This section of trail leaving Big Bear looks a lot like Pennsylvania.


A turnaround day, indeed.  We got a very late start, waiting for a shuttle that never happened, then going to the outfitter to buy things they didn’t have, then a late breakfast.  This is one of the reasons it’s easier to hike solo, your least common denominator is just you, not two other people.  We were with another hiker that we had met earlier, and it was apparent that he was in no rush to leave town.

Breakfast finished, we went across the street and waited for the bus that would take us to the other side of town closer to the trail, but then we would have to hitch the last 4 miles to the trail.  The road is narrow and not recommended to walk.

We only had our thumbs out ten minutes before we got a ride to the trail head and finally set off at 12:30.  Late, indeed.

As we were exiting town, the beautiful ponderosa pines gave way to more beach like scrubby trees.  There were small amounts of shade on the trail and it was not terribly hot.  Each mile we hiked improved the situation.  We were climbing the ridge behind Big Bear Lake and the ponderosa pines returned.

Excellent views of Big Bear Lake as the trail climbed and the trees got taller and provided ample shade.

The bulk of the hiking was in pine trees and fairly cool.  I stopped at a small stream that was not flowing, but had pools to gather water.  It was cool and tasty.  I cooked a lunch and set off again at five after the one hour break.  I wanted to head to the next official camp area just before the next water source.  It was an area that had been burned, so all the ponderosa were just sticks.  Darkness started to fall so I switched on the headlamp and kept walking.  I was only a mile or two away.  I could see two headlights camping as I approached the valley floor.  When I got to the campsite I realized the other hikers were camping at the next spring a half mile away.  I decided to camp at the designated spot because it had wood chips all over the place which looked comfy.

This once was a beautiful forest, but now it is black twigs and will be this way for decades.

I quickly set up the tent and set out about eating then made some quick repairs to my shoes.  As we were leaving the hostel this morning, I found a whole tube of shoe goo in the hiker box.  I did not have time to fix them then, but fixed three of the major holes after I ate.  If the weather and shade hold tomorrow, I might actually be able to hike all day long.  But if it gets hot again, it means lots of night hiking is in store.