Big Bear: Cooler Weather, Triathlon, Running, and New Friends

If you follow me in Instagram (and if not, why not?), you know I spent the weekend up at Big Bear Lake. Alan was announcing the Big Bear Triathlon, and I was along for the ride (and the run, a little challenging at 6,700 feet elevation and above). That was Saturday. After the event, we moved bases over to a friends house, where we spent the night and, amidst a few glasses of wine, chatted while Alan reacquainted himself with a high school friend (that’s about 45 years ago!).

It was a great weekend, but also a long one, so I hope you don’t mind if I share most of our time in pictures, with just a little bit of explanation. And, we’re off…


We arrived on Friday afternoon. We checked into our hotel, the Robin Hood Inn, which was right across the street from the event. Nice hotel, with only two drawbacks. One, in addition to hosting the triathlon (including the post-race party), they were also hosting a Corvettes West event, so the hotel was full of partying Corvette owners. Again, all fine and good, but it meant that, to avoid the noise of their evening event, we were put in a room that faced the street, and was very noisy and hot.

BearHot, you say? You guys are from the desert, where it was 105 degrees when you left on Friday morning. Well, the temperature in Big Bear hovered in the high 80s over the weekend, pretty hot for a place that doesn’t have a whole of of air conditioning. And for a hotel room with a lot of windows that seemed to face the sun both rising and setting.

Bear4After checking in, we ambled over to the event transition area, where Alan met the race director and discussed last minute details.

Bear2While Alan was busy, I wandered around the marina, and was enchanted by the above sign. It was easy to see why it was necessary.

bla bla blaThen we headed over to meet up with Alan’s friend Cheryl. He went to high school with her, lost touch, then reconnected a few years ago through Facebook. They hadn’t seen each other in about 45 years! That didn’t seem to matter, as we all got along so well, and Cheryl and I had a great time getting to know each other.

Bear6I found a Mexican Restaurant called Azteca that had a few vegan options on the menu. Alan and I both ordered the veggie burrito. It was okay, but had too many bell peppers for either of our tastes. It did fill us up though.

Just a few words here about eating this weekend. I was not proud of my efforts. Although I had brought fruit, bars, and a few snacks, I seemed to do an inadequate job of fueling myself (and Alan too). We were either really hungry, or eating bars or snacks. I need to work on that for travel of more than one night.

In addition to that, my stomach was really upset all weekend long. Without going into too great of detail, I will say my dinner did not appear to agree with me. It got so bad during my run on Saturday morning that I had to turn around early to go back to the hotel (because I didn’t know any other bathroom options). It continued all the way into Sunday, so that ended up being one down side of our weekend away.

Bear7While Alan was busy announcing the race, I took the opportunity to take a short run. I ran along the race course (I was out there well before the athletes took to the run). As I said, I had to stop back at the hotel, but I went back out to get in my three miles.

Bear8Bear9It was so pretty up there. And while it was pretty warm by the afternoon, the mornings were lovely and fresh. Though all the layers of undershirts, gloves, arm warmers, and jackets that I had brought with me went unused (the forecast said 45, pretty darn chilly for this desert rat!).

Bear11After my run I went back to the hotel to shower and check out. Then I returned to the venue while Alan finished up.

Bear10Our friend Amanda, who owns the best triathlon store in the desert, Brickhouse Multisport, was there, with last minute gear, wet suit rentals, and, well, pretty clothes to buy. That’s her on the far right of the picture. In some of those pretty clothes.

After the race, Alan also had to MC the post race party and give out the raffle prizes to those that attended. We ourselves finally got to eat some real food (of which I didn’t take a picture). They had a garden burger wrap on the menu which was good (and we were starving). Then, he was done with his obligation. So we headed back to Cheryl’s house, where we were going to spend Saturday night.

We had another nice evening of chatting. Alan and Cheryl had a lot to catch up on, but I didn’t feel left out. We all seemed to have a lot in common, and it was fun getting to know her. I ended up cooking dinner, because we didn’t want to chance another restaurant. Using what Cheryl had on hand, I made a nice pasta with sauce.

bear12The picture of the pasta box is pretty bad, but I think it was gluten free. I liked it a lot, and will try it again at home.

Bear17Alan and I took a run on Sunday morning. We started slow because Alan’s asthma can really cause some problems in the altitude. We ran about three miles, which was plenty. From Cheryl’s house, we ran to the lake…



Bear16Alan had to test the water. It was chilly.

Then we ran back, past Cheryl’s house, to Snow Summit, the main ski resort in Big Bear. Obviously they don’t do any ski business this time of year (plus winter was so warm they didn’t do much then either), but it is huge with mountain bikers. The parking lot fills up early every morning, and cyclists can do their own thing, or take the ski lift to the top and ride down. There are also hiking trails. We didn’t do any of that (maybe next time), but we did stop for some pictures.

Bear18The hill we didn’t climb.



Bear19Afterward, it was just a short walk back to Cheryl’s, where chatted some more, then showered, packed up, and got ready to go back down the mountain. We had to take at least one more selfie though.

Bear22Then, it was goodbye to Cheryl and to Big Bear. Back to the desert, where it was 105 when we got home. At least we are back to familiar food and regular meals, so my stomach will hopefully be back to normal. All that aside, though, we can’t wait to go back.

Bear23Bye bye, Big Bear!

How did you spend your weekend? Any travel, races, events or fun family times? Share!

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  1. says

    I think it’s awesome that you guys got to connect with an old friend of Alan’s. I find that as I get older, I am reconnecting with more & more high school friends. Sounds like a great weekend {except for the upset stomach}.

  2. says

    How fun! Big bear looks gorgeous! Love that you get to tag along with him. We were sick all weekend…no fun in our house.

    I would do just about anything for 80s but without AC that’s miserable!
    Katie recently posted…Top 10 Runner ProblemsMy Profile

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