I'm really excited to post about this place as it is very near and dear to my heart. I lived at Taylor Pond for 3 years but still visit regularly. Since I moved out, the property has received quite the makeover! It is now a Hip Camp (UPDATE: The City of Poway made them dismantle their Hip Camp) and multiple units on the property are AirBnb's, including my old home!
There are so many things that make Taylor Pond so special and I will name off a few. Taylor Pond and the two properties on either side of it were once one large property, adding up to about 10 acres. Ken Taylor, whom Taylor Pond is named after, went in on the 10 acre land with his best buddy from childhood and his brother-in-law. They then divided the land into 3 properties where they all have lived for over 30 years now.
Before Ken and his buddies owned the property, the land was once owned by a prominent political figure by the name of Frank L. Gegax.
Gegax purchased this property during World War II because he deemed it safe from nuclear warfare believing that the surrounding hillsides would shield his family from a nuclear blast. One of the properties even has a bomb shelter on it!
One day when the creek was being cleaned out, the Taylor family found multiple cement plaques in it. One of the plaques had Theodore Roosevelt's name on it, another was dedicated to early pioneers of the area, another to Veterans of Foreign War and the last one they found was dedicated to American War Mothers.
After doing some research, I found out that Gegax once planted over a dozen redwood trees on the property and held an elaborate ceremony for various organizations and people in their honor. There was even a plaque for the highly elite restaurant in Disneyland, Club 33.
Given the climate we have in San Diego, the redwoods didn't stand a chance. It is unclear why the plaques were discarded in the creek, but today they sit displayed on the property.
Taylor Pond has gone through many transitions but this may be the most exciting chapter in its life as it is now open with welcoming arms to the public (so long as you are a guest)! You can choose your level of luxury whether it's a lake-front suite, camper van or primitive camping. Every time I visit new additions have been made.
Some of the amenities include a game room, which also doubles as an AirBnb, a huge pond with canoes, fishing, a zipline, LED archery, a rock wall for climbing, golf carts to get around, and I'm sure so much more I'm forgetting to add! Huge props to Ken's son, Davey, who can literally build anything and has greatly helped create all the features we see today!
One of the sleep options is the Mystery Machine van:
It even has a sink and stove inside!
My old pad is available as an AirBnb now, being called Taylor Casa. You have the perfect view of the pond right from the kitchen window. It also has a walk-in closet with skylights and a step-down shower with dual shower heads!
Here are some shots of what it looked like when I lived in it:
Nighttime adds a whole new element of magic. I love hearing the choir of frogs at night!
The Game Room is open to all guests unless it's booked as an AirBnb for the night:
Many birds, both seasonal and permanent residents, can be watched all year long. Springtime is definitely the most interesting time when all the babies are born:
One of the permanent residents is a wood duck with a broken wing. He's been there since 2018. Every winter a female visits him for the season. It's the sweetest thing ever!
Here he is with his girlfriend!
I actually rescued a sick crow fledgling one year. Very long story but to summarize, it was under my care for 2 months, needed antibiotics that were refused by a local wildlife animal rescue (I was told not all are meant to survive) so I took it back and called every aviary vet in town until one was willing to see it. I was able to fully nurse it back to health.
We formed an extremely strong bond but I needed to do what was in its best interest which was weening it off of me entirely and getting it back with its family. At first they rejected Willow (what I named the crow) and were literally jumping him! Eventually they took it (I say it because crows are anamorphic and even the vet didn't know its sex) back in.
The crows are seasonal to this property but every springtime they come back to nest. I always wonder if Willow is one of them. There were a few times much later down the line that Willow would try to visit me and its family would FREAK out and get very hostile to the poor bird. I gave up trying to get it to come down to me, but when I see the crows visiting, I always call out its name and let it know I miss it and still love it.
Every day when I would come home I would call for Willow. Within minutes Willow would come flying through the sky to greet me. Such special times for me:
Willow wanted to do EVERYTHING with us, which included gardening! I've read that crows never forget a face and I hope it will always remembers me. I sure miss that lil one....
In the winter after some good rain the creek turns into a river!
Hammocks for relaxing:
I always loved taking walks around the pond:
Foggy mornings are the best!
I love when the lilies are blooming!