Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Good bread, excellent wine

Yesterday, we traveled south in heavy construction and California traffic to reach our most western destination of this trip. We are camped in a small canyon in the mountains 40 miles northeast of San Diego. The first sign in the resort I noticed was a warning as you enter the lake area to be aware of rattlesnakes. I hate snakes! It continues to be cold in the evenings with the lows still in the high 20’s, but the daytime highs here at 3500 feet elevation still are in the mid 60’s. The forecast is for temperatures to reach the 70’s in the next week.

Today, we headed still higher to visit a locally well known bakery in the mountains to the north. Excellent breads and, oh yes, pastries!! Then we continued north and up to reach the village of Julian, founded in the 1870’s as a mining town. It is now doing well as a tourist trap and apparently as a weekend get away area for the big city folks, based on the housing prices we saw. One fixer upper of 515 square feet on a postage stamp lot was asking $450,000. Clearly, not on our short list of places to retire. Besides, as we were navigating the twisting roads we hit a black ice area from a previous snow fall that had not melted due to shade. This, at midday with a temperature near 50 degrees.

One surprise in Julian was finding the Dutch based RABOBANK. This was a bank we used while living in The Netherlands.

We also visited several local wineries, and particularly enjoyed Orfila Vineyard in the outskirts of Julian. It is small producer of a limited number of wines of quality. Good value on the tasting process, with the non driver tasting seven different wines, and the opportunity to chat with the owner of the vineyard. Needless to say we ended up buying a number of his fine products. When we left I could not help feeling a little bit like I was in the movie “Sideways”.

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