Day 6 | Presidents Day at Big Bear Lake

Today's agenda was a day trip to Big Bear Lake which is only a couple of hours inland east from LA. It’s the awkward season being past snow skiing but not yet water sports on the lake.

An early(ish) breakfast followed by the shower relay and we were ready to go. There is a bit of a brown haze over LA today which contrasts with the clear days we've had so far. It’s a good thing we’re heading out of town. We had to do that pre-paying for petrol thing.  But at USD$2.9/gal (about AUD$ 0.80 a litre) Angus is happy to do whatever it takes.  So a full thank was only $40 from empty.

From here in Long Beach the suburbs seem to go inland forever. Soon after Highland the elevation and road rose from a six-lane each-way highway to a winding two-lane. The oncoming traffic was heavy enough for us to wonder if today was the wrong day to go there. On our way up the mountain we noticed on the side of the roads were long parking areas to put chains on and a stern warning sign that carrying chains is mandatory “no exceptions” (we didn’t bring any).

Being that it is 26 degC down on the flat we’re not expecting freezing conditions but you never know.  Rising up the 7000 feet (2200 m) toward the Big Bear Lake the views down through the San Bernardino Forest were amazing.

We drove across the dam into the town. With a collection of log cabins and palatial homes nestled around the lake. It’s definitely colder up here but the only snow was artificially made at some play parks that offer tubing.

We had lunch at the Cowboy Express Steakhouse, unashamedly a western restaurant. Almost too much, almost.  We had a walk about the lake after lunch and it was good to breath the fresh mountain air.

Travelling around the lake we didn’t get to the Discovery centre as it was closed for the holiday but it was worth the trip around the north side of the lake.

Then it was back to Long Beach. Everyone is tuckered out (maybe the altitude) and there’s a few ears not popped (definitely the altitude).  It’s good to have a sit at the end of the day.  Left over Chinese for dinner.  Still delicious.

On the way back we noticed a tanker had jackknifed on the other side of the freeway and the traffic build up went on for ever.  It is mind boggling the amount of traffic that is constantly going everywhere.

Highlights

Angus | The thawing skifields on the south shore that are all in forest
McKay | The bottomless raspberry ice-tea at the Cowboy Express
O’Regan | The waffles at breakfast
Rosie | The views after climbing up to Big Bear Lake