On pines and needles

This post is really just a place holder so that I can keep to my regular schedule. Not that I haven’t thought it through, I have and there is a reason to put it up here. But, I am working on my summer travel post and, as usual, it is taking up a lot of time. Also, as if I don’t have enough to do, I am starting up a new project on the internet, making a series of lace shawls from an exciting new silk and cotton yarn I found, and helping Deanna and Al find their dream house in California (such a lot of fun). 27205765006_d90ac143e3_z Earlier in May, Geoffrey and I finally accepted an invitation from his business partner to spend the weekend with him and his wife at their getaway cabin in Pine Mountain. Now, I have known about Pine Mountain for about 20 years, but had all kinds of misconceptions about it. I thought it would be just a pale imitation of Big Bear Lake or Wrightwood. The reason may be that virtually nobody in SoCal knows about it. 27098290402_bb66b66538_z For one thing, it is north of us in the middle of the Central California Valley. Both Kern and Ventura Counties claim it as the line between them literally bisects the mountain. For another thing, the road to get there from either the 5 Freeway (our main north/south drag) or the 101 on the coast, is a winding and narrow two-laner. It has a low population and, get this, everyone who moves there has to join an association or club. That is the way they keep it clean, safe, and beautiful. 26806554774_1c1c3f296c_z We had been turning down these invitations every single year in May to attend the Lilac Festival up there. This year, May started out uncommonly hot (even for Santa Clarita) and so it seemed refreshing to just get out of here and go to the boring mountain and sniff a few flowers. 26718450433_fcd2b66903_z Right. First of all, we were astonished to discover the place is stunningly gorgeous. Secondly, it is two thousand feet higher than Big Bear and Wrightwood, yup 9000′. Thirdly, the flowers were the least of the attractions. The festival itself was camp, silly, upbeat, lively, kitschy and delightful. 26901710504_7677068fe4_z Geoff’s partner’s “cabin” is a stunning multistory home, with breathtaking views of Los Padres National Forest that lies all around it, at its feet. Nestled into the side of a mountain, the lookouts were forever. The tree-covered mountains on Pine Mountain and as far as the eye can see in each direction are almost blue, thriving and vibrant. This may in part be due to the fact that there was extra snow this winterΒ because ofΒ El NiΓ±o. Only intermittent signs of the drought were visible. 27158050350_8a0ed0505f_z We got to sleep in, breathe sharp clean mountain air, gaze through crystal light to bright and vibrant homes and features that club members have added to adorn and outfit the area. And we could walk to the festival each day, absorbing the celebratory mood and dragging back bags of stocking stuffers for our nieces and nephews, to be tucked away for the holidays. 27404232411_b7eceef6b1_z Everything was wonderful. There were some hairball aspects though, hence the title of this post. For one thing, the roads climbing to 9000 feet, while gradual and surprisingly gentle curve-wise, had absolutely no shoulders and virtually no barriers.


You could be careening around a sharp turn only to see that the road dropped away for hundreds of feet below you on one side, protection-free. 27525394116_f772054f58_z There were signs warning of the high fire danger, bears, deer, BEARS? Wait? We were planning to hike around.


Now, let me be clear. Geoffrey, his partner, and his partner’s wife are all marathoners, triathletes, outdoorsmen/woman, campers. There was only one citified princess among us and that dainty individual was nervous enough about getting scratched up and maybe bitten by a snake. It didn’t help to have the prospect of having to outrun or outclimb a ‘baar’, into the mix. 26696469244_42a532bf5a_z As to that fire danger: there is only one, narrow (albeit, well paved) road in and out of the entire mountain. It goes on for at least one hundred miles from the desert to the sea, if not more (I am guessing and too lazy to check), so, if there were to be a brush fire, well, it’s go vertical or perish. Hmm. 26786681284_30071aa91f_z No cell phone service either. Just the computer at the cabin, more a chalet. So, the dash to the top was fierce, even by car. 27274594792_e0b2053d00_z To add to this, literally the minute we got home on Monday morning, Geoffrey’s car that we had driven all weekend, developed a death rattle (or so we thought). He limped it over to the mechanic in Valencia who discovered a loose wire, that blew out the entire electrical system. If it had happened just a few hours before, well, I would be writing this from the funny farm. 27531408595_f8fbe20c92_z Anyway, to wrap this up, here are some of the hundreds of pictures I took. If you come to SoCal, you might want to take a trip back in time to Mt. Pinos/Pine Mountain, and then tell me, am I right or am I right? πŸ˜€

Images: Chez BeBe assets: Pine Mountain, California




30 Comments on “On pines and needles”

    • Hi Patty, thank you for stopping by and commenting.

      I am only on WP every two weeks, every other Friday and I have been posting all along, like clockwork. I do have a sticky seasonal travel page, but if you look on the right column here, you will see all my bi-monthly posts.

      I am equally happy to hear from you and hope you have been well.


      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s days like this…posts like this…where I wish I had like all the money in the world and could buy a house like that and just sit there in my office writing shit like this all day. This was a good post…albeit, minus your ‘tude.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really think you and Geoffrey needed a place to unwind, relax and go a little “wild!” Is that you on stage singing my beautiful friend?! So sorry, u did not come sooner to soak in all the gorgeous photographs and breathe deeply the pines and feel chlorophyll floating through air particles!! I loved this oasis/break but you still, as always, impart wisdom. Thank you for your recent visits! ❀ Robin
    p.s. my new dating experience is with a first generation Italian man who had his life upended in divorce, now living with his parents who work for Les Wexner, (the Limited clothing lines). He was in the sleep study field, having gone to Army (as a medic) and college, nursing not physician area. He was born in Brooklyn, NY and his first name is Calisto. He had nice home, pool, two boys, stocks and bonds and wide divorced him, taking almost everything. Not my best choice, due to I dreamed of not struggling. . . Just an FYI, no physical intimacy, just hand holding, kusding. . .and we have known each other only since 3 months ago. It has me smiling a goofy smile, until I realize we aren't going to be able to make it, it is my spring semi-fling. xoxo hi to Geoffrey!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You deserve flings. Just give it all time. What’s the hurry? And make sure that is all true and that he has not sheltered his money somewhere. He sounds interesting Robin. I want you to be happy. Be careful, but enjoy yourself.

      Thanks for the kind words. Everyone has pointed out my resemblance to the singer, which I hadn’t noticed at all. She probably makes more money than I do. I should really switch careers, LOL!

      Hugs, Robin ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Of course, you can thump me over the head! My friend thinks I am silly to develop a crush on someone who lost it all to a stay at home wife who got bored and divorced my new “crush.” πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, it is all dependent on lawyers. She got a better lawyer, if this is all true. It amazes me how the quality of the attorney determines outcomes, not the merits of the case. I should write a post on our time “running” one of my FIL’s companies. The lawyer makes all the difference. Take it slow, Robin. Have a good time stepping out but don’t commit!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beth, I agree who you get as a lawyer may make the difference between night and day.

        I definitely won’t get physical nor, in the near future~ or ever, get committed.

        I was really hoping for someone to take a little bit of the load off my shoulders, so am dubious when I meet men. I intend to have fun on every other weekend, this summer.

        I like his sincere, gentle voice, friendly nature and thoughtfulness.

        Thanks for the nice comments on my posts. Funny, I like coming to YOUR place here, where photographs are amazing and you have us think. . . about green choices, being vegan or careful not to eat meat, and politics! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        • You are all saints to put up with me. I hate being “heavy” but then again, am a fairly serious person and these things apparently matter to me or they would not keep recurring.

          Why can’t people just get along? Enjoy this companionship, Robin, he does sound lovely. xx


    • Thank you Stephen! You probably know Pine Mountain yourself. I am kicking myself that I didn’t go there sooner. I’m trying to convince Paul, my husband’s partner, to make it an Air BnB. It is lovely but I wouldn’t want the responsibility, myself, of it burning down if there were a fire. I am surprised there hasn’t really been one up there, as there have been in Big Bear and Wrightwood. We will keep our fingers crossed!


      Liked by 1 person

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