Lost in the Woods, Miss Clementine and Big Bear Lake

9 08 2010

It’s about time we define what a “Yellow Post Site” is. For those uninterested in the campground experience, the U.S. Forest Service provides an alternative: primitive campsites, most off of long dirt roads, totally isolated from other campers and the noise that goes with them. Yellow Post sites tend to have open space, fire pits, and easy access to hiking trails. We’re totally self-sufficient in the RV, so Yellow Post sites are great. Oh wait – we forgot – they’re free. (With the America The Beautiful Pass that we have, or with a number of other passes.)

So we pulled into Yellow Post Site 26 off of Forest Service Road 2N10C just before Shabbat on Friday night. After some quick prep, we kept a quite traditional Shabbat, deciding to try it out in the RV. While we may tweak some of the details, we enjoyed bringing this period of rest and our traditions from home to the RV. We’re also interested in hooking up with local Jewish communities on the road, although the Mojave Desert isn’t known for its large Jewish presence.

Entrance To The San Bernardino National Forest (From Mill Creek Ranger Station)

Entrance To The San Bernardino National Forest (From Mill Creek Ranger Station)

Yellow Post Site #26

Yellow Post Site #26

On Saturday, what started out as a leisurely morning stroll soon became an adventure in the forest. After walking for a while down a forest trail, we realized that we had made a wrong turn somewhere. While there are many lessons we learned that will hopefully help us to avoid a repeat misadventure, we had a bushwhacking experience trying to find our way back to civilization. After the two of us debated which way was East (and therefore in which direction was the campsite), we made a few seeming loops and finally spotted a familiar site in the distance – Big Bear Lake.  We forged our way through brush and trees in the direction of the lake for about an hour when we heard voices and were directed to a trail. We soon came upon a Christian kids camp, where we filled up our nearly empty water bottle and chatted with a lovely family back that helped direct us to the start of 2N10. Also, a note to other Jewish people out there: If you see ΙΧΘΥΣ written somewhere, don’t ask if it represents a fraternity. It’s an Christogram acrostic for Jesus Christ, God’s son, savior 🙂

Our biggest lessons learned from our unexpectedly long hike: Even if you think you’re just going for a half-hour walk in the forest, bring enough water for at least a day, bring a whistle/mirror, and if possible bring a map and compass.

After Shabbat lunch, a restful afternoon and havdallah under the stars, we built a fire ring and cleared an area of brush. Very dry wood is everywhere in the forest, and campfires start with a single click of a butane lighter. We kept each other warm by the fire under a clear sky, wrapping up a nice time at Yellow Post #26. (Other fun thing: We heard an amazing lead guitarist playing all afternoon and went in search of the source. No luck!)

By Our First Campfire

By Our First Campfire (At Mission Springs Site)

On Sunday we explored Big Bear Lake, attending the Annual Ms. Clementine Contest (costume contest, early 19th century garb) where they auctioned off home-made old fashioned lunches. We then stuck around to play some beach volleyball.

Us On A Hike

Us On A Hike

A Ms. Clementine Contestant

A Ms. Clementine Contestant

Jay With A Ms. Clementine Contestant

Jay With Two of the Winners!

Amy With Mr. Clementine Winners

Amy With the Mr. Clementine Winners

Finally, we reached something resembling a solution on security in the RV. Most RVers have some sort of security for their RV, ranging from a loud siren alarm to a baseball bat to a pistol or shotgun. Having a gun in an RV is a very controversial topic, but is also fairly common. We didn’t want a gun, but also didn’t want ‘just’ a blunt object. We landed in between and decided on an air gun (with small BB pellets), which is legal in nearly all states, can hurt like hell, is intimidating, and is very unlikely to kill. Hopefully we’ll never touch it except for some fun target practice.

Separately, some more photos follow.

Okay, The RV Is 11' Tall. Jeffrey Pine Trees Are HUGE!

Okay, The RV Is 11' Tall. Jeffrey Pine Trees Are HUGE!

Trailhead Into The Wilderness

Trailhead Into The Wilderness

A 280 Year Old Tree - We Counted!

A 280 Year Old Tree - We Counted!

Find The RV! (Not so hard...)

Find The RV! (Not so hard...)

The Crazy Road That Is 1N05

The Crazy Road That Is 1N05

Jay By The RV

Jay By The RV

posted by jayhorowitz and amybetho

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5 responses

9 08 2010
Fred

Are Yellow Post sites available in all National Forests or are they only in San Bernardino?

Fred

9 08 2010
jayhorowitz

Hi Fred,

As far as I know Yellow Post sites are only in San Bernardino, but dispersed camping (also called boondocking or dry camping) is available on most government land. Check out this post.

Cheers,
Jay

18 08 2010
Freely Living Life

It’s so nice to see you two out enjoying your RV and the nature around you!

Have fun and be safe!

The Freely Living Life Family 🙂

2 09 2010
Jarek

Hahaha thats so cool you put it up.

I’m the guy on the left of Amy. 🙂

2 09 2010
Jason Storhaug

And I’m the other guy!

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