View of Big Bear Lake from one of the hiking trails.

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of visiting Big Bear, CA on a retreat with one of my student organizations. We stayed just two days, from Friday night to Sunday afternoon, but I experienced the perfect amount of relaxation before heading back for the second half of the semester, the second half of mid-term season, and the second batch of AME 341 lab reports. Big Bear Lake is about a two hour drive from LA, high in the mountains, with clean, crisp air that provides the perfect refreshment. It was the perfect urban escape! And because I went in mid-October, the leaves had just started turning golden and it reminded me of autumn back home on the East Coast.

Retreats are one of the best ways to get to know people better. I’ve been on retreats with my sorority, Dance Marathon, and Christian Challenge, and I don’t think these groups would be as cohesive otherwise. By stepping away from campus, you can find meaning in a greater context, knowing that you have a purpose beyond the perimeter of Jefferson, Exposition, Vermont, and Figueroa. Or 28th Street.

Anyways, this particular retreat was for Christian Challenge, and by going I  was able to feel more involved in the community and get to know a lot of new  members. Not to mention catch some gorgeous vistas of the Big Bear Lake  from some rocky peaks, and a panorama of stars at night!! (I’m a HUGE  astronomy nerd!)

Me and my friend Lindsay hanging out at the top of a rock ledge.

The marshmallows were pretty sweet, too, even though we had the “bon-fire” in the common room fireplace of the camp lodge, instead of a fire-pit like last year…

I'm taking a break on a rock during the star-gazing hike.

At the Ceder Lake Dam... It was a gorgeous day!










Now that I’m back on campus, I’m once again hard at work, but planning my next adventure into nature, for some good, old-fashioned outdoor living… Does the beach count?