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"The haunting melody of a howling wolf pack is heard in only a handful of states, as wolves have been exterminated from a vast majority of their original range," explains the California Wolf Center's website. Though these howling cries are harder to find than they once were, one place to witness their grandeur is at the California Wolf Center.
The non-profit was founded in 1977 to educate the public about wildlife and ecology, specifically the history and behavior of the gray wolf. Located 50 miles east of San Diego, it houses two subspecies of wolves: the Alaskan gray wolf and the endangered Mexican gray wolf. The center also participates in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan, which aims to help the endangered species recover in the wild. At the facility, wolves live in enclosures that can help retain their natural behavior, as some of them will eventually be released back into the wild.
The Julian Dance and Back Country BBQ tips its cap to a bygone era when families and friends gather to celebrate the arrival of spring with music, dancing, and food. As in years past, the Menghini Winery and its serene mountain setting provide an ideal backdrop for the event. On June 14, live bands start cranking out jams right at noon—when city ordinance allows real guitars to replace air guitars—but preparations for the barbecue feast begin long before that. Several days prior, chefs coat tender meats in a secret rub and prepare to slow cook it over oak coals during the festival. Then, as night falls upon the party, well-fed attendees take to the large outdoor dance floor to bust a move while stars begin to poke through the darkening sky.
California Wolf Center was founded in 1977 to educate the public about wildlife and ecology, specifically the history and behavior of the gray wolf. Located 50 miles east of San Diego, it houses 19 wolves—five Alaskan gray wolves and 14 of the approximately 358 Mexican gray wolves that exist worldwide. The wolves act as ambassadors for the wild, taking part in educational programs for the public. The center also participates in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan, which aims to help the endangered species recover in the wild. At the facility, wolves live in off-exhibit enclosures that can help retain their natural behavior since some of them will eventually be released back into the wild.
At this Zagat-rated restaurant, 24-year-old chef Jeremy Manley puts an adventurous spin on the California bistro, using an armory of locally sourced organic produce and seasonal ingredients from Julian, Ramona, Borrego Springs, and Valley Center. The ever-changing dinner menu regales diners with bison bratwurst from nearby Star B Ranch topped with speedway stout sauce blended with AleSmith beer and gouda cheese ($18). The california cheddar burger, like an avant-garde portrait of the Hamburglar, provides an exciting new look at the classic sandwich with its smooth coating of avocado butter, mango pico de gallo, crunchy prosciutto, and chipotle aioli ($15).
There aren’t many ways to relive the California gold rush outside of a time machine. Yet Julian Mining Company recreates that time with its own gemstone and gold mining. Visitors pan for real gold from bags of ore at the site or take a bag home to hunt for gemstones in their bathroom sink. Field trips teach students about the Civil and Revolutionary Wars, farm life, and Native Americans with hands-on lessons. Additionally, cabin rentals give people a chance to escape to the great outdoors in view of the mountains, and in the summer and fall, families can pick fresh, tart raspberries from the bush or pumpkins off the vine.