I live for hiking. But I hate camping. I hate going to the bathroom outside and feeling grimy as I sleep, but I lurve hiking. And SoCal’s many hiking trails is part of the reason we moved here. We recently took a mini-road trip with our friends Sara and Adam to Cuyamaca, located about an hour away, for a Saturday hike. There weren’t any steep ascents and much of the trail grounds are still burned to a crisp after the horrible 2003 Cedar Fire, but it felt good to exercise the way I love most with good people, good conversation and the gorgeous green mountains in the distance.
But the real reason we drove all that way for a hike was to reward ourselves with dessert afterward. (Duh.) Near Cuyamaca is the town of Julian, an old mining center that’s still reminiscent of the Wild Wild West — homogenous population and all! — and famous for its apple pie. We walked through the (touristy) town, bypassed a llama (yep) and made a beeline for Julian Pie Company, where we obliterated any calorie burn with slices of Apple Mountain Berry Crumb (apples, raspberries, boysenberries and strawberries), caramel apple pie and a cider donut. They also offer a wollop — certainly not a “dollop” size — of homemade whipped cream. Four slices of pie, a donut and coffee? That’s acceptable. But tack on cream? That’s just crazy.