Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Accidentally Off-roading

On a clear day, we can see the mountains in the east from the end of our street. This being southern California, land of smog and pollution, those "clear days" are more like "haze" and the mountains are sort of obscured by said haze, but whatever. Mountains there are. I got this crazy idea in my head the other day that James and I should drive up to the mountains and go hiking, and that maybe we'd find some shady trails that wasn't just low scrub brush and burned out pine trees from past forest fires. So we jumped in the car and headed east.

What a lovely layer of pollution we all breathe on a daily basis
We decided to go to Big Bear, because I haven't been there since I was a kid, and I don't think James has ever been there. We did some exploring along some fire roads, and got within a mile of the hike that we (or I) really wanted to do, but the roads were just too rough and my poor car's tires just sat and spun in the dust. The road was just wide enough for my car, and as James was executing an 18-point turn, another car came tearing around the corner from the direction we'd been heading. I thought "Oh good, if we get stuck at least these people can help push the car."

Ford Focuses are not made for off-roading, incidentally.

When I was little and in Girl Scouts, we spent a weekend in a cabin in the mountains. I can't remember if it was Big Bear, Crestline, or other, but one of the activities was a hike along a mountain stream under thick pines, surrounded by ferns. This is one of the strongest memories of that trip that I have, besides a fellow Girl Scout staying up all night practicing tying the knots we'd been taught earlier in the day. (She was later recognized for her enthusiastic pursuit of knotting.)

We didn't find this particular trail, but we did pull of the road to find a glen of ferns, lilies and pines with just a trickle of running water. There was also a secluded campsite with a family and a large, scary dog that barked and growled at us, but heeded his little tiny mistress (who was probably about 7) when she commanded him to "Stay!"

Next time, I want to rent a kayak and go out on Big Bear Lake. The water was SO BLUE, I just wanted to dive right in.

Also, next time, I'd love to make it to the hike we'd planned on, but I'll need a bigger car. Any volunteers?

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