Big Bear Lake’s most popular hiking guide is hella busy this holiday season. Why, no we don’t have very much snow here in southern California mountain communities but I am making due. When you are the southern California snow hiking connesier yes maybe you know where to find the snow, that fluffy cold chilly stuff even in an El Nino southern California winter. I keep myself busy though with hiking tours, Jeep tours in the snow and giving tourists tours to see Big Bear’s wild donkeys.
Why, yes, it does make my work, logistically complicated when Big Bear Lake has very little snow on our mountain trails. My days can be frustrating trying to keep my visiting tourists and guests happy. But it’s a really bad day at work when I watch a wild donkey get punched in the face. Big Bear’s wild donkeys are so unique to our alpine landscape but unfortunately, tourists don’t know how to let them be wild.
Working in the tourism industry in a ski town in California and can be trying and that is putting it lightly. Not every day is frustrating and difficult but a lot of them are. Some days I watch my hiking tour guests chuck their used Gatorade bottles to the side of the snowy trail and then I waltz over to pick up their discarded trash. I want to chide them “No, no, we don’t litter” Like they are children sometimes but the five-star customer service personality in me holds in my frustration and rage, well until I can post something snippy on my personal Facebook page later. Seriously, why can people not adult? California, I swear is not a Third World country, although the trash and human shit that dots the side of our alpine highways sometimes makes me wonder…
Big Bear’s wild donkeys drama
How was your day at work? I mean it was actually not too bad of a day until the burro abuse happened. All of my clients showed up on time and were polite. My day was pretty fantastic until my drive home down the highway from my house. I saw six or so cars parked on the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere and I knew at once the tourists must be checking out Big Bear’s wild donkeys because in this area there is simply nothing else there. Sure enough, there was a herd of about six burros grazing. And at least fifteen tourists were feeding the wild burros God knows what. Then I saw one of the burros, probably a Jack, a male, starting to get aggressive and I watched as some Bro punched the poor donkey right in the face!
This is why after a twelve-hour day at work where I hiked twelve miles in the snow, I get the big glass of wine. Most days I would consider it a bad day at work when I pick up two large trash bags full of trash, broken sleds, dirty diapers and things way more gross than freshly filled dirty diapers, probably while muttering things about Snow Pigs under my breath. It’s a really bad day when I see our tourists abusing local wildlife. And this incident happened in front of kids!
If the tourists didn’t feed Big Bear’s wild donkeys, the burros would not get aggressive. Then this whole incident never would have happened. And I wouldn’t have to go home and drink.
After the kind of day when I hike twelve miles in the snow and also have to deal with some ridiculous tourist shenanigans, yup I might be craving a deep-fried appetizer by the evening hours. This extremely easy cauliflower appetizer is so delicious. It’s a delightful treat to shove at your face after a frustrating work day. Thanks to the use of potato starch it’s pretty low carb as well as far as a deep fried appetizer goes.
Did you know cauliflower is chock full of iron?
Anglo-Indian Crispy Cauliflower
1 bag cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces and poached
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon potato starch
Lots of canola oil
Mix the turmeric, salt, chili powder and potato starch. Mix the cauliflower with the grated garlic and grated ginger. Mix the cauliflower with the dry ingredients coating the cauliflower well. Deep fry the cauliflower in the canola oil and leave in a colander to drain as you fry the batches. When you are ready to serve, this Anglo-Indian Fried cauliflower is delightful with my homemade Mint Chutney.