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Big Bear Run

Submitted by John Cary on Sun, 06/25/2017 - 21:36
Big Bear Mountain Madness

Big Bear was an interesting weekend with the fire and temperatures in the high 80’s – low 90’s.

Wendy and I arrived Sunday, 6/18 to great weather. My neighbor, Pat, arrived Monday morning to get in some fly fishing on Bear Creek near the Santa Ana river. Pat is a Fire Captain and ended up spending several days on the fire. On the way back we saw a very large plume of smoke arising from the valley. Coming down the 38 into Big Bear we could see it was on the back side of Gold Mountain. The rest is history – a lot of trails were closed including the 18, which opened Saturday.

Arriving Thursday were Mary and John, Randy, Lori and Mike, Dwayne and late evening Bob. Ric and Lisa, with Lisa’s brother and girl friend, arrived early Friday morning and Carol and Gary, Friday afternoon. My backpacking friend, Brian, arrived Thursday. Friday was his first jeep wheeling adventure. He took a lot of pictures and videos. As soon as I get them I will post.

Our trip Friday went to the southeast of Big Bear off the 38 to Heartbreak Ridge and other trails in the area. We went in on 2N01 to Broom flat to Rose Valley. We were over mapped for the area. Both John and I had the BB 4 wheel drive map and Dwayne had the book. In addition he had marked way points the last time he was in.

As we were airing down Randy noticed his front locker cap was loose and was considering going back to the 4x4 shop in town. Instead, we decided to take a look and found the cap had not been clocked correctly, so turning it to the next position solved the problem. The roads in the area are rated black and blue diamond. After traveling in to the area we started up the ridge and Mike managed to get hi-centered on a rock. A short pull with the winch and we were moving again. The trail has some interesting climbs and rock piles. Nothing really difficult. At the top of the ridge we stopped for lunch and Mike managed to drive a branch through his front windshield trying to get shade. It was Lori’s side.

After we drove back down to Rose valley one group wanted to go back the same way we came 2N01 in and another group wanted to go 3N03 to Cactus Flats staging area.
On the way back from Cactus Flats, just before Division Rd. we just missed seeing a five car pileup. Luckily no one was seriously hurt.

Friday night the typical beer thirty and refreshments.

Saturday morning Rich and Corkey arrived for the run. We ended up going up Coxey Canyon to Holcombe Valley Rd and ran it backwards. On the first obstacle I went to turn on the ARB compressor and nothing. Decided on not to try and fix after checking fuses, so ran with 3 wheels. It was warm, in the low 90’s. We had lunch at the Rock Pile, next to Holcombe creek. We came back Crab Flats road and the Lower Larga Flat cutoff road when Ric started spewing fluid out of the Hydro-boost. Problem was shortly solved and we made it back with no other problems.

Saturday evening was started with beer thirty and hors de oeuvres, finishing with a great TriTip dinner and lots of great side dishes which was followed by a great evening around the fire.

Sunday morning most were gone by noon. Gary had a slight problem with the door awning on his new motorhome. It would not close. After checking the manual and blogs we were able to remove it. Apparently, it is a common problem with this door awning. Another project to work on the MH.

A great weekend. No smoke from the fire as the wind was coming in from the south and blew it over the desert. To my knowledge there were no structures damaged. There were two fire fighters who suffered heat related problems. I have not been able to find out how long John Bull and Gold Mountain trails will be closed.

If I missed anything, please add comments.

Thanks for a great weekend.