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One of the best things about living in the mountains is snow. When we get hit, our town rocks. Everyone comes out to play. Snowball wars are launched from one end of town to the other.

This weekend holds the potential for snow. Temperatures are dropping and rain is forecast. One year, we got a foot of snow in one day. Schools closed and stores stayed open later. Everything stops for snow.

"Snow Pie Flies" is the term for tourists who rush up the mountain to experience the white stuff. Then, everyone taste tests the pies that Julian is known for and flies back home. We are known for apple pies but peach, cherry and mountain berry are all excellent. One place, Apple Alley, has perfected a caramel apple pecan pie which is its signature dish. Julian Pie Company has the best cherry pie I have ever tasted.

If you're coming, bring the kids and all the patience you can muster. The town gets packed and traffic comes to a standstill for hours as the congestion maneuvers through our small village.

Do not miss our artwork when you visit. I've never been creative but I can appreciate the talent in others. Native Americans sew leather pieces which are incredible. Medicine bags are worn by many and are all inspired by the Indians who live among us and on the nearby reservations.

Spears and walking sticks are handcarved and ornately decorated. When puma prints were found on my property, one of the Santa Ysabel Indians left a lion-killing spear leaning on my door. It was beautiful but had four eagle feathers on it which only a native American is allowed to have. For me, it was a crime to possess the piece and each feather called forth a $10,000. fine by the Fish and Game Department so I gave it back.

My first winter on the mountain, I almost starved. I got caught in my cabin with no food when a snowstorm hit that kept me trapped at home for 5 days. I even ran out of cat food and me and my critters lived on rice until I could get to town.

The local natives tried to teach me to hunt but when I found out that we would be crouching up in trees all night waiting for wild pigs to come by I backed out. They wanted to strap a knife to my leg so I could drop down on Porky Pig and slit his throat. I declined the offer but am still impressed they thought I would be able to participate.

Nothing goes to waste here. The pagans even eat the road kill. Don't ask about "deer Monday." That happens when the tourists hit the deer by the lake and the pagans skin and eat it. I went to dinner with a pagan who spotted a deer on the side of the road. He pulled over, covered it with brush and took me home so he could go back and get it.

Back to the snow. It's coming and we're ready. Don't miss the fun.

Regards, SD in Julian

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Feb. 8, 2013

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