Julian, Scissors Crossing, and Beyond
Beginning Elevation = 2,260 Ending Elevation = 3,300 Weather: Sunny, few clouds, 50-80°F, breezy
I realized that I kind of skimmed through last nights stay in Julian since my post was already rather long. I thought it deserved more credit…this was a quaint little town that was actually full of tourists when we arrived (and some other backpackers as well). It’s known for being the site of the only gold rush in San Diego County and for their apple pies! Full of little unique shops and restaurants.
On to today…we were unsuccessful at sleeping in this morning. So instead, I ended up getting caught up on things with my phone since we had WiFi. Then, we went through all the items in our packs again and cleaned/organized. We also each took one more shower before meeting with our fellow guests of the B&B for breakfast.
Breakfast was at 9:00am and was phenomenal, consisting of all the classics: scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, pancakes with strawberry syrup, coffee cake, and fresh squeezed orange juice. We ate family style and met some other folks as well as our hosts, Jim and Julie, who were super kind and extremely hospitable. Afterwards, we finished packing and walked down the block back into town.
One of the recommendations we got was to try Mom’s Pies in town, which actually gives a free pie and cider to PCT thru-hikers. Although not needing more food, I obliged and we also ended up getting a sandwich to go intending to share it for lunch later. Two other hikers joined us for a bit including Songbird aka Noa from Israel, who was with our start group (no trail names for us yet sorry).
After pie, we got our packs and walked to the edge of town where the highway led back to Scissors Crossing (where we left the trail). We waited about 15 mins and then a white truck pulled over for us. We got a ride from Dan and Jen and their small dog who were actually on their way down to the trail to bring trail magic to hikers. They are friends with the owner of Julian Pie Company (rival competitors of Mom’s) and planned to bring pie and ice cold drinks to hikers on the trail.
When we arrived however, there were already folks who had set up and laid out a table full of food and several coolers of drinks. Our drivers ended up leaving to try and visit another stretch of trail where they could find some hungry hikers. It was a party underneath the highway bridge and every time a new hiker would show up they’d cheer and clap. We snacked and chatted for a short while, but then went out to brave the trail once again.
Around 12:30 we began hiking. Right away, we noticed differences from the other side of the highway. An area so close, but which had even more diversity of plants. We saw different cactai (I may have been using this wrong the whole time, is that plural of cactus?), different blooms (our strawberry toe cactus turned into pink flowers!), and quite drier seeming overall. Some was the same stuff we’ve seen (including another serpent), but it had us stopping very often for photos because it was all so cool and new to us…
Overall for the day, we gained elevation, but it seemed the majority of that was done towards the start of our hike and then we remained pretty level the rest of the time. The trail wound it’s way around the edge of the mountainside going in where there were deep canyon-like valleys and and out where there were ridges. Back and forth, back and forth.
At one point we saw a jack rabbit, which was pretty neat. They’re quite a bit bigger than Michigan rabbits and that guy took off right up the mountain, hopping away with his big tall ears.
We stopped hiking around 5pm and set up camp at the end of one of the canyons.
We went Italian for dinner (spaghetti) with a side of Tang, and another angel food cake dessert. Our dinner entertainment was a mini hummingbird flying about twenty feet away, which I attempted to film. There were a lot of flying insects around this spot too, but thankfully no mosquitos!
Then, saw a little reflection of the sunset over the mountains to the south. This photo looks out away from our tent site, back across the highway to the mountains we came from yesterday.
Since we charged up our phones and my battery pack, I ended the night getting to read.