Do you like roadtrips? What kind are your favourite? More and more, I realize how much I like them, so a few weekends ago, we took another one. Just under three hours from San Diego sits Big Bear Lake. Not being a skier, someone who enjoys winter or an enclosed water fan, I’d never been – so we felt it was time. Snacks, hiking shoes and sunscreen packed and we were on our way!
It seems more and more we’re getting out of whatever boxes we might have put ourselves in and experiencing. Mountain town in the summer, sure. Lake visit in lieu of a day at the beach, okay! Hiking amidst a drought and no pollen…definitely! Never would I before pass up a ‘beach day’ for anything other than just that, but, here it’s different. With more beach days than ever before, warm weather adventures have become more of our norm and this was no different.
Driving past the lake, log cabins and heaps of carved bears, my thoughts drifted. First, I smelled camp. Instantly I was back in Riverhead, New York with limitless energy, friends and summer camp memories. The large fire pit we passed emitted flashes of beach camp fires and s’mores aplenty. I smiled. Then my mind flashed to our visit to Duluth, Minnesota when we spent a night with friends in Larsmont Cottages on the banks of Lake Superior. Upon arrival, we were met with a s’mores basket, fully-furnished cottage, a view of a Great Lake and some of the clearest stars I’ve ever seen. We continued driving around the lake and then the movie references flooded in. Somehow I had popped myself directly into Indian Summer’s Camp Tamakwa. I wouldn’t be surprised if Unca Lou appeared with an activity list in hand. We hadn’t gotten out of the car yet and I was already ecstatic.
A stop at the Visitor Center, a wander through the Village shops, a view of the lake and we were ready for adventure. As we hiked, as always…so very many things transpire. What happens when you go on a hike? Introspection, pensive thoughts, a calm, the ability to look up with wonder, that unspoken understanding between strangers, the ‘go outside and live’ outlook, enjoying nature, ease, perspective, appreciation and gifts are only some of the things that take place for me when I head down those paved, rocky or dirt paths. Bug spray, sunscreen, a good backpack, snacks, sturdy shoes…nature surrounds and thoughts drift in and out…awesome!
No sightings of the big five, sheep or bears this time around, but there was a family of ducks heading from marsh to sand to water that crossed our path. We watched as the little ones waddled after their mama taking little webbed steps one after the other over the rocky shoreline. They maneuvered the waves from the passing boats and jet skis and made it to calmer waters to continue their journey. It’s not often that we get to stop, take the time, breathe in and enjoy where you are. Nature does that for me.
The movie was right… ‘There’s nothing quite like a good moose’. (Alan Arkin, Indian Summer) Thanks, Unca Lou!