Sunday, September 8, 2013

Hanna Flat Campground, San Bernardino Forest, CA

First, how greatly we've enjoyed your comments. They keep us feeling connected.

On our way Friday to a couple of days off the grid--no electricity and no cell phone connection/internet access. Hanna Flat Campground is just a few miles up the road from our last camp on Big Bear Lake, and the last 2.5 miles are unpaved washboard.

This national forest service campground is hosted by the friendly Mac, shown here repairing a leaf blower and writing us up.

Just $13 a night with Art's national parks senior pass. Mac hands us a map of available sites and we drive the loop to choose one. He says government cutbacks have reduced the number of workers here from four to one.
This site looks good. Much of the camp has been reserved--this high-mountain site is just 100 miles northeast of LA, where it's sweltering. Here it's in the low 80s with cool breezes. It's Friday early afternoon and deserted, the winds making the only audible sound, broken by the occasional scream of a bird of prey.
View to the rear.
And a peek from across the campground--see our tiny camper?

Hey, priorities. Vodka and soda with lime for me while Art slaves away installing three new deep-cycle batteries (meaning you can drain and recharge them) for the Avion camper. The batteries, in combination with the solar panels atop the camper, allow us to function easily without plugging in to electricity. Batteries provide both water pressure and lights inside the camper at night. (Propane powers our range for cooking and also the water heater.)
My smart boyfriend made an ipad photo of the battery layout so he could follow it in installing the new trifecta.

Off-grid--also called boondocking--is our favorite place to be, since the big rigs tend to avoid these spots and nice tent campers populate the area (making us the big rig, I guess).
We liked the tent/rock combo.

This flowering plant--sage, I think--was luminous, with intensely purple flowers dotted with blue insect-like secondary blooms. The bees and hummingbirds flocked to them.
It's a large plant that grows on woody stems like our culinary sage at home.

Next day, we had a nice hike through the high desert.
Followed by a lunch of chicken, cheese, and raw vegetables.

The trees are massive and this is the most culturally diverse campground I've ever spent time in, a stunning cross-section of humanity, from the Asian extended family to black, white, and Latino families, singles, couples, and children. College kids play harmonica and strum guitar and in the evening campfires dot the landscape.  Everyone's relaxed and happy, and nobody's looking at a phone.

Midday meal: grassfed ground beef with onion, garlic, ginger, and fresh herbs from our window boxes back home. Plus sauteed mushrooms and steamed beets.

A good day.


  1. I don't know what is more impressive, that smart man of yours or, the flowering sage like plant........

  2. I'm amazed at how much you and Art know about "stuff' i know nothing about. Plants, trees, wildlife, etc. Maybe I've lived too long in a city? lol


  3. We're gonna drag you out of the city one of these days, Spin, and set you loose in the wilderness...