From Sea to Shining Sea, Day 36: San Diego, CA to La Quinta, CA
|AERIAL VIEW OF SAN DIEGO-CORONADO BRIDGE (Photo from LA Times)|
|GOT IT. NOW WHAT?|
We followed I-8 as far as Alpine, where we turned north on CA-79 to move up to I-10. Yes, we are driving on some interstate highways in California because we've not driven these particular sections of I-10 before. Just about lunch time we reached the quaint mountain town of Julian (pop. 1,502). With its elevation above 4,000 feet, the town is often decorated with winter snow, making it a popular day trip destination for residents of SoCal.
|JULIAN'S PICTURESQUE MAIN STREET|
Once a frontier town fueled by a minor gold rush, Julian is now better known for its apple and tourists industries, a pair that go hand-in-hand. That same cold-winter climate that attracts tourists also proved ideal for growing apples, and all of Julian's apples are sold locally, often in the form of pies. But alas, none are served at Soups and Such. So off we went to the Julian Cafe and Bakery, where we claimed the last empty table, our tastebuds tingling in anticipation of a super special apple pie. After all, the restaurant serves a BLA sandwich and all manner of other dishes featuring local apples. We figured they were experts.
|YOU CAN DO BETTER, JULIAN CAFE!|
|NEAR BANNER, CA, JUST EAST OF JULIAN|
|CA-78 IN ABDSP|
|CA-78 NEAR PLUM CANYON|
|TODAY'S CLOUDS PUT ON A SHOW TO COMPLEMENT THE SCENERY.|
Birds flocked to the area, and fish thrived in the 15- by 35-mile lake. Of course, developers weren't far behind, branding the area the "Salton Riviera." People flocked to the area as hotels, yacht clubs, homes, and schools were built along its shores.
|VINTAGE SALTON SEA POSTCARD FROM THE 1960S|
|A PALTRY FEW RESIDENTS AND A FEW BUSINESSES HANG ON AMIDST THE POLLUTION.|
Tomorrow we'll continue on our journey eastward with no set plans about where we'll end the day.
WEDNESDAY, 21 DECEMBER 2016
• Ended in: La Quinta, CA
• Miles driven: 210 [trip: 5,354]
• Weather: 59° to 62°, cloudy to light rain
• Walked: 1.5 mi. [trip: 93.2]
• States: CA [trip: 8]
• Counties: 3 [trip: 110]
• Towns: 13 [trip: 240]
• Ghost Towns: 5
• Abandoned buildings: 173
• Scenic vistas: 84
• Plans to revisit Salton City: 0
Loved: Our favorite part of the day was certainly the ever-changing array of scenic vistas as we drove through Anza Borrego Desert State Park. We had seen the southern edge of this park on our way west and sensed that it had much more to offer. It certainly did.
Lacking: Good apple pie in Julian. People in Salton City.
Learned: The folly of believing in desert miracles.