Town of Julian, California Sucks
Town of Julian, California Sucks

- Yup our six months in America were the worst ever for this family. A few months after moving there we could not wait to get out. From the climate to the people, this place is not much better than landing on the set of Back to the Future II....motorcycle gangs, gun owners, excessive drug use and alcohol abuse. Happy to be out and not ever on, you will not believe. FYI, pretty sure we saw Biff walking around town.
Climate Dry and Variable

For those of you who like the Mediterranean climate of San Diego proper, it might surprise you to know that the local mountains share the same climatic region according to the Köppen Climate Classification System, um with some very important differences. The Julian area at over 4,000 feet in elevation is cold, about 20 F degrees colder than the San Diego coastline. Combine this with humidity often hovering around 5 - 10 percent and you have almost unbearable conditions for contact lens wearers and those with sinus problems. In addition, on a typical day in Julian it is not uncommon to see a 35 F degree temperature range from morning to afternoon. We tried farming up there, and although we were able to grow some things, the growth rates were exceedingly slow and he yields were minimal, thanks in part to the low humidity and also due to the lack of rain.

Ah yes the lack of rain and yet another problem....the constant threat of fires. This is a reality up in the mountains as dry conditions and occasional hurricane force winds can barrel through and combined with fire can destroy an entire town in minutes. This was the reality for the Julian community a few years ago when fires swept through the communities just outside of town and destroyed many homes including some on our street.
Dangerous Creatures

All those mountain lion stories you hear about in the Laguna Mountains and the Julian area are true....believe them. We had planned on spending a lot of time hiking and mountain bike riding once we bought our house, a plan which quickly went away once we talked with the neighbors. A few months before we moved in, a mountain lion parked itself on the hill directly in front of our house. It easily jumped a five foot high metal gate and went after their goat, which it severely injured, only to be chased off by one of their horses. The guy in the back of our property shot and killed a mountain lion as it went after his sheep. A neighbor a few houses over walked out into his yard and found he was being watched by an adult lion up in an oak tree. And a friend in the same community was approached by a mountain lion as he got out of his car after returning home from work.

And although mountain lions are by far the most dangerous creatures in the SD mountains, be sure to be on the lookout for coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and raccoons. Our cute little kitty was presumably killed by a raccoon....another story. One night we had a family of raccoons in an oak tree close to the house, probably the same family which opened a roll door cabinet and totally shredded a bag of dog food the night before.
Inconvenient Location

No mail delivery - There is no mail delivery to the houses in the communities around the town of Julian. This leaves you with two options, a free post office box at the town USPS office or stick one of those metal mail receptacles out on the main road....the lady who delivers mail said people frequently steal mail out of these metal boxes in search of cash or holiday presents.

No trash pickup - There is no trash pick up at the houses. The only options are to get a private company to pick up the garbage at your house, usually for about 40 bucks per month, or periodically make a trip to the local dump which will also cost you.

Unreliable utilities - SDGE, the local utility company provides unreliable service to the San Diego mountains. The power went out in our home at least four times in six months even though there were no storms with the exception of one crazy windstorm which prompted the utility company to shut off the power for everybody in the area BEFORE any problems were occurring as a precaution. Totally pissed off the residents, especially those of us who had just gone shopping, and had a refrigerator full of food.

Shit internet service - AT&T is pretty much the only game in town if you want online service from a major company. Yes there are other service providers, but apparently they all suck according to the neighbors. It took us a month to get service and then dealt with our connection turning off and needing to be reset pretty much on a daily basis. Not to mention all that was available was DSL which was incredibly sloooooooow....when it was even working.

Majestic Pines water company - Possibly the worst of all the services up in the mountains. Their office is only open from 9am - 3pm and good luck trying to get through on the phone. Pretty sure they spend the day talking with friends. And make sure you check your mail carefully because we were charged a 25 dollar late fee for nonpayment one month even though we did not receive a statement. And breaks in the water lines are common up there....expect your service to be shut off for a day if this happens on your street. And worst of all the water tastes like shit, almost undrinkable, and costs a lot.

Good food not close - If you are the type who likes fresh food then be prepared for a lot of driving. Aside from some really small town markets there is nothing in the way of decent grocery items in Julian. The local markets do sell some produce if you don't mind scraping off the mold or any other science experiments you might find while rummaging through the limited selection of mushrooms and potatoes. The only choice is to "drive down the hill" to Ramona, the closest big town, where you will find the usual grocery chains and everything you need albeit after a 50 mile roundtrip.
The People Suck There

Really cannot say enough about this and decided to save the best, um worst, until last. Basically if you're white, conservative, Republican, do drugs, own guns (plural), found Jesus, and voted for Trump, this place is perfect for you. In all fairness though this does not apply to everybody, in fact a few of our neighbors were very kind.

During our six month internment the sun was out almost every day yet on most days the neighbors were no where to be found. We then began to realize they were locking themselves in their houses and watching TV or using their computers even though it was so beautiful in the mountains. Many of the residents were in their homes the entire day with the curtains closed to hide their use of recreational drugs.

White - Julian is a white take that is a white, red neck, cowboy community. Suffice to say a family composed of a Jewish man with a Japanese wife and mixed kids did not fit from the beginning. Although we seemed welcome at first, it soon became evident a religious and cultural wall was being built between us and the neighbors.

Conservative - If your political views are liberal, if you believe in global warming, if you are gay, maybe better to move on to another community. These people are as naive and ignorant as they come and if you don't believe me then go up there and try and strike up an intelligent conversation with the locals. For them facts do not matter, only their narrow perceptions of the world....can you say Trump supporters.

Republican - This is a totally Republican community. These people are right wing Trump lovers and would be very quick to defend 45 if you even harbored the slightest negative thought about their beloved leader.

Recreational drugs - This is by far the worst problem facing Julian today. Easily half of the residents smoke weed, probably a huge underestimate, and we personally ran into a host of other drug users including a heroin addict who showed up at a kids birthday party our friends invited us to.

Gun lovers - The folks up in Julian love their guns and waste no time letting you know how many they own and in which rooms they keep them. They have no problem with using them either as evidenced by a neighbor pulling a gun on another neighbor during a heated argument and another resident who shot and killed the dog of another resident simply because it trespassed onto his property. Then there is the guy who was waiting to kill a ten year old boy when he came home from school because his dog was killed by the dog owned by the boy. A neighbor noticed the situation and was able to intervene in time. And then there is the neighbor who "jokingly" said he drove to the beach and the beachgoers were getting on his nerves and he just wanted to begin shooting people.

Religious - This community is filled with religious nuts. A group of isolationists who profess to be religious but would shoot you where you stood if you say anything contrary to their beliefs. Many families are home educating, most for religious reasons, and do not want their kids influenced by other cultures and religions.

In summary you can keep this mountain community and the people residing there. Julian is a sad and depressed place and certainly does not provide a good place to raise a family. Go there for the overpriced pie and then leave. Take it from a family who knows.
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