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Desert & Dessert

Borrego Springs, California:  Sunny again, Dear Reader. Not a cloud in the sky. Warm temperatures. No wind. Glorious Day. We ran, then hopped in the Honda and drove up to Julian, California for lunch... and dessert. Julian started as a mining town, but after that all fizzled-out, the town discovered they had the perfect climate for growing apples - so they did. Now the area is famous for their apples and their apple pies, cakes, cookies, apple butter, muffins, jams, apple wine, apple-scented candles and soaps... are you getting the idea? It is only a 30 mile drive from Borrego Springs, but it is over a twisty road and the highway climbs from 500 feet in Borrego to 4500 feet at Julian. This time of year, with the desert in bloom - it was just a gorgeous drive.

Yeah! The yucca's are in bloom in the lower elevations. In the higher elevations they still look like asparagus spears on steroids.

The desert is so colorful in April!

The entire hillsides are yellow with blooming brittle bush. Also blooming now are barrel cactus, ocotillo and prickly pear cactus.

Julian is a one-horse town. One main street, lined with touristy shops, restaurants and bakeries selling "the best pie in Julian". You can easily spend a day here looking through the museums and poking your head in the shops. (Don't visit Julian on a Tuesday. Tuesday many of the restaurants and museums are closed.)

We had lunch at The Julian Grille, a restaurant situated in an old cottage on the main street. The Julian Grille was quite enjoyable. The food was fine - nothing exceptional - but the little house is so charming and we had good service from a smiling waitress.

The Julian Grille in Julian, California

At this elevation, the temperature was only 60 degrees (it was 18 degrees warmer in Borrego Springs). The patio was open, but we opted to dine inside. We sat at a nice table just under the green awning over the sun porch. So cozy! The outside dining area is dog-friendly - very nice if you are dining with Your Best Friend.

DT had a chicken quesadilla. It was tasty, but he thought the chipotle tortilla was too crunchy.

I ordered the open-faced Reuben Sandwich. Yummy - but too much food. I finished all that pickle though!

After lunch, we walked from one end of town to the other and ended up at the Julian Pie Company (across the street from The Julian Grille). This is the same place we buy pie every time we visit Julian. We highly recommend this pie shop over the other pie shops even though we have never ever tried another pie shop in Julian. (Don't ask why... it's a Jane Stern thing.)

The Julian Pie Company

Original Apple (left) and Dutch Apple (right)

Sometimes I can just be mean, can't I? So sorry. (And can you explain to me why our pie had to be served on paper plates with plastic forks and our coffee was served in styrofoam cups? Come on, Julian Pie Company - step it up!) The pie isn't as good as my homemade apple pie of course, but it is really, really good. Lots of sweet cinnamon flavor and a nice crust.

This was a bittersweet day. The last time we were in Julian, my parents and The Lovely Lisa were with us. It was before my Mom was really sick and we had a very lovely drive, a fun lunch and just enjoyed the day together. I missed Mom very much today. Treasure each moment!

And eat pie.

We took the long-way home so we could enter Borrego Springs from the west (via California Highway S2 through Ranchita) and take-in the fabulous views to the Salton Sea. It was a little hazy and I only had my little teeny camera... so here are bad photos of a spectacular sight:

The dark blue in the far back in the Salton Sea. Really. It is the Salton Sea.

And here is the town of Borrego Springs. The arrow points to our RV park.
The dark areas to the far left of the photo are acres and acres of citrus orchards.

This evening, we invited our neighbors Sharon & Gene for sunset cocktails. And by neighbors, I don't just mean a few campsites down. Sharon & Gene live about six miles away from us in Oregon! Except for the fact they are Oregon State University Beaver fans, they are completely normal. We had a very enjoyable time this evening and witnessed a shooting star in the west! They made us popcorn balls! Thank you so much, New Friends!

Tomorrow we pack it up and point the Magna Peregrinus towards her home-away-from-home in Indio, California. 

Must be time for Coachella?

Yep. New readers may not know, but... The Lovely Lisa (and her posse) attend the Coachella Music Festival each April and we get to watch our Grand Dawg, Reese, during the concerts. See? We have a purpose in life. We don't just drive around the desert - eating pie and photographing and golfing and blogging - for nothing.

Until my next update, I remain, your bittersweet correspondent.

RV Park:  
The Springs at Borrego. Full-service, luxury resort with a regulation 9-hole golf course. Naturally-fed hot spring hot tubs, pool, exercise room, party room, activities, fabulous pet-run, lake-side fire pits with community gatherings. Just a great place to spend a few days... or weeks... in the sleepy village of Borrego Springs. We highly recommend this park.