Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Calico Ghost Town

April 2013: more from my lost year.  On our way back from the CWCCA National Specialty in Tucson we camped at this San Bernardo County park. The camping was good for both the RV and for Jamie and Catherine in their tent. Also included: free entertainment (a pass into the ghost town). We had breakfast in the town just before the first tour bus of the day arrived.

The town is named "Calico" for the myriad colors of the hills.

You can walk up to the entrances of several old mines.

View of the town from above. The campground is down below and to the left of the tour bus parking.

Gun fight!

After visiting the tourist trap town we took the jeep for its first off-road trip,


The yucca are blooming

 Catherine checking on the scent.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Big Bear Lake

We had planned a trip to Big Bear a week or so before we went because . . . it was still snowing up there. None of us wish to actually do snow again in the near future. Or at least not if we can avoid it.
On Wednesday the 16th we loaded up into the trusty jeep and headed up the mountain.

 It was sure nice to see mountains and green and trees  again.

 First snow along the road. The light on the camera lens makes it look like Ken is searching for the end of the rainbow.

Approaching the summit.

 Once over the summit you have a view of the Lucerne Valley to the north.

I had only been to Big Bear once before: in November of 1979 and even then only hit the other side of the lake. I was surprised to find that Big Bear City is actually a city. The population was reported as 12,304 in 2010 and it has most assuredly even larger now.  

Primary destination: Big Bear Brewing  for beer and lunch.

"Nancy" (points to name badge) offered to take our picture in the tank room.

The beers are ok. We shared a flight first to make sure we tested them all. The food, however, was great.

After eating we continued on around the lake.

The lake level is still low. 

The area is an interesting mix of cabins from the 1940's and new dwellings. Many are nestled among huge rocks.

This burned out stone mansion overlooks the dam. 

The dam which creates the lake. 

People were fishing but not catching. The ducks didn't mind the cold water.

Rather than going back the way we had come we made a loop and headed down the hill to Lucerne Valley in the high desert.

When Tom saw the "16% grade" sign he pulled off to survey the road.

 Up the hill we found a very small pet cemetery. Winnie's grave is recent.

Part of the way down we found an off-road area which will be worth checking out another time.

Several varieties of cholla abound in the area.

In previous years we had never managed to be here when the Joshua Trees are blooming.

The blooms are high overhead so it's hard to catch their magnificence. Each is about the size of a pineapple.

Baby Joshua Tree. 

And on down the road.

Not the best route for an RV if you are thinking of camping up there.