Julian California building - courtesy of the Julian Chamber

Julian California building – courtesy of the Julian Chamber

So in my book series, Chris Carter has landed in historic Julian, California and purchased the Konacup Coffee Shop on Main Street across from the local hotel.  He plants himself at his window seat to watch the tourists roll by and try to forget his combat experiences in Iraq, until the day the body shows up on his doorstep…

Wait, I shouldn’t give too much away.  Sorry!

Anyway, Julian is of course a real place and is really a cool place.  I fell in love with the area around Julian when I lived in San Diego for a few years in the early Nineties.  As a motorcyclist, I particularly enjoyed riding up (and it is “up”) from the coast and making a stop along Main Street to grab some apple pie and vanilla ice cream.   The pace in Julian is about as relaxed as you’ll find within a few hundred miles of Los Angeles.

The natural beauty of the San Diego at 4,220 feet above sea level is incredible.  It’s not Yosemite, but the Cuyamaca Mountains that the town is nestled in are part of a chain that includes Mount Palomar and the famous observatory, running all the way to the east to spots where you can see out into the Arizona desert.

Julian got it’s start in 1870 during the California gold rush when someone noticed something glinting in the sunlight in the stream… and the rest was history.  This town has the sense of being untouched by the march of development elsewhere in the Southern California, and the architecture still resembles more of a Nineteenth century gold town.  You will absolutely forget that you are in SoCal during your stay there.  Chris Carter did…

 

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