As my summer vacation was coming to a close, I had the opportunity to visit Lake Arrowhead and spend a total of two nights and two days camping in the area. Lake Arrowhead is located deep inside the San Bernardino Forest,California, a national park with a diverse environment. My family and I stayed in a camping recreational center called Dogwood Campgrounds. The campsite was located inside the forest between the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountain ranges, and the surrounding area was full of tall trees and a variety of native animals, from black bears to yellow-legged frogs and peregrine falcons.
Our family arrived at the campsite on Wednesday afternoon. It had taken us around two hours to get to the campsite from our house, twisting up winding mountainside roads as we got closer to our destination. The journey included breathtaking scenic sights of the entire valley from our car. Once we arrived, we got situated at our campsite and started setting up our tents, which took a bit longer than expected since it had been so long since we last camped (apparently pitching a tent is not like riding a bike). Close family friends also set up camp not far from us, and we looked forward to spending the weekend together after having not seen each other for months. Once we were all settled, my brother and I were able to explore the surrounding environment with our friends. The campground was fairly large and developed, so although we were able to experience life in the great outdoors, we could do it with bathrooms and paved roads. Even though we spent all of our time outside, we were still diligent about putting on our face masks, especially when passing by other people on trails. In general, the campsites were spread apart from each other, which was a good safety precaution during the pandemic.
There were many fun activities to occupy us around the camp, as well as plenty of open areas to enjoy. Catch and football was much more enjoyable out in open space with the fresh mountain air, and without the temptation of Xbox or Netflix, we spent the long summer hours having fun in the rugged outdoors. After the sun had set, it was time for a barbecue; arguably one of the best parts of camping. The delicious aroma of steak and Korean barbeque filled our campsite as we got ready for dinner. We then all sat around the crackling campfire with our plates of carnivorous delights (co-starring a few pickled veggies) and enjoyed each other’s company underneath the stars.
Although the coronavirus may have caused many to forfeit their summer vacation plans, I am very happy that I was able to spend time outdoors relaxing and camping with family and friends. The year of 2020 may be a hard one, but it is important to remember to make lasting memories regardless.