Big Bear Adventure (part 1)

         I woke up Friday morning to let my dogs outside. Just like every morning I was greeted by the sound of a real person that I’ve nicknamed as “Snotty Shower Guy”.  Snotty Shower Guy lives in the apartments that are right behind my house with walls that are thinner than the tissue this guy never blows his nose in. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that this guy showers like twice a day morning and night and spends about 20 minutes just blowing snot rockets. I can’t even imagine how slippery his shower floor is. 

If you know me, my number one gag sound is phlegm. It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up and I’ve been known to throw up at the sound of someone hocking a loogie. Yet here I am living next door in this city to fuckin Snotty Shower Guy.  Thank the Bobs that I get a weekend away in Big Bear from this motherfucker. 

As you can probably tell, living in the city is really starting to wear me down. I’m from a relatively small town in the Appalachian mountains and there is nature and beauty all around. The kind that doesn’t have me sitting in traffic for an hour to go 9 miles. The kind that doesn’t have me sharing that space with whatever the percentage is of the 4 million people that live in LA who also have the day off. The kind I can breathe freely in. 
Nature back home just feels more spiritual to me, maybe it’s just because that’s where I’m from. Maybe this nature out here is exactly like that to people from here. Don’t get me wrong LA has some beautiful views and great hikes. California overall is just gorgeous. However getting out of the city is a necessity for my soul, so every July for my husband’s birthday we try to to truck it on up into the San Bernardino mountains for a weekend on the lake in Big Bear. 

Every year we rent this amazing cabin called Cornerstone. It’s a lovely cabin complete with a rich history, a hot tub, and a fireplace. This year though for the first time we decided to camp in our brand new travel trailer. Last year when we got married we rented a travel trailer to drive from LA to Blairsville, GA (which is where we held our wedding) and back with our dogs. We fell in love with the road, the state parks, and everything it entails. It was a no brained for us to invest in a vacation home on wheels. 

Cornerstone Cabin in Big Bear

So this is our inaugural camping trip with our camper, which we’ve named “The Har-V” after our dachshund mix “Harvey”.  We actually picked the best weekend to leave LA and Snotty Shower Guy behind and that was the weekend that LA was getting a huge heat wave with temperatures reaching 105. The highest temp in Big Bear would be 81. Most houses in So Cal, including ours, don’t come with central heat and air, so it was pretty prefect albeit coincidental timing. 

The likeness is uncanny

The drive up was a bit challenging. It’s hotter than 40 hells outside and we are climbing a mountain with a 3,000 pound camper attached to our jeep. We passed a sign warning motorist to turn off their air conditioner for the next 14 miles to avoid overheating. We immediately follow instructions. It’s hot outside, like the kind of heavy hot that crushes your lungs when you breathe in. We roll the windows down to at least get some air circulation. Did I mention that our tow/haul button is jammed? Well it is. 

The RPMs kept revving as the incline got steeper. The temperature gage began slowly creeping up towards overheating. The dogs were getting nervous from the sound of the engine automatically dropping down into a lower gear as we climb, as am I. Andy (husband) suggests that we turn the heat on to suck hot air from the engine to keep from overheating. And there we were, just creeping up the side of the mountain, temperature in the high 90’s, windows rolled down, and the heater on full blast. 

The road to Big Bear.

Finally as we get higher in altitude the temperature outside starts to drop. Relief is in sight. The tiny two lane  mountain road opens up to two lanes on our side. The stress from the haul that we were all experiencing begins to fade and we were promptly greeted by a motorist passing us yelling “Use the turn outs you fucking assholes!” Followed by another motorists  honking and yelling a variation of the same thing. Ah, vacation! 

We made it to the top without overheating but we still wanted to let our engine breathe a little

Little did those fuckers know, there was actually a camper and a fuel truck ahead of us as well. So either way they would have needed to wait!  And why should we pull over at every turnout, lose momentum and risk overheating so this asshole can get there 10 minutes faster? California road rage is real. All transplants no doubt being complete jerks. 

Only my husband would drink a hot coffee after driving 14 miles in temperatures in the high 90’s with the windows rolled down and the heater blasting. But hey, it was free with 10 gallons of gas, so there’s that.

As we pulled into the Lighthouse Campground all of that road rage faded away, because here we were, in the beauty of the mountains with views of the lake. That sweet mountain air kissing our lips. Vacation has officially begun.  Time to soak it in, put our troubles behind us and enjoy it. 

Our campsite.

To Be Continued… 


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