IS NOT CANCELED, HIWAY REOPENED!! COME ON UP!
OK.. time for my yearly not official short notice So. Cal NotaRally.
This year, Labor Day weekend (Hey thats weekend after next!) Fred Simson in his Fiberstream
, and my wee little self in my Burro
will be near the top of the San Gorgornio wilderness at Heart Bar campground.
It's just off of hiway 38, about 30 miles up from the Inland Valley. Quite the scenic drive in itself, the only civilization you run into once out of Redlands is the small berg of Angelus Oaks. Don't blink, it's about a block long. Other than that, it's all nature, following the canyons of the Santa Ana river. The elevation is 6900 ft.
Heart Bar is a large (94 sites) semi developed campground that overlooks both Meadows and Ridges. It is in a heavily treed area of Pines, Cedars and Aspens. This campground is set up for those that like a flat spot to park thier trailer on, and has very large and clean sites, but not much of anything else. It is a Forest Service campground, intended for "camping", with no ammenities of the modern world. There is water available and there are pit toilets, but no electric or dump station. The closest store is in Big Bear, 20 miles away, so it's bring everything or do long commutes to get your supplies.
Even on the busiest Holiday weekends, I have never seen this place full. To repeat a recommendation, there is no such thing as a bad site here, some are just better than others. Most are NOT reservable, and only a few in the less desireable loop are. There are two handicapped sites, not reserved as of last night. Check Reserve USA if you so desire.
I plan to be there Friday Morning. I will try to set up in the area I think will have the most openings to gather eggs, but this is a casual gathering, we don't have to be all huddled together. No guarantees on sites, but I doubt that anyone will get turned away for lack of space.
Since there is no direct attraction like a Lake, or a shopping mall, most of the folks that come here are behaved and outdoorsey types. No loud radios and drunks, and the one time I heard loud music, the hosts squelched it about 2 minutes.
Generaters are allowed during normal hours tho.
Whats to do there?
Mostly Outdoor "stuff":
Easy hiking in the Santa Ana headwater area, and on logging roads to see old homesteads, some still occupied. Bears can often be seen, along with all the other critters one would expect. Fishing is available in the lower forks of the Santa Ana (And it looks NOTHING like the part of the river you see in the city, folks) and at Big Bear Lake, about a 20 mile drive on up the mountain.
Jenks Lake is a day use lake just down the road, and up in the trees. I believe it is a fishing lake.
There are many logging roads to explore if you are set up for rough roads. Most can be negotiated slowly with a standard sedan, but do so at your own risk.
On the other side of the ridge, above Big Bear, is an old mining ruin thats very interesting to visit. It's called Holcomb Valley and is a real treat to go through. Only one building is left, but the scenery is spectacular and the old sites and history are well noted on the property and the path is easy to follow.
There are many others in the area, as well as geocaches.
Big Bear is the main modern area. Lots of shopping, eating, antiques and exploring. Picnicing areas on the Lake, The Big Bear Discovery center also has lots of history and ideas on where to go and what to see in the outer areas. See the ski areas without the snow LOL!
In typical NotaRally fashion, no organized "things" are planned. I am happy to host the nitely campfire in my site, bring wood, but everything is "whatever, whenever, whoever". If you like to taste wine, bring yer bottle and taste to your hearts content.. bring and prepare your food and eat it when you choose! This is a weekend to relax and vegitate, not plan and organize.
Trailer tours will be... as you want, when you want, I am sure no one will turn a look down
It is usually warm during the day, and chilly at night due to the elevation, bring sweaters, jackets, togas or sheep skins. The bears may get upset at bearskins. Bug are minimal.
Pets are welcome on lead. My rotten critters will be there.
Getting there: From I-10, take the Alabama exit in Redlands to CA 38. Head 30 miles northeast to Forest Road IN02 and go right, .25 miles to campground. The sign comes up quick, and is not your typical campground sign. It's smaller. It is almost EXACTLY 2 miles beyond South Fork Campground.
There is a Heart Bar conservation camp on the right, about a mile and 1/2 above South Fork. Do not go there. Unless you like deliquent boys.
Let me know if you think you might come. I can warn the hosts who may be able to help with sites.