Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Julian and Apple Pie

After two days of hiking in the Anza-Borrego State Park and sweating off two pounds, my sister-in-law and I decided we could afford to splurge on a big slice of apple pie.  Hikers had raved about Julian, so off we went, up the windy road to this tiny town in the Cuyamaca mountains.  Population:  1,500.

And man, oh man, was that pie good!  I had the natural, no sugar added plain apple pie with a cup of joe.  The apples were juicy and sweet; the crust, flaky and thick.   My hiking buddy had the boysenberry-apple crumb.  We exchanged bites, but went back to our own, eating in silence.   The pie was gone way too fast.  "Should we go for seconds?"    Very tempting, but we resisted.  We sat back and sighed, happy and contented as two over-pampered cats, sitting in the sun.

The Julian Historical Society has posted bronze plaques in front of many of the restored buildings.  The town was founded in 1869 by two confederate soldiers from Georgia who came out west to begin a new life and hopefully, to get rich from gold.  While most of these little towns were abandoned once the Gold Rush ended, this town remained alive due to a different kind of gold--the golden apple kind.  The 4,000 ft. elevation and rich soil made it a perfect environment for growing apples.  The variety and quality of the apple crop spread far and wide.  During the early 1900's, even when the town went "dry", its saloons remained open and prosperous.  Apple cider proved to be a satisfying substitute for whiskey.

  Even on a Monday afternoon, the bakeries and shops were filled with people.  We drove back down the mountain to a nearly empty Borrego-Springs.  Obviously, the most popular trail in this neck of the woods is The Apple Pie one!

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