Fawnskin Buzz

Sun Camp: Where Trees Get Honored!

The only bad thing about leaving town for a few days is the catching up! I am going to share a few highlights from the weekend escape, but first, this Fawnskin break…

When we left on Saturday, I was stunned that the traffic coming up was bumper to bumper from Running Springs down to the bottom of the hill.

Sheesh, makes me glad we decided to leave.

When we passed the dam, before we even got out of the valley–the place was also bumper to bumper down from Big Bear Lake down past the bridge.

Locals were complaining about it–but it is good for business. A mixed blessing. Fawnskin resident, Dennis tried to get down the mountain Sunday evening–it took him four hours despite no accidents. The quote I got was, “You could have walked faster.”

Needless to say, when we drove up the front way at 9pm Sunday, it was bumper to bumper almost to Running Springs. My, oh, my. After my return and upon hearing some of the comments about visitor behavior, I was glad we left and missed that weekend experience.

Just an insider’s tip for new residents. If you are going to travel down the hill during ski season, the best bet is to leave before the ski lifts close. Also, since Highway 18 to 330 is the most popular route. Try 38 or hitting the back way through the desert.

Plan your trips against the main traffic flow and you will be happier. Be sure to keep your fuel tank full to avoid issues created by accidents and other long delays.

We stopped in Running Springs to say to the gang at The Bus Stop. They were hopping as usual. Not much to report except that Terri actually knew people in Tonapah–our final destination. Go figure.

Why would we head to Tonapah, Arizona? Because my pal Elivia was having a concert and we decided to go support her. If you don’t know, Tonapah is a small desert town located off of the 10 Freeway. It took about 5 hours to get there and I cracked up at all the RVs in the small town of Quartzsite about 45 minutes to an hour before we arrived.

Quartzsite Mineral & Gem Show

Above: RVs, Trailers, and Booths at the Quartzsite Mineral & Gem show.

All you could see were RVs everywhere. At this time of year the snow birds head to the desert to party. We did stop for a short break and found the collection of vendors to be very colorful. If you are after rocks, this is the place to go. My pal Elivia sells crystals and other gem rocks and knows the right places to shop–but we didn’t have a clue and actually got overwhelmed–or at least I did.

Sun Camp Quarters

Above: Our quarters at Sun Camp–complete with televison with rabbit ears, clocks, and decor from the 50s!

We took our time getting to Sun Camp, a 50 year-old community in the middle of the desert just outside of Tonapah, Arizona. When we arrived, we said hello to Elivia and marveled at the place. Very vintage–even the beds–ouch!

Sun Camp Kitchen Exterior

Above: Exterior of the community kitchen.

The community kitchen was my favorite place–not that we stayed and ate there or anything, but it had this great old commercial stove and like everything else, 50s kitchenware. The fridge was new and stored some of our snacks.

Sun Camp Kitchen

Above: The community kitchen at Sun Camp. A nice thing to have since the only eating place close by is the Travel Center of America truck stop!

Everyone was friendly and the place was delightful. Soon the new international highway will go right past this little community and I imagine they will fare well. Less than a dozen live onsite but people journey from far and wide to stop by. Opal and Bob manage the place–she has been onsite for over 35 years.

GG’s Obsession with Signs Continues…

Above: The sign at the local truck stop amused me…they sold some BIG knives inside.

We thought we would participate in local adventures and so took Elivia over to the local truck stop for dinner. I was amused by the “No Firearms” rule and guessed that Arizona folk tend to be a breed apart. What was more amusing was the knife guy that had a concession inside. He could sell you knifes and sharpen them for you–right while you ate.

I have never been to a place with worse service. However, the food is not the worst I have eaten. We asked the waitress for her suggestion and took her up on it. That was a good choice.

Now there’s a good night out on the town for you–one stop truck stop! You could shop, eat, get weapons, and meet everyone from town. We figured there were not many places to go because at breakfast the whole fire department showed up.

I pondered at just where you could work around those parts. You either could be a truck driver, waitress, nuclear plant employee, fire fighter, and maybe commute to town to work at a gas station or the Post Office. We really didn’t see too much around us…but maybe we missed a few things.

Sun Camp Church

Above: Sun Camp Spiritualist Church

Elivia’s concert was held in the tiny little church in the middle of Sun Camp. The place was a nine-sided polygon AND each of the sides was a color of the rainbow–or perhaps they were the colors of the chakras as the case might be. The unique properties of the building made it an awesome place to have the singing crystal bowls and other unique instruments.

I remember attending a concert at the Integratron in Landers, California. The place reverberated with sound and now they actually offer sound baths (sound/vibrational therapy). In fact, now that I remember it, George Van Tassel the guy who got the Integratron going was connected with Sun Camp, too. He was a big into UFOs and we found lots of rock work on the ground (maybe UFO messages?)–some said to be from his group.

Elivia Sun Camp Concert

Above: The crowds came from far and wide to hear Elivia play in concert.

In Elivia’s case, it is not a bad thing to put your audience to sleep! The sound of the crystal bowls and other unique instruments are perfect for meditation and relaxation.

Sun Camp Labarinth

Above: The labyrinth at Sun Camp.

Elivia and I took a break after the concert, dinner, and packing up the instruments to walk the labyrinth at Sun Camp. Labyrinths are often used as a form of walking prayer or meditation and we have one here in Big Bear…anyone have a snap?

Okay, so much for that portion of my trip and back to local stuff…

New Coffee Club
Some of you might remember Lauren Hood of Edward Jones…she used to hold a coffee club meeting here in Fawnskin. Well, she is doing them again–only at her office. Tomorrow, January 17th the first session is at 7:30am and the coffee break session is scheduled for 1:00pm. I’ll be at the afternoon group. I find the groups very informative and useful. They are free and so is the coffee and snacks. Just call Angela at (909) 866-8422 to reserve a spot and get directions.

Moose Lodge Meetings
Tonight are the meetings for the Women of the Moose and the Legion of the Moose…and yes, they will be held at the Moose Lodge 2085 at 6:00pm. Hot dogs and snacks at 6pm for a buck, too!

NSIA Potluck
I was told that Sister Annette is going to be roasting a turkey for the next NSIA potluck. If you plan on attending, bring some of the fixin’s. The meetings are held at the Old Miller Park School House at 6:00pm on the second Monday of the month–the next meeting is February 11th.

Creature Features
Many of the neighbors were talking about the increase in wild animal sightings around these parts. That is to be expected since a large part of the territories of local wildlife have burned and so they have moved into other areas. Bobcat, bear, and animal tracks have been seen more frequently.

On that note, I have not had any updates on the mountain lion that attacked in Cedar Pines Park. If you have, leave a comment.



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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 16th, 2008 and is filed under GG's Day Trips, Mountain Lake Resort.

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One Response to “Fawnskin Buzz

  • 1
    MB
    January 16th, 2008 11:32

    You described Quartzite perfectly! Our relatives from Canada are there now & love it.

    Where is the labyrinth in Big Bear? Would love tio walk it.

    Saw a huge racoon last night in Moonridge. It walked up to the car, actually looking for food!