Mountain Weekend Part III: Lake Gregory

Where I last left off we were in the Sleepy Hollow Motel making s’mores via candle (ghetto, I know) in the town of Lake Gregory. The next morning we woke up at 8am (stupid time change!) and decided to get some delicious coffee from the Lake Gregory Coffee Company. We walked down the road from our hotel, snapping photos along the way.

You can see the Bear Claw has its “open” sign on… at 8:30 in the am?

I love the small town graphics.

I work in a field all about replicating reality. Seeing these real small town graphics and building is so fun for me and great research for future work. I kept an eye on the details.

After consuming our delicious caffeinated beverages, we headed back toward Lake Gregory and decided we should walk the loop of the lake. We found out later it was about 3.5 miles. It was a delightful way to spend a Sunday morning. It was a tad chilly, but walking in the sun felt nice and right along the water with beautiful lake views.

On the north side of the lake, we paused to look around and before we knew it tons of birds were headed toward us. It’s like they are trained to know when people are there to feed them. We had nothing for them, but it didn’t stop them from running a full speed towards us. It was a little frightening. So many were all black with white beaks. So unusual.

After we finished the loop we decided it was time to move on to Lake Arrowhead. We had dinner there the night before, but didn’t get a chance to see it in daylight and really explore. Up next: Lake Arrowhead and the conclusion of our mountain weekend!

Mountain Weekend Part II: Saturday Night

Where I last left off I was with my sister and friend Lindsey, on my way to Lake Arrowhead from Big Bear Lake after hiking Cougar Crest Trail. None of us had been to Lake Arrowhead or Lake Gregory (our final destination) so we decided to have dinner at the larger (and closer) of the two lakes, Lake Arrowhead.

We got into the Lake Arrowhead town center before sunset, which is recommended. You don’t want to be on those curvy sections of highway once it gets dark out. We walked around town and scoped it all out.

It was the perfect time for photos by the lake, although it started to get breezy. Since we were staying the night in Lake Gregory, it was a pleasure to be able to take our time and not worry about having to make it down the mountain before dark.

Every store in this cute Swiss looking town (lots of tudor buildings) closed at 6pm, so we did some window shopping. I needed to include the image above, as I was drooling over the carmel apples when I looked through the door to see this:

In the front of this candy sweet shop was an obese looking bear missing limbs. I’m sorry but that is probably not the best advertisement for a sweet shop. A diabetic bear as the mascot for a candy store? It wasn’t even a clean bear. It looked dirty and his clothes were stained. All he needed was a voice bubble saying “GIVE ME ALL THE CANDY!!!” in a gravelly desperate font above his head.

After stopping at the towns grocery store, we put in our names at the Mexican restaurant in town, Papagayos. This place was packed as it was only 1 of 3 restaurants open in the center of town. The place was filled with locals celebrating with friends. They even had a guy going around making elaborate balloon animal hats. We were starving and had a lovely meal. I took the photo below in our booth.

When we finished, I made the 20 minute drive in the dark to Lake Gregory where we checked in at our adorable hotel, Sleepy Hollow Motel. I would happily stay in this place again as the room was very clean and they offered a ton of amenities. Each room has a working real-wood fireplace. The attendant left board games for us on our table. They even have a pool and hot tub for summer time. It was 8:45p when we unpacked into the room. We were tired, but it was too early to go to sleep so we walked over to the bowling alley next to the motel.

At 9pm on Saturday nights it’s $20 to cosmic bowl all night (pizza and soda included). Since we just had a big meal and only wanted to bowl one game, this was not cost effective. After our attempts to get them to lower the price, the cashier said “this is the only thing to do in town”. He was right. They could be expensive because this was all there was to do. My friends teased me, as I had wanted to go to see the locals and then felt excluded for being a non-local. This sign summed it up:

Turns out Saturday is for locals too.
We decided not to play and instead headed back toward the hotel. Lindsey and I contemplated paying a visit to the local bar a block down, Bear Claw, but passed when we got close and saw there was a super drunk guy laying across the entrance. Keep in mind it was 9pm at night.

We headed back to the hotel room where we got into pj’s and I shared with everyone a special dessert I brought: SMORES! It would have been awesome if we brought wood for the fire, but we failed. Instead I brought a candle, chocolate bar, sticks, big marshmallows, and low fat graham crackers (we have to watch our girlish figures). It was really fun. We all enjoyed the sweets and hung out. We were all so tired we didn’t even crack into the board games before we decided to hit the hay. We also lost and hour of sleep that night and we had to be up early on Sunday to make the most of day 2 of our mountain adventure.

Up next: Exploring Lake Gregory in the Sunday morning light.