café in 2017, Street Side Atascadero in 2016, and Street Side Paso in 2018. Although they are no longer partners in Guest House or Country Touch, and they sold the Oregon restaurant, they maintain a partnership in the two Street Side establishments. “Everyone thinks we are brothers, but Trevor and I are just great friends and business partners,” Peterson said. “It’s been busy, but it’s a lot of fun!” Peterson has also partnered with Colin Wey r ic k to purchase the former

Nino’s in Templeton, now called Jack’s, and a new restaurant at the River Oaks Golf Club named Comfort, now open. In addition, he has purchased Touch of Paso from his grandmother to add to his portfolio of restaurants. “My first jobs were dishwashing at Touch of Paso and Country Touch Café with grandma,” he said. “So, it’s kind of cool for me to be able to take them over and keep them in the family; it’s like a dream come true.” A dedication to hard work, quality, service to others, and family is apparent. Corporate Chef Jose Estrada helps run all of the kitchens, Michael Romero is the corporate manager, and Kias Porter is the Guest House Grill manager. Peterson’s sister, Lacie, manages the books; his dad, Michael, is the head of maintenance; his mom, Debbie, hostesses at Touch of Paso, and his wife, Amy, is a waitress at Guest House. “It’s a true family business,” Peterson said before jokingly adding, “and when my four-year-old is big enough we’ll have him washing dishes!” SERVING UP HOME COOKING

Known for its steak dinners, Guest House offers daily specials such as the All You Can Eat Spaghetti Buffet on Mondays and Steak and

Lobster on Sundays. The plentiful lunch and dinner offerings include the unique and top-selling Coriander Crusted Chicken with raspberry cream sauce…yum! “We know we are not the most high-range restaurant in the area, but we offer comfortable, hearty options of home cooked style food and that hometown feel,” Peterson said. And the staff? Peterson takes pride in celebrating the fact that most have been there for many years offering, with three staff members onboard since day one. “They have gotten to know our guests, and our customers love coming in to see a familiar face,” Peterson said. “Our staff is friendly, welcoming, and non-pretentious. We always have a full team, with lots of hands on deck – bussers, bartender, hostess, multiple servers, manager, cooks – to ensure our customers are getting the attention they deserve.” Looking to the future, Peterson has plans to revamp the restaurant with new paint and artwork as well as extend the bar, and redo the booths, chairs, and tables. “We’re going to give it a modern edge but we aren’t going to change it so much that it seems like a different restaurant,” he said. “It will still feel like Guesthouse Grill, only better.” Call Guest House Grill today, for takeout, and make reservations for your next meal out. Call ahead for

reservations or take-out orders at 805-460-0193. See guesthousegrill. com for hours and menu. | 27

By NICHOLAS MATTSON ATASCADERO — Let’s fish! Echoes of the canceled KSBY show “Fishmasters” whispered along the surface of Atascadero Lake on Friday, March 13, when an estimated 1,000 rainbow trout poured in. The fish were provided by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife from San Joaquin Hatchery in Fresno and are expected to live in the lake until summer. Before stocking the lake, protections were put in place to keep the trout from escaping into connected waterways, such as Atascadero Creek, where they would be an invasive species and negatively impact naturally occurring steelhead trout. “That was the big holdup,” Department of Fish and Wildlife District Biologist Dennis Michniuk said. “In order to stock this lake we had to show that no fish could get out into Atascadero Creek.” The Friends of Atascadero Lake footed the bill to get a screen installed in a downstream culvert in order to prevent fish from invading. “The Friends of Atascadero Lake donated the money to pay for the

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screen and then we as a department installed it,” Michniuk said. “It was a cooperative effort.” Now that the lake is set up for planting fish, the first of many more stocking was able to take place. “It was 500 pounds so probably roughly about 1,000 fish,” Michniuk said. “They are rainbow trout, and they are triploid where they go through a process where they can’t reproduce — so if for some reason they get out of the lake [into Atascadero Creek]

they can’t reproduce.” While the rainbow trout are welcome inhabitants of the Atascadero Lake, they are an invasive species to the local waterways. “They won’t survive here,” Michniuk said, “with the water conditions and the heat [over summer]. The fish won’t have an effect on the algae, but the algae blooms affect the fish.” While the fish are planted for fishContinued on Page 29


Local residents gather after Atascadero Lake stocked with trout

Colony Magazine | April 2020

Continued from Page 28

and-eat, there are laws governing how many fish a person can take from the lake at one time. “The limit is five fish for each person,” Patrol Lieutenant San Luis Obispo and South Monterey County, Matt Gil said. “And if you are under 16 you can fish without a license.” For those who are not going to catch and eat, the fish can be caught and released back into the lake for future fishing. “There is no law saying they can’t release them so if they want to catch and release,” Gil said. “They can [catch and release], but the intent of putting them here is because they won’t likely survive through the summer, so they can catch and eat them.” Dozens of locals gathered around the lake with baited fishing poles ready to catch some of the first fish of the season. “The last time it was stocked was in 2008,” Michniuk said. “And it was historically stocked for many, many years. It was stopped for the adverse effect it would have on the steelhead. We decided we should stop, and we have been working ever since to come up with a plan in order to allow us to stock the lake.” Stocking bodies of water is part of the department’s general plan. “The department is always looking for inner-city fishing locations, because they are great,” Michniuk said. “People who can’t travel up to the mountains are able to fish right here.” The Fish and Wildlife Department plans another stocking of the lake at the end of April, as well as planting fish at other sites around the area. “We plant Barney Schwartz Park, upper Nacimiento River, and we are going to plant Lopez Lake at the end of the month,” Michniuk said. “We haven’t planted that in a while. We are ramping up and back up to speed and we will plant about 15,000 fish there this year.” Fishing enthusiasts can get supplies and licenses at local sporting goods stores. “Any of the sporting goods stores, like Big 5 in Atascadero, Walmart in Paso,” Department of Fish and Wildlife volunteer Mike Elkins said. The fish planting is done for a community service and the DFW invites people of all ages to get down to the lake with poles and bait. “We are so excited for the kids,” Elkins said. April 2020 | Colony Magazine | 29

| Education

Benefits of an Outdoor Education Jim J.

Brescia, Ed.D


he San Luis Obispo County Office of Education operates the Rancho El Chorro Outdoor Educational Campus that is tucked away in the hills above San Luis Obispo, directly across from the Cuesta College main campus. These 250 protected acres include a nature preserve, a school campus, a one-room school house, incredible learning resources, and a regional conference center. Nestled between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay off of Highway One, the Rancho El Chorro facility affords some wonderful hiking trails along Pennington Creek, an oak woodland forest, a teaching pond, water reclamation instructional creek, classrooms, a Rotary amphitheater, and Yurt Villages. I commend our local, state, and national Rotary Clubs for their dedication to our community, our youth, and society 30 | co

ger environmental attitudes, civic responsibility, and community participation strengthens through outdoor education. These types of schools are one tool in our tool belt for building a solid foundation of stewardship with the next generation of community leaders. through support of outdoor educaOutdoor education can connect tion. families and the greater community The facility provides hands-on with our schools. Many times when learning opportunities for students classrooms are outdoors, an entry studying science and ecology in point for involvement in educaa natural setting. The San Luis tion is presented. The first time my Obispo County Office of Education father became more involved with has been providing outdoor educa- my schooling was in the late 1960s tion to the community for over 40 on an outdoor education field trip. years. Nearly 300,000 Environmental education students and 10,000 is also a promising adults have strategy for helpenjoyed and ing students with benefited emotional, f rom the cognitive, and Now I see the secret of programs behavioral making the best person: it is to and facilichallenges. ties which Outdoor grow in the open air and to eat w e r e e d u c a t i on and sleep with the earth. previously has potential part of to combine ~Walt Whitman Camp San time outdoors Luis Obispo. with instrucOur outdoor tional practices education programs shown to be effecbring students closer to tive with multiple learnnature; teach about conservation, ing strategies. Students with both while providing fun and adven- strengths and challenges benefit ture. When students participate from outdoor education programs. in outdoor education, their under- The benefits of outdoor experistanding of the environment and ences have been explored through human communities grows. Stron- research on students with Atten-

tion Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Kuo and Faber Taylor in particular have researched this topic and have found green space to be highly beneficial for students identified with ADHD. Rancho el Chorro continues to remind me of a song heard playing on the radio when I was a young student. The song was a parody of a fictional Camp Granada, set to the tune of Ponchelli’s “Dance of the Hours.” This novelty song by Allan Sherman and Lou Busch is said to be based on letters Allan received from his son Robert who was away at camp. The name of the song originates from the first few lyrics. “Hello Muddah, hello Faddah. Here I am at Camp Granada. Camp is very entertaining. And they say we’ll have some fun if it stops raining.” Sherman’s lyrics go on to tell a comical story about campers gone missing or contracting deadly illnesses, fear of bears, and promises to let Aunt Bertha hug and kiss if allowed to come home. By the end of the song, the rain has stopped; the campers are swimming, sailing, and playing baseball. The camper asks his parents to “kindly disregard this letter.” The song has been translated into multiple languages and gained popularity globally because many cultures have some type of overnight camp serving as rite of passage for safe experiences away from the family.

Magazine | April2020 2020 Paso RoblesColony Magazine | April

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April 2020 | Colony Magazine | 31

| Taste of Americana

Ideas for Your Easter Menu S Barbie Butz

pring is blessing us with the beautiful blooms and colors of the season. It’s time to serve some of those fresh, delicious cakes and other desserts that remind us that winter is behind us and the best is yet to come. To celebrate the season, I’ve selected recipes that will make you “think spring” and will impress your family and friends when you serve them. With the celebration of Easter on April 12, you just might add one or all of these delights to your Easter dinner menu. Note: All of these recipes are part of a collection I have of recipes from the south. However, I think they have worked their way north, east and west through the years. They are simple and easy to prepare, but mighty delicious!

muffin cups. Bake until the cupcakes are lightly browned and spring back when lightly pressedin the center, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely before frosting. 4. To make the frosting beat cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat again until key lime cupcakes with cream smooth and creamy, scraping down the cheese frosting side of the bowl as needed, 1 to 2 minutes. Ingredients: Cupcakes Generously frost the cooled cupcakes. Deco• 1 box (15 to 18 ounces) lemon cake mix rate for Easter if desired. • 1 box (3 ounces) lime Jell-O Note: these cupcakes will keep, in an airtight • ¾ cup buttermilk container at room temperature, for up to 2 days, • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (if they • 3 large eggs last that long!) • 3 drops green food coloring • Easter candy decorations, optional Ingredients: Frosting • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature • 1 box (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with muffin papers and set aside. 2. To prepare the cupcakes place the cake mix, gelatin, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and food coloring in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix again until smooth, 2 minutes more. 3. Divide the batter evenly between prepared

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for 8 hours or overnight. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving. Note: If you remember the “50-50” ice cream bars from long ago, you will love the taste of this pie!

easy grasshopper pie

Ingredients: • 4 cups mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened • 1 chocolate crumb crust (8 inches) • 5 Oreo cookies, chopped • 1/3 cup chocolate-covered peppermint candies ( Jr. Mints) • Chocolate hard-shell ice cream topping

Directions: 1. Spread ice cream into crust. Sprinkle with • cookies and candies, drizzle with ice cream • topping. Freeze until firm. Remove from the • freezer 15 minutes before serving. • 2. When Grasshopper Pie first originated the • recipe called for crème de menthe and crème de cacao, but there are many versions that do Directions: not use the liqueur that made the after-dinIn a bowl, combine the ice cream and orange ner cocktail famous. juice concentrate. Stir in food coloring if desired. Spoon into crust. Cover and freeze Enjoy spring! frozen orange cream pie

Ingredients: 2 ½ cups vanilla ice cream, softened 1 cup thawed orange juice concentrate 3 drops red food coloring, optional 1 drop yellow food coloring, optional 1 graham cracker crust (9 inches)

Colony Magazine | April 2020

in this

Together Nic & Hayley Mattson


n this time of unprecedented world crisis, our community has been drawn together as much as it has been forced to social distance. While we all adapt to a different way of life, we work together to maintain as much normal life as possible — and it is a community effort. By Friday, March 13, our community was hit with a flood of hard news that we tried to reconcile what we heard about coronavirus around the world with what we were then hearing from San Luis Obispo County officials regarding the potential of COVID-19 being right here in our cities. Every minute seemed to produce news about a canceled event, suspension of school activity, or warning about the presence of a microscopic new visitor threatening our health, safety, livelihoods and lives of those we care about. The world around us mobilized, taking action to reorganize in defense of our health against coronavirus, resulting in our isolation and social distancing. Not just here, but similar action nationwide and worldwide as COVID-19 stole lives from communities. During that time, our team of news writers and editors collected valuable links, covered special school board meetings, and County press briefings to bring comprehensive and up-to-

date information to our readers. We quickly put together what is still one of the most comprehensive news pages dedicated to information about COVID-19 found in any local community in California. We are so proud of our team’s response — with our senior writer Mark Diaz attending school board meetings, our senior editor Luke Phillips coordinating dozens of news items, and sports editor Connor Allen keeping a thumb on the latest in changes to local sports schedules, with Mike Michaud running print layout. In addition, we had two full-time ad consultants — Dana McGraw and Carmen Kessler — continuing to work with local businesses working to adapt changes to advertising messaging or campaign strategies. Our publishing and production team pushed forward to produce Atascadero’s only printed weekly and monthly publications — Atascadero News and Colony Magazine — while maintaining the area’s top-ranked online news sources in and Our online sites have run full speed to keep up with a constant flood of information regarding COVID-19 updates and news releases — with live updates made to our COVID-19 Updates page as they happened. Like the rest of the business community, coronavirus has forced us to make changes to our staff resources. With an operation of nine full-time employees, one part-time — Jen Rodman, and two independent contractors — Denise McLean and Jamie Self, we are not immune to the economic impact facing every-

one in our community. We’re so proud of our team, all of whom, despite the impending concerns about job safety, remained committed to bringing 100 percent to the team and the community. We consistently remind our team that each one of them have a hand in our final products. Each one of them have been part of delivering Colony Magazine and Atascadero News to our readers. They cover your kids’ achievements, are with you through tough school board and city council meetings, celebrate our community successes and carry the burden of our community challenges. As members of the Colony Magazine and Atascadero News team, they are Colony People — making print products that our community can be proud of. When life resumes, visitors will pick up our magazine and our newspaper and hold the passion and presence of our community spirit we share through the good times and the tough times. We are going to get through this. We have no blueprint specific to this pandemic, but we have a blueprint for facing challenges. We do this together. In response to the crisis we face, our daily presence at is here to keep you informed and connected. Visit us for the most up-to-date coverage and changing business information. When looking for your local Atascadero news, remember to look for The Atascadero News — which has been here through thick and thin for Atascadero since 1916.

Thank you for being #AtascaderoStrong 76 Gas Station.................................. 13 American West Tire & Auto............... 05 Atascadero Pet Hospital................... 31 Bottom Line Bookkeeping............... 15 California Mid-State Fair................... 36 Eileen Warren................................... 15 Envoy Mortgage............................... 31

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Five Star Rain Gutters....................... 11 Funky Wonderland........................... 23 Glenn's Repair & Rental................... 14 Greg Malik Real Estate Group.....08,09 H&R Block......................................... 07 Hearing Aid Specialists of the Central Coast.......................... 03

DIRECTORY TO OUR ADVERTISERS Colony Magazine is brought to you by Hedges Insurance............................ 23 Jamba Juice/ Auntie Anne's............ 13 John Donovan Insurance & Financial Services, Inc....................... 05 Kula Vineyards & Winery.................. 23

Life Elements.................................... 05 Lube N Go......................................... 13 Megan's CBD Market....................... 07 Morro Bay Hearing Aid Center......... 07 Nick's Painting.................................. 07

North County Pilates........................ 13 O'Connor Pest Control..................... 23 Odyssey World Cafe......................... 07 Robert Fry M.D.................................. 05 Rountree Resales.............................. 13 San Luis Obispo County Office of Education........................... 31

Solarponics....................................... 11 Stove and Spa Center....................... 11 The Natural Alternative..................... 15 Three Oaks Lodge............................. 13 Triple Seven Motorsports................. 23 Triple Seven Tractor Sales................. 07 Wyatt Wicks Finish Carpentry, Inc.... 23

Colony Magazine | April 2020

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