Starting Mileage: 266
Ending Mileage: 286.5
We watched the weather while we divided up the spoils of our multiple shopping trips between our packs and then we were out the door.
We walked to Thelma's for breakfast.No Apple Dumpling this time though, there was hiking to do after. Breakfast was delicious.
After breakfast we walked about a mile to where Hwy 18 split and headed toward the trail.
We spent about 20 minutes trying to hitch before a local Trail Angel picked us up. She was already heading that way with 2 other hikers (Craig and Apache).
By 8:30 we were on the trail and heading north. Conditions were a bit different than we've become used to hiking in. The high was in the low 50s and the low was forecast in the upper 20s. In fact there was a Winter Weather Advisory calling for 1-3" of snow above 7000'. Guess where we were going?
Regardless, it was wonderful to hike in weather that felt like early Fall rather than the inside of a blast furnace.We climbed away from Hwy 18 for awhile.
Once we reached the top it was fairly level terrain.
When we stopped hiking we cooled down rapidly, having to but on our warmest clothes for a 10 minute break.
The oddest moment was the snow flurries that started while the sun still shone. We hastily put our pack covers on (think rain coats for the packs) in case the flurries developed into the more substantial amounts of snow they had forecast. Then we kept hiking.
The trail took use around the mountain and gave us views of Big Bear Lake. Being in town really doesn't give you a sense of how big the lake really is, nor how cool it looks with the ski hill behind it. We had views of the lake on and off for a couple of miles.
The flurries didn't last long and by lunch snow seemed a remote possibility.
After lunch we started moving away from the lake and down the other side of the mountain. This brought us into an area that had burned in 2007. The evidence of fire was still abundant enough I would have guessed much more recently than that.
As we approached the creek that was our destination, we came over a rise and saw a fence with a solar panel in the middle of this burn area. Not something you see everyday. I investigated. Turns out the enclosure was a pit toilet with the solar providing power to vent the holding tank. Who knew?
We ran into Tumbleweed at the creek were we filled up with water. It was still to early for alI of us to feel like stopping, so we hiked on. About a mile and half later we found a couple of nice spots so we made camp.
After dinner, as the night got colder, we shared some of our hot chocolate (so good) with Tumbleweed and chatted.
Soon the cold drove us all into our sleeping bags and we called it a night.