We were invited to a 3-day camping trip to Big Bear, California. Excitedly, we drove the windy road on a cloudy day encountering a barrage of slow-moving campers adding enthusiasm to the trip. The rain was not expected making the start of our trip a little nerve-wracking. Big Bear is a charming mountain town we have visited several times but never had the opportunity to camp in the area.
The rain had left the campsite a little wet with random drizzles still happening so we had to set up our tent as fast as we could. There was no time to follow the instructions, plus we were being a little lazy, the directions were so long. Besides the first sentence says, it’s advised to try to set up the tent before going camping, obviously, we were already not following directions. The biggest issue we had was my child-like enthusiasm to put the tent up as fast as possible, forgetting to remove any rocks that might be under the tent, something I had to hear about for the next three days. We went to bed early, exhausted by the energy expelled by our first day, to our shock we were woken up in the middle of the night with a huge thunderstorm. It rained so hard that we felt like our tent was moving and when the morning hit, we heard that some people’s tents spun and washed off the campsite. I woke up most thankful none of us had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I probably would have asked to pee into a bottle. Of course, we left our shoes outside which were completely buried in the mud next to the tent. It was hard waking up in the morning, we were wet and cold but the uncomfortable rocks under our bodies were just the encouragement we needed to get moving. It was at that moment I realized there was no coffee maker, camping is so difficult.
Arriving at the Camp
Nevertheless, the day started with a smile to make up all the fun we thought we had lost. After some camp coffee that woke me up and then quickly made some breakfast for us and the kids before leaving to “The Village” which is an entertainment area of the town. And of course, we had to stumble upon an amazing rock shop, my wife and I love to collect to collect rocks. We spent way too much time looking for the perfect rocks, it was so hard to decide. We had an easier time picking out our house than we do pick out rocks to bring home. It was fun when we found great rock shops like we did at Big Bear.
Strolling along the Big Bear Lake was on the agenda. It’s saddened to see that the lake has receded 18 feet over the years noted by the launching docs for boats and kayaks were far away from the water. The beachfront homes were no longer beachfront but have become overgrown wilderness areas resembling a marsh.
The foul odor of overgrowth of algae at the lake smelled unbearable and the skeletons of dead fish and the scales were scattered all over the overgrown grassy area. Regardless of all, the walk was invigorating, and being in the wilderness was something we needed for a long time.
Back at the campsite, the rain was not on the menu. We were simply warming up the food we made and cooked some other food items we bought at the store. We thought kids would love to eat some food after an exhausting day, but they didn’t want to eat. They wanted to play and run around the campground petting every single dog they met. “Ahhhh, Ohhhh, I love your dog, can I pet!” were some of the conversations we heard during all our trips to Big Bear. Our friend also brought a hammock, which turned out to be the central game place at the campsite. At nightfall, we sat down at the campfire enjoying a good conversation with a beer. That night, one of our friends was drinking her soda and what she didn’t know was that it had a Hover Fly – a small bee-like bug that loves sweet nectar and can sometimes sting. One large gulp of her soda and she swallowed the Hover Fly, and the stinger was stuck onto her throat. She couldn’t get it to go down becoming panicky she began looking for anything to help, drinking water, milk, beer, and shoving marshmallows down her throat. It didn’t budge. My wife gave her some Benadryl, so her throat won’t swell. Before long the Benadryl took over and all she wanted to do was go to sleep. All night long, she told us that she peed in the tent onto a pee bucket because of all the fluids she did that night. There was her friend sleeping in the tent who told me in the morning with a smile that she could hear the tinkering sound of pee hitting the bucket. We had a good laugh about it. Glad that the bucket didn’t spill in the tent. That would have been a funny scene for a comedy show. When she woke up in the morning, she was all well, somehow the stinger was gone from her throat.
Kayaking on the Big Bear Lake
Most areas of boat launching, and kayaking were difficult to access due to the low water level. We left early looking for a spot to launch. It was fun doing it. Kids loved it, we let them steer and let them have fun with it for a half-day before went swimming despite the smell of the algae in the water. We then went shopping around the city, enjoy some ice cream, and went back to the campsite. Since this was our last day at the camp, we enjoyed games such as bacchii and smash ball and had fun. We stayed a little later than habitual so we could have a chat. We went to sleep later that night thinking the camping at Big Bear was a success. Just for the information, people who were near the campsite were all extremely generous and resourceful.