About two and a half hours from Orange County, nestled in the San Bernardino Mountains, is Big Bear, CA. When you’re on our Big Bear Mountain August trip, it is almost as if you are transported to another world, leaving behind the palm trees and beaches for huge trees, clear lakes, and snowy peaks. It was here that the clients and staff embarked on an adventure that would give us all a fresh perspective of recovery.
Big Bear Mountain August Trip: Day One
We set off for our Big Bear Mountain August trip on Friday morning and arrived to find a beautiful summer day in the mountains. After lunch, we rented a pontoon boat and set out on the lake. The air was clean and the lake was clear. We anchored the boat near some boulders and a few of the clients got the chance to jump off the 20 foot rocks into the lake. Other clients chose to relax on the pontoon boat soaking up the sun.
After exploring the lake, we went to set up camp at the Hannah Flats campground, about 2 miles outside of Fawnskin, CA. With no cell phone service we all felt very secluded, but we were happy to turn off the noise of the outside world.
“It’s nice not to worry about what’s going on back there, to just unwind and unplug,” a client remarked.
We set up camp, each client setting up their own tent, for some clients it was the first time pitching a tent.
“I can’t believe I figured out how to set up a tent on my own, it is such a great feeling,” a client said.
Each of the clients were able to find a new sense of confidence just by the simple task of setting up tents and being in nature.
After getting camp ready, we made a dinner of chicken breasts, salad, and vegetables. All the clients pitched in to help make dinner and clean up after. Due to fire restrictions we had to make our S’mores on the grill, but they turned out just fine. We headed to bed early to get ready for the next day of adventure.
On Saturday we woke up early and had oatmeal and coffee. We set out for Castle Rock Trail, a 2 mile hike that proved to be both fun and challenging. We reached the top and discussed what we would like to leave behind at the top of the trail. Some clients expressed their fears about recovery.
“I want to leave my guilt and shame here and I don’t want to be held down by the person I used to be. I want to start fresh and become a better person than I was,” a client shared.
We also discussed what we wanted to bring with us, whether it’s courage, hope, or positivity.
“I want to bring peace with me. I want to feel peaceful in all parts of my life,” another client shared.
After the hike, we had lunch at the campground, relaxed in the shade, and played cards. After relaxation time was over it was time to embark on another adventure out on the water. We headed to Captain John’s Marina to rent stand up paddle boards and canoes. For some it was their first time canoeing, which was evident when they ran into some trouble after capsizing. The lake police were quick to give them a hand and deliver their canoe back to the marina. After all of us made it out of the lake healthy and happy we headed back to the campground.
Everyone helped make dinner which consisted of steak, beans, and salad. We enjoyed the giant steaks and discussed how the day went and how happy we were that everyone made it through the hike and canoeing on the lake.
Sunday morning we got a head start and packed up all of our belongings and headed out to town to explore what Big Bear had to offer. We had breakfast at the Teddy Bear restaurant and explored the shops. We picked up souvenirs, but no souvenir could come close to the experience we took home from a great trip of bonding and being out in nature. All the clients made it home safe and were very grateful to have been able to participate in such a great adventure.
Adventure Therapy at Morningside Recovery
Adventure therapy is one of the many addiction therapy services available at Morningside Recovery. Through these programs, clients can try out new skills and coping mechanisms, as well as explore new areas. To learn more about getting involved in our Big Bear Mountain August trips, call us today at 855-631-2135.