We can't believe it, but here we are, finally at the beginning of our PCH adventure. After several weeks of modifications, maintenance and unexpected work on our Tiger, we are beginning our three week trip up the coast of California. We don't have much of a plan, other than a few reservations here and there and some areas in mind we'd like to see. Our adventure will end sometime after Labor Day weekend at the Strawberry Music Festival in Yosemite.
After a few technical hiccups with my IPhone, we eventually got underway this past Friday, leaving the heat of Phoenix for the perfect weather of Big Bear Lake, California. Our friend Linda who lives not far away in Forest Falls, was kind enough to go up Friday morning and grab a beautiful dispersed campsite south of the lake. By the time we arrived it was just past sunset, but we were happy to have made it after a trouble-free trip across the desert. One nice thing we are discovering about camping in the Tiger is there is virtually no set-up; just pull in to camp and park. Quite the difference from our experience in the roof top tent, spending a good amount of time setting up camp and kitchen areas. We had an easy dinner and swapped some Tiger comparisons before turning in for the evening.
Saturday brought a lazy day on the mountain, hanging around camp and going for short walks and some exploring. I had planned for us to hit up some mountain bike trails, but I think Josh and I were just happy spending a drama-free and lazy day out in mother nature. We went for some short hikes, discovering a great vista looking out to the lake. Naps were taken, books were read and I decided to try out my newest kitchen toy, the backpacker oven. I've had dreams of cornbread and pizzas while living on the road, and after reading through a few threads on EXPO, combined with my own research, I settled on the BEMCO Backpacker Oven. So far, I'm seriously impressed with this thing! It folds flat for easy storage, assembles in just a few moments and heats up on the stove rather quickly. It was able to maintain the temperature I needed, and I was pretty much able to set it, and forget it! My first attempt was banana bread which turned out beautifully and ended up being a hit around camp. I look forward to trying new experiments in baking as we continue on our journey.
Sunday morning brought a lazy time around camp. Again, thanks to the beauty of the Tiger, packing up was done in a snap. I just can't get over the difference in camping experience here. After stowing everything away, we headed out with Linda into town and had some amazing pizza at Maggio's. We were not left disappointed, as we had tried to eat at this place a few years ago over the Christmas break but it was so packed we couldn't get in. All of their food looked amazing, so if you are ever in Big Bear be sure to check it out. After stuffing ourselves we started down the mountain and into Forest Falls to hang out at Linda's house a bit. She took us up the road to see the falls, which were very nice and we were left wishing for more time to actually take the trail up; but we'd soon realized it was getting late in the day and we still had to make it in to our destination for the evening of Huntington Beach. After re-filling the Tiger with clean Forest Falls water, we bid Linda and Pepper farewell and continued in to the coast.
We are now sitting in beautiful Sunset Beach, just north of Huntington, enjoying great company and preparing to head north on the Pacific Coast Highway in the morning. No real plans, no real destination for Monday, just fun and looking to see what we can find.