Last Sunday was a great last minute birthday adventure to Big Bear California for the Adventure Van Expo. I had just heard about it on Facebook a couple days earlier and figured it would be be a fun little day trip. Lucky for me my dad was back in town so I also had a driver. We left at about 0930 Sunday and made really good time with very little traffic.
The climb up the mountain was worth it alone as we headed up hill and out of the Marine Layer into the hills overlooking a sea of fog. The Forrest was beautiful up there, I had only really been once before and that was about 11 years ago for New Year’s camping so it made for a very different view and I think I found a new spot to explore this summer. We rolled into Big Bear proper and I was really impressed by the town and all the cool touristy fun stuff it had to offer even in the summer since it is a primary winter destination.
Fortunately though there is cool stuff going on all year like the Adventure Van Expo. The expo was awesome with free admission there was a great representation of off road, overland and adventure vans. One of my favorite parts was the ability to stick my head in the rigs and talk to some very knowledgeable people about their products.
Some of the vendors that stood out to me while I am not an adventure van guy (yet) where the multi-application outdoor companies, like CAB and their E-bike that looks and acts more like a dirt bike. It was really cool talking to them and learning about the technology and their capabilities.
Planetary Designs was another favorite with their awesome selection of coffee gear which I am testing right now…
These are really cool events and they do a couple more this summer with this being the first one! Since I missed Overland Expo West this made for a nice consolation prize for my off road/overland fix, ha-ha. Everyone was super cool and it was a chill way to learn more about Adventure Vans and the overland community as a whole. With around forty vendors there was a lot to do for a short afternoon. I think next year I will head up Friday and stay Saturday. Camping up there Friday and work in a few short hikes exploring a little more locally. For a two and a half hour drive from San Diego I think that’s a better way to maximize your time, and with gas prices, money.
As for staying up there I saw tons of campsites while we were headed out so we might have to stay a little further away if we want to camp and hike or take advantage of the cabins and hotels locally if we want to keep it local and walkable. Either way there are plenty of options to make it an adventure weekend!
As always thanks for taking a few minutes to read the blog and listen to me ramble, if you get a chance to follow the links check these guys out they are all pretty cool!