Is there such a thing as the quintessential American holiday getaway? This is the question I was looking to answer as I rumbled along Interstate 10 from Phoenix up into the mountains above Los Angeles.

Destination….Big Bear.

It is the start of the long 4th of July Holiday weekend, and the town is packed with families, camper vans and boaters all trying to settle in for a relaxing time. I patiently navigate the traffic, get my groceries, then head on over to get checked into my cabin. The warm wood sinks into my skin.

The weekend starts out a little shaky, literally, as the earthquake that hit Ridgecrest the day before strikes again, and the Big Bear area shakes under Mother Natures great power. My cabin sways, the water in the outside jacuzzi sloshes onto the ground, and I am desperately trying to recall what to do in an earthquake. After what seems like an eternity, the shaking stops, I pick up items that fell onto the floor, straighten out pictures on the cabin walls, and try to settle my nerves.

Hopefully the rest of the weekend is more uneventful than the first night.

I take big Bertha up to the local ski resort to mountain bike down their summer trails. Many of the riders look like pro athletes, but it doesnt dissuade me. The track is intense, but I navigate it without incident.

I wander upward, making my own trail as I summit the peaks above town. When it hits my fancy, I go down to the lake to enjoy the evening sunset as the waves softly lap again the shore.

The fireworks celebration illuminates the town. I watch from my porch as the bombs bursting in the night air are reflected off the water.

I feel the American Dream, if only for a moment.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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