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A mummy-hand holding, (former) biker gang affiliating, hippie influenced semi crunchy granola mom's ramblings and reminisings on an off-kilter life

Monday, June 11, 2012

Childhood musings....Big Bear

Childhood musings....Big Bear

I was looking at photos of Big Bear, an area of many memories...my parents even married nearby, a favorite place of my mom's whose family had a cabin on the lake. The road to Big Bear is windy as is every road up here...I recall learning to drive at age 16, a 1964 Chevy Nova named Evelyn...getting strong arms from wrestling the steering wheel multiple revolutions per hairpin turn, one after another, left, right... the road to Big Bear is the same but for some reason always has made me slightly car sick. I'm not a car sick person..sure if I try and read a book on a windy road, yes, but Big Bear...no matter what...nausea. I recall in 94'?? 92?? Something like that, there were avalanches along the road and people might have died...not sure about that. But I recall a few days after they cleared the road, driving past and seeing the towering snow on one side, it looked like Butler Peak had built a tent of snow, and cliffs down to Siberia Creek on the other side, a narrow icy road...I even think I saw imprints of vehicles...
I also recall every winter, sledders sledding down the steep hills, triple parked along the road, running INTO traffic (yes..flatlanders...I don't get it, as they go up in altitude, they go down in IQ) 

I also recall the biker runs in Big Bear as a child, it's in one of my oldest blog posts here. Sorry, no pics of me as a biker.

Hey Let's go sledding riiiiight here!!! 

And did you know there are Native American petrogylphs in Big Bear? Where? Heck I dunno, a long hike up a shale-covered hill in the middle of nowhere, in a cave area, but not a mine. Big Bear is chock full of mines...one of these days, I hope to write a historical blog on these mountains but for now...

I went with my parents camping and offroading often here. We'd take Van Dusen canyon or Holcomb to Holcomb or Crab Flats to camp, hike, etc. I had a dog, Rosebud, who skirted death many times...once, by rattlesnake. We were playing in some rocks and I heard an odd sound and my dog was foaming at the mouth. I screamed for my dad and we drove as fast as an old truck can drive on offroad trails all the way to the animal hospital, which had anti-venom, and we left with an alive dog.

I also got a 2nd nearly 3rd degree burn at Holcomb or Crab Flats. My mom had decided, one of many unsuccessful times, to quit smoking (she did finally succeed many years later) and was shaky. I was warming by the campfire in the rising morning sun, as sometimes the ground frosts over even in the summer... aaah, warm fire, bacon on the fire in cast iron, life is wonderful. The bacon was done so she grabbed the pan and whoops! spilled it. on. my. foot. I had a huge liquid filled blister and my family, being, well, my family, did not  seek medical help per se...they sought a plastic kiddie pool, neosporin, and cold water. I would  stand with my bubbly foot in the ice-cold water, when my feet got kind of numb (the water was well/spring water, frosty cold) I'd take it out, slather on neosporin, and when it began to burn and itch like it was again on fire, back in the pool.

Cactus Flats...As you wind past the lake, past Baldwin Lake and the old mine and dump, you near the desert side and Cactus Flats. I have no clue why we went there when I was in middle school but we did, a few times. I recall getting into my dad's friends truck...back of the truck, camper shell, no seats or restraints....told to "duck if you see the cops" and...I sat on a hornet. Nah...no need for neosporin or an icy bath this time, just a sore arse all the way home. Another time there, we  walked around an old abandoned home, door off its hinges, cracked glass...and decided to go inside. The home was eerie, a two story home with gaps in the walls, some grafitti and broken beer bottles, just this lonely feeling. I saw a teddy bear atop the mantle, the only "thing" in the house. We walked upstairs and around, returning past the fireplace to the front door when...I saw...the teddy bear...hung by a noose. Holy crap!! This meant someone was IN the house when we were and was NOT a friendly person.

I don't go to Big Bear often, perhaps because I went so often as a child that I almost do not need to go again...

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