A couple of weekends back, my parents invited me and my girlfriend to stay with them in Big Bear, California. For those who aren’t a native of SoCal, Big Bear is located in the mountains of Riverside County. This place is known for its many snowy hills that surround Big Bear Lake and being a section of the ultimate adventure, the Pacific Crest Trail. After getting out of work early, my girlfriend and I settled ourselves and started our three hour drive up north.
Along the I-15, we stopped at a well renowned drift shop, Parts Shop Max to buy some slip-on spacers for my other car. Although not my first time buying their products (will go more into that at a later time), it was my first time at their shop and I was wide mouthed the entire time. Their showroom walls were covered with their iconic golden suspension parts for a wide range of Japanese chassis. Additionally, they had two of their demo cars on the showroom floor, they had their LS swapped, stupid low FRS and a well-known van from Japan, the Nissan El Grand. I wish I took some pictures to show how dope this VIP-style van looked. (The van is for sale)
We continued our drive up with steadfast progress (in actually this is pretty good for SoCal), we made to the bottom of the mountains that lead up to Big Bear. At this point, it was dusk and it would be difficult to take decent pictures up the mountain. At some point, we came across this Chevy Camaro that seemed to be in a hurry up the mountain. Being dumb, I chased him down and actually was successful. I kept up with him during the turns but would obviously get dusted on the straights. At the end, he backed down and I felt a huge sense of victory of the little engine that could.
After that episode, we met up with my parents to get some dinner around town. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures at night because all my batteries were dead. We were all pretty beat from the day so we called it night.
The next morning, we got up relatively early to tackle our plans of the day. We didn’t have anything planned prior, but my girlfriend found a couple of trails to hike. A short drive from the hotel, we arrived at our first trail, Castle Rock Trail, a simple and popular 2.7 mile round trip hike. Unlike San Diego, we were in awe with all the trees that surrounded the trail and crisp air we breathed. All that fresh air! The trail got its name from the clusters of large granite rock that looks like a castle as you look from a distance. At the top of those rocks, you can see a portion of Big Bear Lake and the surrounding forest. After spending some time at those rocks, we headed back down before the trail got busy to our next trailhead.
We arrived at the Big Bear discovery center where it serves as a source of education for the surrounding trails. We traded free parking for an extra mile of hiking to get to the Cougar Crest trailhead. This trail is approximately 2.5 miles one way up the hill. The coolest part of this trail is that it connects to the 2650 mile Pacific Crest Trail. If you don’t know what that is, Google it. You won’t be disappointed. Although 2.5 miles usually quick for us, it felt like a longer than usual probably because of long steep portions as well as hiking in the high altitude (give us a break, we live on the coast and not used to being 6000’ feet up in the mountains) I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.
We finished the day with beer from Big Bear Lake Brewing Company (their IPA was pretty good), walking through town, Korean BBQ and called it a night.
The next morning, we packed up and headed down the mountain to head back south. Unfortunately around the halfway point home, we got a flat! Luckily for us, I am part of the group of people who can actually change their own flat tire. (KNOW THIS SKILL!). Although this was a small set back, it did not ruin my great weekend.