That’s right, I saw a bear! Ok, it was at a private zoo, and it was behind bars, and I couldn’t get a picture because it was, well, a private zoo. Ha! But I saw a bear! ( It was only a little fib I told you John D 😉 ) So, there’s this private zoo along the trail that you can walk right by that houses animals that were used for movies and such. Surprisingly you can’t get a really close look though, and I only saw the one bear. I had walked my distance for the day so I camped not much further on under a tree. That night was soo windy that when the wind came through the surrounding trees it sounded like traffic! Honest to goodness traffic! I had also passed the 250 mark that day. ( I find it funny that the major milestones are done by us and in stones )Also came across a funny trail magic area. It’s a dumpster painted with ‘magician’ like eyes, and a couch that apparently pulls out into a sleeper sofa. I heard later that a guy slept on it overnight and is now called Pull Out. Gross! Ha! After this I hurried down to the next road where I needed to get a hitch into…. get ready for it… Big Bear City! And right next to Big Bear City is Big Bear Lake. I saw both Big Bears. They are a short bus ride or a little walk from each other. Funny story about the hitch I got into town. The couple I saw two days earlier going Southbound in the burned area were picking up their car at the parking lot at the moment I was walking up. Without knowing they knew me, they asked if I was a PCT hiker and needed a ride into Big Bear. After riding with them a few minutes we realized we talked days earlier. They had finished hiking and were heading back toward the L.A. area. Small world. They got me to the USPS for my package and then dropped me off at the Motel 6 in Big Bear City. Later that evening, after resting and getting a bite, my room phone rang. It was the front desk, and they told me that a woman was trying to get a hold of me because I left my trekking poles in her car! Ugh! I hadn’t even noticed! The woman who had given me a ride felt terrible because we missed that, and she offered to mail them to me at my next mail stop. She refused to take compensation for mailing cost too! It will be a week without my trekking poles, but at least I didn’t have to buy a new set.
I decided to take a zero day to relax and get organized for the next section. I did typical town stuff. Laundry, eating out, bus to Big Bear Lake for shopping, etc. I also ran into a hiker I knew from before, Mark from Melbourne. He has a trail name now, Pistons. ( Heya Mark! ) Hung out with him for breakfast and grabbed a bite that night at a pizza place after running errands. I also had headed to the library to blog for a bit… what an experience! Didn’t get much done, but that’s another blog.