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Discussion Starter #1
So you guys will probably be mad at me cause I didn't really take many pictures at all, especially of the Crosstrek (hence why I am posting here instead of The Autoshow). However, I did snap a couple cellphone shots.

So the plan was to drive up to Big Bear Lake from Los Angeles on Friday evening after work and camp through the weekend. Two of our friends left LA early, around 2pm, to get to the campsite first and reserve some spots for us. I got off work around 4pm-ish and went home to meet my roommates. Roommate #1 doesn't get there until about 6:15 but says he is going to ride up with another friend of ours, which is fine since I am still taking Roommate #2 and my dog up. Roommate #1 leaves with our friends and I wait.

Roommate #2 doesn't get home until 7:45pm and it is a mad rush to get out the door. We end up not getting on the road until after dark, almost 9:00pm. This is fine, we're young and can do these kinds of things. We are just ready to be there.

As soon as we get on the road we receive a call from the friends that went up early saying ALL of the campgrounds in Big Bear Lake are full. Every. Single. One. We continued in that direction until our friends found another campground area in the San Gabriel Mountains about 1.5 hours from where I am in Los Angeles. Mind you, they called ahead at this campground and were told that there were plenty of sites open. We start heading that way and meet everyone around 10:45pm or so.

Again, the campground we go to is completely full. At this point we're in the middle of the mountains with zero phone service. We have paper maps and know where we are, but we have no way to search around for more campgrounds. We end up just driving down the road a little more and turning down what almost seems like a service road through the mountain.

About five or so miles down this pitch black, winding, narrow road we finally come across a campground that luckily has spots open (because we're in the middle of nowhere). This is about midnight but we manage to set up all four of our tents, build a fire, and crack open the drinks. We end up having a great time into the night and staying up around the fire until 6:00AM as the sun was rising -- mind you I had been up since 4:30am the day before.

Well, by 9AM the tent was basically an oven thanks to the greenhouse affect of sitting in the sun, so we're all awake again. We have a day of just hanging out, playing horseshoes, tossing the football, hiking, and other great camp activities.

Around 2:00PM we decided to move campsites to a much larger area that had a huge fire pit and was a bit more secluded. Luckily we are all in the film production business and are somewhat of experts of breaking down and setting up camp quickly. We got moved easily within an hour and continued to enjoy our day.

We didn't stay up quite as late Saturday night, woke up early Sunday, packed up and hit the road. On the way out we stopped at a little mountain restaurant for breakfast which was excellent.

I know you're probably thinking that we are all idiots for not planning any better, and you may be right, but in the end it all worked out so we didn't really learn our lesson this time ;).

The Crosstrek did great. It had no problem making the ~6,000ft elevation climb to the campsite. The engine does have to work hard but as long as you keep it in the right RPM range it still preforms great (albeit with low MPG). I would have gotten a lot more pictures but, as you maybe could tell, we were a bit rushed. I did get a couple, though.

Also, this was my first time loading the Curt roof rack and it was a godsend; saved us a lot of space inside. When we moved camp the most weight I had on the rack was a full cooler and a LOT of firewood that was pretty heavy with no problems.

At the campsite on the first morning.


Our campsite.


Breakfast view.


A shot of the XV with the rack loaded. Only a cooler, our tent and three chairs up there. Not much weight but definitely a space saver.
 

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Are you kidding?? That's a GREAT story! In fact, that's the story of my life....mostly! Best laid plans go awry because of this, that or the other. The more "organized" camp plans will now have a baseline in which to ascend from. Extra points for being the one to wait on that late roomdog and still going on with the trip...good for you. The point is, you broke out of the grind and went and did something. Right on 8)
 

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Awesome story! Sounds like a badass weekend. I cant wait to get a rack and do the same kind of thing. I'm a bit of an OCD planner, but you're right for being able to adapt and overcome. Glad to hear the Trek was a champ. AND SHAME ON YOU FOR NOT TAKING MORE PICS! Haha
 

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RubySu said:
Are you kidding?? That's a GREAT story! In fact, that's the story of my life....mostly! Best laid plans go awry because of this, that or the other. The more "organized" camp plans will now have a baseline in which to ascend from. Extra points for being the one to wait on that late roomdog and still going on with the trip...good for you. The point is, you broke out of the grind and went and did something. Right on 8)
Haha, yeah I guess it did make for a great time and I was very glad to get out of the grind for a weekend. We borrowed a tent this time but my dad is shipping our family tent out to me since he is mostly "retired" from tent camping these days. Hopefully with my own tent I will be able to get out of the city more often.

christovofdunn said:
Awesome story! Sounds like a badass weekend. I cant wait to get a rack and do the same kind of thing. I'm a bit of an OCD planner, but you're right for being able to adapt and overcome. Glad to hear the Trek was a champ. AND SHAME ON YOU FOR NOT TAKING MORE PICS! Haha
I usually am a pretty OCD planner as well; I really like to have things laid out. And about the pics, I'M SORRY! I even took my good DSLR up with me but never broke it out...next time!
 

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Let me know the next time you go! I'm just North of Sac, but if I know far enough ahead of time my wife and I could go on a long weekend trip or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
christovofdunn said:
Let me know the next time you go! I'm just North of Sac, but if I know far enough ahead of time my wife and I could go on a long weekend trip or something.
'
Whoa, two of the people we went with are from Marysville! I haven't known them long (both of my roommates have, though) but they are awesome people!
 

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Haha. I'm actually from San Diego, but I live up here for work. My wife, however is. I guess they aren't too bad. :) I'm always down for meeting new people and going new places. I'm somewhat planning a trip to Humboldt county to the Redwood forests during Labor Day. Tent camping and everything.
 

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Compared to LA and SD, Marysville and Yuba city are extremely small. Very close to a lot of cool places though.

I like Del Mar. A good place to get away. I'm from farther inland and south in East County. I miss it at times, but I couldn't afford the cost of living. :p
 

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ClubCrosstrek said:
Newcombs Ranch on hwy 2. Hot spot for motorcycles riding the twisty mountain roads of Angeles Crest Hiway.

Big Bear campsites that are easily accessible by car all fill up on the weekends. There are remote campsites available - called 'yellow-post' sites, if you know where they are or can get to the ranger station near Fawnskin and they'll point them out for you.

San Gabriels tend to get packed with unruly gang types so watch where you go and stay over night. Crystal lake up 39 out of Azusa just opened recently for the season and is a nice area but gets a LOT of visitor pressure.

We ride all these areas with the bikes, and get the hell out of dodge when the gangs show up.

There are some really nice tent sites in Idylwild (San Jacinto) - the other side of the 10, south of Banning.

Pick up the book BEST TENT CAMPING IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA for some out of the way places that are scenic and quiet.
At Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Best-Tent-Camping-Southern-California/dp/089732675X/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372287242&sr=1-6&keywords=best+tent+camping
 

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Discussion Starter #11
CJBROWN said:
Newcombs Ranch on hwy 2. Hot spot for motorcycles riding the twisty mountain roads of Angeles Crest Hiway.

Big Bear campsites that are easily accessible by car all fill up on the weekends. There are remote campsites available - called 'yellow-post' sites, if you know where they are or can get to the ranger station near Fawnskin and they'll point them out for you.

San Gabriels tend to get packed with unruly gang types so watch where you go and stay over night. Crystal lake up 39 out of Azusa just opened recently for the season and is a nice area but gets a LOT of visitor pressure.

We ride all these areas with the bikes, and get the hell out of dodge when the gangs show up.

There are some really nice tent sites in Idylwild (San Jacinto) - the other side of the 10, south of Banning.

Pick up the book BEST TENT CAMPING IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA for some out of the way places that are scenic and quiet.
At Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Best-Tent-Camping-Southern-California/dp/089732675X/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372287242&sr=1-6&keywords=best+tent+camping
That's the spot! Was a really good breakfast. There was a whole bike meetup going on when we were there, as well as what seemed to be a classic Porsche meet along with a couple new R8s, a new Viper and a GT-R or two. From my experience there and at the campsite, everyone seemed friendly and just there for fun -- sad to hear there is a lot of gang activity there. I'll check out the book you recommended and thanks for the info!
 

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Awesome story, one you will remember for life.. I was thinking of that scenario of no campsite happening to me. I ordered a rooftop tent which arrives tomorrow so if worst came to worst we could flip it open and sleep somewhere.

Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk
 
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