Monday, February 18, 2013

A Trip Out West And A Pie

Hey, I’m back in blog land! Yep, skipped two days. Oh…I’m feeling bad, sorry folks, but when nothing happens (and nothing DID happen) and I have no alternative ideas, then nothing’s gonna appear on this blog.

       Heading west on Hwy 78

However, for today we had planned a trip out west- into the San Diego Mountains. We’ve been there before, but like with all kind of places we liked earlier, we want to see them again. We left the Hot Springs at about 8.30a and were soon running up Hwy111 towards Brawley.
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North of Brawley is a permanent Border Patrol Station. We slipped through and right behind is where Hwy 78 turns west towards Julian. First thing we noticed was hundreds of “Duners” (=people who play in the dunes).
Their RVs were parked just about everywhere, and even the road was pretty busy with them.
What makes adults to kids? What is it that makes them park their expensive rigs right in the flying sand and race on ATVs along the desert floor like the devil was behind them. I mean, seriously folks, gas prices in California have passed the 4-Dollar mark and here are hundreds and hundreds playing with their gas-driven ATVs like there is no tomorrow????
1-DSC_0306We finally got past all these maniacs and were heading further west. Once we got into the coastal mountains the scene changed from tan coloured desert floor to lush green mountain meadows, dark green live-oaks and lovely little places where people enjoy life. A few yellow flowers were already out, but obviously, it was too early for the big desert flower show. We really hadn’t expected anything like that either.
Wonder whether there’s any
Wildlife left at that noise level

After driving through narrow canyons and climbing up  long winding mountain roads and getting through a few hairpin curves, we rolled into Julian.
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1-DSC_0341                        Everything is about Tourism 1-DSC_0338  1-DSC_0334
Much can be said about Julian. It is certainly an inviting little town, even though I think that there is a little bit too much of the tourism character over everything.
It is almost like a tourist trap, OK- a nice tourist trap, and because of that we stopped and took a little walk. There is not much of a walk-about, it takes all but 30 minutes to walk up and down Main Street.
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Left: The Julian Pie Company
Walking down, I thought of apple pie. That is always a good enough reason to take a drive to Julian. The town is the home of the Julian Apple Pie Company. It was founded in 1986 by Liz Smothers and I will make a separate posting of this as it is well worth to know about it. So I walked right in and bought a lovely crisp “Dutch Apple Pie”.

Yummy, yummy…

All I want to say here is that these Apple Pies are the best pies I have ever eaten. Especially as we topped it with real whipped cream after we got home.

From Julian we went even further west down to Santa Isabel and further on through the lush green Ramona Canyon and through the town of Ramona.
1-DSC_0353 1-DSC_0356-001   A private driveway in bloom
It became clear that the beautiful weather had intrigued many people out of San Diego to head out and get up into the mountains. Once we counted a group of 24 Harleys droning along through town. Boy, these guys sure know how to make them heard. Not my cup of tea though.

        I-8 east of San Diego

We were now on Hwy 67 and headed straight down to the broad Interstate 8, which turned out to be pretty empty, at least in our direction back east. There was way more traffic running towards San Diego though.
When rolling down towards the desert floor into Imperial County we always marvel at the big boulders towering along the road. I really wonder how this landscape was created, what is the story behind these odd-shaped rocks.

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We put in a short stop at the Wally-mart in El Centro where we got a quart of HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM and a few other groceries.

As soon as we had arrived at our trailer I made myself busy with that whipping cream and whipped up a good portion of it.

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There is NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING, that can compare to the taste to this delicious apple pie topped with cream. After too good size slices I called it quits though and I can still feel it…..ah and taste it.

Thanks for staying around here and sorry if you got hungry for apple pie. You just have to make the tour yourself.


  1. I always make a point when traveling through Julian to stop and buy an apple pie. Like you said they are soooo delicious.

  2. Sure a nice day trip, for you and the pie looks awesome!
    We stayed in Ramona for a couple week few years ago and enjoyed the area.

  3. Thanks for the tour and great pics. I agree that Julian's Apple Pies are the best and well worth the drive up there. It's on our list of places to visit before we go home this year. I just might bump it up a few notches after seeing your pics!

  4. Thanks for taking us along on the ride, enjoyed all your pictures. I have got to try one of those pies someday soon. Have a great Monday!

  5. Tell me about Dutch Apple pie. I would like to know. I make a great apple pie but I am not Dutch.

    Last time we were in Julian, it snowed!

  6. Great tour even with all the noise and traffic in places. That pie looks wonderful. Makes my mouth water.

  7. Jeeze, That's all I needed to read tonight was about that delicious applie pie when I'm craving sweets so much !! LOL Sure does look like a nice ride you had today.

  8. The big boulders ...

    ... aren't boulders. They're a few huge masses of rock that solidified underground and are now being pushed upward and exposed by erosion. They're made of relatively soft stone, so they crack. The weather works at the cracks and rounds them off. That's why it looks like a pile of boulders. And yes, every once in a blue moon one of those masses gets loosened and rolls downhill. Unfortunate houses downhill may suffer. Welcome to geo-dynamic California. :-D


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