Thursday, October 14, 2010

Historic Gold Mining Town

Yesterday, a friend and I went exploring. It was a birthday treat for me. We visited Julian, a historic district dating back to the late 1800's and situated 4,500 feet in the mountains above San Diego. It was the most perfect day, bright sunshine but with a cool ocean breeze. A great getaway from the recent triple digit temperatures of the desert.
We took the long route past the Salton Sea, and then turned west on highway 78. We saw cactus and Ocotillo plants that rose to twelve or more feet and lined the area's on either side of the highway, and stretched for miles. Fortunately my friend also finds beauty in the flat desert countryside, because there was a lot of it to see. Then we started to rise and ended up in a two lane, extremely narrow mountain pass with lots of bends. Trees stretched their branches across the road creating a shady canopy. It was lovely.
Julian was once a gold rush town, and is now known for its apple ranches. Some of those are u-pick ranches, but apparently this year the crop wasn't great due to the heavy rains, and many were closed. We didn't care. The town was so quaint, the buildings amazing, the people friendly, and the food and shopping fantastic. We wouldn't have had time to pick apples anyway. We had a fabulous lunch and I was served apple boysenberry pie-ala-mode with a candle. The entire restaurant joined in singing happy birthday to me, and it was embarrassing beyond all belief. But the pie was fabulous. : )
Afterward we shopped. And then we shopped some more. I bought all kinds of knick-knacks. The prices were great too. And there was a brown leather jacket that I wanted so badly, but didn't buy. I mean, I just got home from New York City last Sunday. But anyway, we are going back soon. If it's still there I'll figure it was meant to be and shell out the bucks.
The whole idea in taking this adventure had been to go and pick apples. I intended to take some up to my kids. I planned on baking. I planned on eating an apple a day. On the way back to the car I snipped an apple no bigger than a silver dollar off a tree at the end of Main Street. It's sitting on my desk as I type. Just this cute little reminder of a wonderful trip. I wonder how it tastes?

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