Destination: Hwy 18-Big Bear City
Wanting to get into to town at a decent hour today, to ensure a room at the hostel, Apricots and I woke early. As we left Coon Creek Jumpoff, we climbed into Jeffrey Pines, white fir, and mahogany. We continued to have excellent view of the snow capped San Gorgonio Peak. Looking south, we could also see the still white San Jacinto we hiked past several days ago.
The early morning was cold and silent, save the occasional wood strikes of some early rising wood peckers, and the roar of a lion.
Wait, what?! A lion?
Yes, as we passed Onyx Peak, we also passed a lion, and some bears, and some tigers. Sure they were in a cage, but it completely threw us off to hear a lion roaring in the mountains. Apparently, we were walking past some animal cages, where a trainer works with large predatory animals for use in Hollywood films. For more information, take a look at:
After passing the bear cages, which seemed rather small, and very depressing, we continued to make our descent toward Big Bear. After coming across a mini-zoo in the middle of the wilderness, we were willing to expect anything.
...And the trail delivered. As we rounded a bend, we came across a couch two feet off the trail. It wasn't just a couch, it was a couch with a view. The trail angel had placed coolers with soda, water, fruit, and cookies next to the sofa. Directly in front of the couch ten feet, they hung a window frame between two trees. From the couch you could sit, and look upon an excellent view of San Gorgonio.
After a peaceful rest, and a large soda, we started our walk out of the pines, descending into the more familiar desert conditions of sagebrush, and some of our first Joshua Trees. With the occasional glimpse of Baldwin Lake, we made our descent to the nearing Highway 18, our hitch to Big Bear.
We left the pinyon pines, and large incense-ceders, and found ourselves exposed to the sun again. Fortunately, the day was nearing its end, and we reached highway 18. We pulled a number from one of the water caches, and gave the guy a call. Twenty minutes later, seven of us crawled into the back of a large yellow Unimaug and headed to Big Bear Hostel.
Ten days of hiking... Time for a zero.
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