Friday, August 04, 2006

Don't Fence Me In

Ever want to just get away from it all?

That is just what my wife and I did, as we took off to the hinterlands with Shon, Jodi, Cory and Vicki.

We packed up our camping gear, including our new tent (Coleman says it sleeps 3; a very, very, very friendly three…) and headed for Big Bear, a place I had never been.

Just after hitting 7,000 feet, Big Bear Lake appears. A lake. At the top of the mountain. I thought water ran down hill – shouldn’t the lake be at the bottom of the mountain? But never mind, we were getting away from it all.

And aside from the other campers on the road, and the occasional boat-dock marinas, “it all” was far away. The only sign of civilization we passed on the last leg of the journey was a shack doubling as a store, with a hand drawn sign out front proclaiming that here resides the three basic food groups of the backwoods: ICE, BEER, BAIT.”


We marveled, that first night. This is what our forebears had to bear – out in the woods, no resources but one’s own resourcefulness. Forget to pack it? Then forget about it for another two days. We are on the edge of nowhere, people!

Cory spent an hour the next morning, building a fire, boiling water, and trying for the right cocoa mixed with instant coffee crystals combination to feed his Double Tall Latte Mocha craving.


But that afternoon, my wife got a tad too much sun, and for the comfort of the next few days, we decided to trek back into the real world for the forgotten aloe vera. I wasn’t looking forward to the long drive down the mountain, back into the real world.

The camp guide suggested that instead of backtracking, we just continue down the road we were on. We did so.

Two and half minutes later, (two and a half! One hundred and fifty seconds!) we were standing in a parking lot, surrounded by a Von’s, a Rite Aid, a Blockbuster, and, wait for it…

A Starbuck’s.

We were so far from civilization, that as we slurped our frappichinos and caffe veronas, we were informed that this Starbucks was not equipped with Wi-Fi. How barbaric!

There is a new merit badge being offered by the Boy Scouts: how to read directions in the star… bucks. “See that cluster of Starbucks over there, Billy? The one that looks like a mermaid? Well, you follow the middle tine of her trident straight up, and that’s the North Star!”

Just my thoughts,



janet said...

If you'd kept going, you'd've found a McD's and a Burger King... (I know Big Bear a little too well...)

Gaffney said...

Have to go with the flame broiled Burger King -- it's just so campfirey.

Never hear anyone sitting around the "grill" telling ghost stories...