“You’re crazy for living in Julian!” I hear this all the time, especially from my extended family. Why, yes, I admit I’m crazy, but it’s definitely not because of where I live. Julian is my home. My roots are here, and I truly love this place. Here are a few of the reasons why I love this town:
1. The community- Small towns get a bad rap for being gossip hubs. Don’t get me wrong—that is a well-earned reputation. We may verbally backstab occasionally, but when things really go south, we show up for each other. Whether it’s a home-cooked meal, a financial donation, watching the kids after school, you name it… Someone is bound to volunteer to help you out.
2. Changing of the seasons- Julian is perfectly geologically situated to be one of the handfuls of California towns that truly experiences all four seasons (winter, spring, summer, and fall). The best part is just before you get your fill of the weather, it changes. There are always transitions, and our “extremes” are nothing compared to elsewhere.
3. The opportunities- From my perspective, it seems like people focus on what we don’t have. So, I’m going to focus on what we do have because, after all, we gotta make the best of it. As a kid and teen, you can be a part of any sports team you’d like. High schoolers can participate in all the clubs, sports teams, and extracurricular activities. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to attend championships, receive more awards, attend more conferences, and if we don’t have anything, you can start it. For adults, there are lots of clubs, local bands, organizations, and you can easily become a published author by writing a letter to the editor.
4. There’s no place like it- Throughout my travels in twelve different states, I have yet to find another place like Julian. Where else can you find a small mountain town (with fewer than 10,000 people) that is an hour away from the beach, thirty minutes from the desert, and experiences all four seasons? Nowhere. Yes, this place has its trials and tribulations, but there’s nowhere else like it.
5. It’s surrounded by public lands - The town and surrounding neighborhoods are privately owned, but our back yards are public lands. Locally we have county, state, and national forests and BLM land all within the greater Julian area. There are also lots of nonprofit organizations buying land for public use. With thousands of acres waiting to be explored, there’s no excuse for boredom.