Thursday, May 6, 2010

Big Bear

Big Bear... what can I say.  I was picked up from the trail head by this nice man and his mother, he was taking her in to town so she could have some good girl gossip and he was going in to hang out with the auto mechanics.  He asked me where I wanted to get off and I said... Big Bear's Post Office.  The car started and forward we went.  I was dropped off at the post office and the nice woman at the counter informed me that I was at Big Bear Lake and I need to go to Big Bear City.  Okay, I thought.  This can't be that bad, I mean I just completed 9.6 miles before 10:30am.  How far is Big Bear City?  It's 5-6 miles. How do I get there? Down Big Bear Boluvard, across the Big Bear Lake board walk... and down aways.  Take a left at the first major gas station on the left.  I asked if she knew if I could get a ride... she suggested the MARTA system(really it's called MARTA).  I got a ride from a nice lady behind me but she could only take a mile or two off the walk.  Apparently this is a doable and often accomplished walk from what I was hearing.  Yeah.... no. I stopped at a major grocery store for a quart of whole milk and a 30 pack of cookies.  When I checked out I had older men in front and behind.  They looked at what I was getting, me a small girl, with this giant pack.... I felt like they knew something I didn't.  The woman, Fiona, I think, who check me out watched me down 25 cookies and the whle quart of milk within 15 minutes.  ... It's all about one bite at a time.  So I ended up... walking a misreable 4-5 miles in the "Big Bear" area.  Huff, Big Bear... I see no bear!  Just a small shoulder on the side of a busy highway.   And for all you people who think... why doesn't she just take the public transit system... well, real women, don't do that.  They tough it. 

So a summary of the past few days!!
Monday, I left Idyllwild by way of Linda, a nice woman who was very scared of Slimjim.  I should have sat in the front with her instead of having him up there.  Slimjim and I managed to escape the post office by 10:30ish.  It was a hot 4.5 miles to the trail head along an old highway.  We made it though and chilledout for a bit.  Some Trail Angels, and previous hikers, Don't Panic and Wing It had some coolers stocked with soda chips and apples.  As we waited for the heat of the day to pas Mango showed up. (Mango and I started the same day (4/16) and had hiked together for 4ish days.  He's older, 63, and I'm pretty sure he see's me as a risk because I lack experience.  ... and I don't blame him nor do I admit to knowing everything about what's out here.)  Mango, Slimjim, and I headed north, past the windmills and into this beautiful valley.  Truely gorgeous.  We camped at the Whitewater Reserve located .5 miles E of the trail.  It use to be an old trout farm.  The picnic tables were absolutely amazing.  They weren't wood and they weren't stone some sort of interesting concrete mix.  The campsite was beautiful and I enjoyed my warmest and quietest night. Oh I forgot to mention as we hiked in we saw Big Horned Ram.  Amazing.
The second day Slimjim and I decided to push it... we made plans to do 20 miles.  It didn't happen. The trail was horrible ... we crossed this damn stream 20-30 times.  The trail moved... you couldn't see it... basically it was 5 hours of being perpetually lost... and alone.  I caught up to Slimjim and we were so exhausted we ended up falling over in the middle of no where, with this giant amount of heat eminating from every single rock around us.  I ran out of water.  Slimjim looked at the maps and decided that we were 200 yds away from creekside campground.  We got up and slowly stumbled there.  It was a great campsite.  There was water.  I quickly became refreshed.  Hiking with Slimjim... did made me feel safer.  (I know he'll enjoy hearing that I did need his help.) Mango ended up camping not 100 yds south of us.  He was too exhausted to make it any further just like us.  Mango, Slimjim, and I ended up hiking 21 miles that day... yesterday.  It a was a long and rough day, but I was so proud.  I rocked it!  ROAR!

What else.  The people here are interesting and strange.  Slimjim is the southern guy who carried my box in Idyllwild.  It's strange that my mum and his mom talk.  I suppose it's good though.  I definitely find it easier to hike with people my own age rather than someone older.  It's hard to relate and my hike seems longer and more difficult.  I suppose I'll figure it out.  But for now the golden child has burnt arms, legs, and hands.  I've found free moisturizer and am working the cracked peeling skin off.  The place I'm staying is weird and strange.  Interesting characters. 
It's 7:35 ..practically hiker midnight.  I'm sitting in this dusty den with a small, non-regulation pool table in the middle.  There are christmas trees everywhere.  The doors have wreaths.  I'm listening to a record of Simon and Garffunkel.  It's the strangest place.  There are stuffed animals all over the room.  The owner poured me wine from a box into a champagne glas.  He went to court today after he finished meditating this morning.  It makes me really wonder.  ... am I really strange compared to these other people.  Well... I suppose  I might be.  I got Big Bear town's confused.  Who knew you could waste 7 hours in Big Bear towns??

I'd bettter go to bed and figure out where I get to sleep.  I hope everyone is doing well.
Life on the trail is demanding but I love the flexibility and the people I meet.  I forgot to talk about Just Jerry.  I'll try to get it later.  Miss everyone.


  1. YOu rock girl! Keep it up. It sounds like its been hard but also satisfying and yet rewarding. I enjoy readind about your adventure. Way to go. Your friend from New South, Catherine

  2. You're late for the OAC.

    BTW. D. Florez had a dream about you..