Lions and Tigers and Bears, For Real

It was a little warm this morning but I was definitely lagging. I’m usually in a hurry to get moving so I just have a small first breakfast, but I think I need to start taking the time to get more calories in before I leave camp, especially if I’m starting with an uphill.

Once I gained some elevation, the day was actually relatively cool. There were clouds and some breeze most of the time. I actually took my breaks in the sun because sitting still in the shade was too chilly.

Yesterday’s frequent natural water is unfortunately over. There was a spring at the Mission Creek Trail Camp this morning, but later in the day I filled up at a new spigot that a private ranch the trail passes through installed just for hikers. The new manager is a former thru.


Right after the ranch, I came across some animal cages. Apparently it’s a zoo of lions, tigers, bears, and other predators that are used in movies. The cages were so small, it was incredibly sad. The bear barely bothered to lift his head and look at me. I saw the lion’s haunches but he felt no need to turn around.


A dirt road I came to soon after listed some trail angels that live in Big Bear Lake, with a paved road to hitch there within sight. It was very tempting but I’m planning to go in tomorrow from a different road so I resisted.

I’m glad I waited because next I came across a couch and a dumpster full of trail magic. Well, most of the magic (soda) was gone, but there were some canned goods and hand sanitizer and things like that. A hostel in town puts it out there. I had to hang out on the couch for a while and I learned in the register that it’s actually a sofa bed that people have slept on. I was feeling fine and still planned a few more miles so I kept going though.


I made it into Arrastre Trail Camp after 20.6 miles and set up just before dark. I’d already eaten dinner at the last water source so I hopped right in my tent. The next water is less than a mile up trail so I’ll grab some in the morning.


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  1. Kelly Lockman May 4, 2015 — 6:15 am

    Love the last photo, you look so happy. 🙂 Middle photo made me sad. 🙁

  2. Poor animals! 🙁

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