*notcot in travel , 09:21

Eastern SoCal Bday Adventures!- 04.02.16

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Shawn (+ Bucky) and I love a good road trip - exploring new places, finding new spots in old places, and just seeing where the road (or dirt paths) take us! For his 30th birthday, we decided to carve 60 hours out of our busy schedule to hop in the NOTFZJ80, and aim southeast… exploring our way out to Murrieta and Temecula on our way to hide out in Julian (for pie! and nature time in a little cabin on top of a hill amongst 30 acres of wildlife refuge!)… with a day trip to the Salton Sea and off roading to/thru The Slot in Anza Borrego… and swinging back home through Ramona, Poway, and up the coast via San Diego.

It was an amazing and rejuvenating trip filled with surprises! Also… Julian Pie Co. is still worth the drive after all these years. Mmmm that dutch apple pie. (Also the cherry pie. And the take and bake chicken pot pie was divine in the cabin on a rainy night!) There were far more breweries and wineries than we ever expected out there! Best find was definitely the Refuge Brew Blood Orange Wit! So delicious, and the can is gorgeous! Apparently Bucky is more interested in bunnies than squirrels… and deer and horses just aren’t that exciting anymore to him. We found a lot of similar Land Cruisers out at the Slot and squeezed through as far as we could!!! Who knew there’s even a Camel Dairy in Ramona along the highway!

Check out our mini adventure in pictures on the next page!

Grabbed lunch at the fun 8-bit Brewing Company in Murrieta. cainsta1.jpg

Then into Julian, as we passed through the gates on to the 30 acres of wild life refuge… heading up to the Cowboy Cabin… we were greeted by a family of deer! cainsta3.jpg

Cowboy Cabin! An amazing little getaway built in the 1940s! cainsta2a.jpg

View from the cabin… and this is just one side! You’re surrounded by views down into the valleys and across the luscious green hills on every side! cainsta2.jpg

Quick walks around the property lead you right to apple orchards and more! cainsta-orch.jpg

A peek inside… Bucky thought the bucket of kindling were sticks for dogs. cainsta2b.jpg

When in Julian… you HAVE to get some pie from the legendary Julian Pie Co.… it still lives up to the hype, and is worth the wait if there’s a bit of a line. We did taste some of the others on the same little main street, and honestly, it was worth going back to this spot every time! cainsta4.jpg

Some of the delicious (and beautifully packaged) beer and snacks in the cabin fridge! cainsta5.jpg

The friendly horse at the Cowboy Cabin! cainsta6.jpg

Testing out the Rumpl Down Puffy! PERFECT and oh so warm on a rainy night curled up by the fire. cainsta7.jpg

Muffin tins turn into beer tasting organizers in Julian - also the Nickel Beer Co habanero and jalapeño beers are no joke! So much tingling… Julian Hard Cider also uses muffin tins. cainsta8.jpg

First thing in the morning, Bucky starts tapping the window fixated by the pair of bunnies having breakfast. They couldn’t have cared less that he was there! cainsta9.jpg

Family of deer was frolicking at dawn too… In the mornings at the cabin, Bucky and i would sit outside and listen and watch all the incredible creatures. Bunnies, deer, the horse, tons of different birds… and you’d hear the cows, coyotes, turkeys, and other dogs echoing throughout the valleys. cainsta10.jpg

We cruised out to see the Salton Sea… cainsta10a.jpg

… and some of the graffiti on the many dilapidated buildings. cainsta11.jpg

Then it was back into Anza Borrego to off road our way into The Slot! That’s us up top… and you can see another Land Cruiser down in the canyon. cainsta12.jpg

Squeezing in! cainsta13.jpg

… NOTFZJ80 couldn’t get this far in, so we had to go see on foot! cainsta14.jpg

Check out that huge suspended boulder! cainsta15.jpg

Over at Julian Hard Cider - they cut their glass bottles sideways to turn them into planters! cainsta16.jpg

Julian Pie Co. Memories! Like churro pie crust cookies… crust with cinnamon and sugar cut in heart and apple shapes baked to deliciousness. cainsta17.jpg

The sunsets were pretty stunning at the cabin - there’s the horse again! cainsta18.jpg

On our way back home, we had to make a pit stop at The Vegetable Shop at Chino Farm to pick up some picture perfect produce. It’s no wonder they have had such an incredible reputation since we were kids! cainsta19.jpg

Here’s a peek at the baseball sized little broccoli variants! cainsta20.jpg

Now for the map! As you can see - we looped out east and came home the usual coastal route. cainstamap1.jpg

And for a slightly different view of our trip… here’s what Shawn shared on Instagram!

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3 Notes

I just did this loop from LA as well, camped at Anza- saw the metal dinosaur sculptures, swung around the salon sea to the nature preserve, good lookout on the lake. Took a scary stroll through Niland then checkout out Salvation Mountain and Slab city, there are also some amazing graffiti water tank out there. Hit up Bombay beach for some beers by the “ocean” lol this is such a cool place it’s sad to see it go downhill. Looks like you had a great time in that hot rod, I”m gonna check out that cabin situation next time.

----- dustin 06.04.16 17:51

Great adventure and photos,
best regards
ala

----- ala mehor 06.04.16 01:03

Hey it looks like a great road trip.
After reading about your experiences with the FZJ80, and our recent spring break trip to Zion and Bryce, my wife, 9 year old daughter and I are looking for a Land Cruiser to do the same as you. We’re also in LA and maybe one day in the not too distant future we’ll meet on some less traveled road.

----- Nigel 03.04.16 10:33

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