A weekend in Big Bear

Saturay – 4.28.2005

Started the morning with the traditional Alpenhorn Bed and Breakfast four course breakfast

  1. Fresh Fruit (as opposed to the old stale stuff)
  2. Homemade granola and yogurt. This trip we bought a bag of granola to take home. Who’d a thought ground up stuff could be so tasty.
  3. Banana oatmeal broulee. I don’t like oatmeal much but how can anything with caramelized sugar on top be bad?
  4. Main Course – Eggs Alpenhorn with a mushroom gravey. Basically a poached egg on top of an english muffin with gravey on top. Worth the price of admission on it’s own.

Since our last visit was spent almost entirely in our room or the main living room area this time we decided to get out and see Big Bear. Thinking a hike would be fun we headed to the Discovery Center. After taking one look at our shoes the old mountain man outside the center says,

“The Cougar Crest Trail will be just right for you I think.”

Vans, sneakers, no hats, hiking sticks or shorts, must have been a dead give away that we weren’t quite prepared. Don’t get me wrong. We’ve both hiked before, Nicole more recently than I. But niether of us thought about hiking in the packing of bags for this trip. Not that it would have mattered as I have no hiking gear anymore. I said I had been hiking before, just not how recently.

The Cougar Crest trail was a very good hike. Lots of very nice scenary, very few people. Aside from the obligatory, “hi, hello” exchange when passing other hikers, it was just Nicole, the trail, wilderness, and I. Very nice. Oh yeah and the sun, which mercilessly broiled our necks and faces.

Cougar Crest trail is 1.9 miles long. Clearly they were measuring basd not on how the crow flies or the tired hiker walks, but on something like how the mole digs or something. I can do 1.9 miles on the treadmill in not too long. This took for-freaking-ever. Again, I was wearing vans, Nicole, sneakers. That had a lot to do with our pace.

At the end of Cougar Crest Trail we hit the Pacific Crest Trail which lead to Bertha Peak. “You’ll know it by the radio transmitting gear all over the top” the discovery Center guide book said.

From the end of Cougar Crest to Bertha Peak was only .6 miles. The most uphill, and difficult .6 miles I’ve travelled in…. my whole life I think. Perhaps I’m a wuss, but damn if it didn’t kick my ass.

At the top, the view was bitchin’ very very bitchin’. After found a place to “water the flora” we headed back down. Anyone who says down is easier than up should be choked. Down is just as damn hard, maybe more so.

After such a long hike (took us about 4.5 hours) we did what I’m sure all outdoorsy types do… headed to the local pizza joint for a large pepperoni and pitcher of beer.