Saturday, December 3rd
Saturday I booked for travel and a little shopping. I knew I wanted to stop by Chaparrals again on my way back out to the desert, and I also knew Big Bear Lake was sort of on the way. Seems like a logical detour to take!
First I swung by Chaparrals and picked up an electric jacket liner. The gloves wire into that, and it’d come in handy in the not so distant future. It would have come in handy a that same day if I’d put the thing on, but that was still down low in the warm valley. I was beginning to note that there were mountains to my left and that Big Bear Lake seemed likely to be in that direction.
It turns out Big Bear Lake is up in the mountains. Like 7,000 feet up in the mountains.
I did end up hooking in my electric gloves at some point. That helped a lot, and it was a cold if beautiful drive through the area. I came up through the mountains, around the long lake and then back down the other side, eventually pausing where I could see snow on my right and the desert opening to my left.
I followed Old Woman Springs Road to the east and then south and into Yucca Valley where I’d be staying for the next week. My AirBnb host was out of town but she’d left the keys hidden on the property and I had one of my better detective hunts to follow directions and let myself in. It was a lovely, beat up old place, heated by one lonely radiant portable heater which had a tough job with the big, wide, high room. It wasn’t too bad, but was the coldest (on the inside) week I’ve spent on this trip so far. Southern California houses are not big on insulation!
I did my usual first-day run to the grocery store for supplies, delighted to once again have access to a kitchen. Sunset flared overhead as I rode to the store, and it was dark and windy when I returned. I made a simple meal, opened a bottle of rye, and relaxed into my first night back in the desert.