Big Trees, Big Snow, Big Fun, Big Bear

Mountains.carSam took this out of the car window on our way up into the San Bernardino Mountains to the village of Big Bear.  It is a very calm photo, which belies the fact that I was trying to micromanage my 10 year old son to take a photo at twilight through a car window while I was driving up a winding road near what was the end of a 7,000 foot elevation gain to a mountain ski village.  It was breathtaking to meander up that mountain at sunset, the snow and pine covered peaks in the foreground, the far away lower peaks varying degrees of misty blue in the distance.  Sam missed that photo, but I have it in my mind.  Absolutely beautiful.

Andrew worked his usual magic and found us a nice cabin near the village center.  The perfect size for the four of us, a yard for the kids to play around in the snow, a ten minute pleasant walk to the Copper Q for coffee and pastries in the morning, but by far the best thing about it was that across the street, about 50 feet from the front door, was an incredible sledding run.

Our kids are San Diego kids, and therefore are crazy for snow.  I grew up in Wisconsin, Andrew in Philly.  We grew up in the snow, and speaking for myself, I don’t have a very romantic view of the white stuff.  Our kids think of snow and they imagine Calvin and Hobbes rocketing down a perfect hillside on a perfect winter’s day on their perfect sled.  Well ladies and gentleman, this snow run we went down was pretty darn close to perfection.

It is actually an access road for forest rangers, and has the imaginative name of “Forest Ranger Road.”  But what it basically is is a groomed sledding hill.  It wanders up a hillside, has flattened snow and a defined route delineated by the edge of the road, and is incredibly scenic with tall pines, blue sky, and a view of Big Bear Lake from the top.  If you walk up for 5 to 10 minutes (the time depends on how much whining you do, and how many times you collapse, exhausted, into the snow on the side of the road), you are rewarded with a screaming run down on your sled of about 2 minutes.  Totally fun, and once Sam and Emma learned to steer with their hands and feet they had a cracking good time!

Of course I took photos of the kids sledding and playing in the snow, along with photos of trees, buildings, and whatever else took my fancy.  Kid photos are first, arty photos at the end.

Snow Play

Sam tossing snow.

Sam tossing snow.

Sam sledding.

Sam sledding.

Emma sledding.

Emma sledding.

Mom on her sled.

Mom on her sled.

Two kids, two sleds, one big tree.

Two kids, two sleds, one big tree.

Sammy snow angel.

Sammy snow angel.

Emma and her snowman.

Emma and her snowman.

Trudging up the hill...

Trudging up the hill…

Em+Dad

Emma and Dad on the amazing sledding run.

Near the top, lake in the background

Near the top, lake in the background

Snow balls, snow shovel, snow man, snow lovers.

Snow balls, snow shovel, snow man, snow lovers.

Sledding in the yard.

Sledding in the yard.

Sam and the snowball maker.

Sam and the snowball maker.

To tired to go on...leave us here...save yourself...

Too tired to go on…leave us here…save yourself…

Our Cabin

Emma on the lit up stairs leading down to our cabin.

Emma on the lit up stairs leading down to our cabin.

Hanging out after a fun day outside.

Hanging out after a fun day outside.

Sam in front of our cabin.

Sam in front of our cabin.

Buildings and Trees

Tree.base

Snowy hillside.

Snowy hillside.

Jeffrey Pine.

Jeffrey Pine.

I want wallpaper made from Jeffery Pine bark.

I want wallpaper made from Jeffery Pine bark.

White birch, blue sky.

White birch, blue sky.

Another picture of a pine tree, because I can't stop myself.

Another picture of a pine tree, because I can’t stop myself.

Abandoned cabin, snowy roof.

Abandoned cabin, snowy roof.

Front of barn.

Front of barn.

Pine cones on the ground.

Pine cone on the ground.

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3 Comments

Filed under Family, Travel

3 responses to “Big Trees, Big Snow, Big Fun, Big Bear

  1. Bubba and Zaida

    Maureen,

    What fabulous photos! It looks like this was a great vacation for everyone. We loved seeing the pictures of the kids in the snow. What fun!
    Love,
    Shirley and Ed

  2. Fantastic photos! This place looks like a real gem.

  3. Bernice

    Maureen, I just loved your magnificent photos. It made me feel like I was
    there. The scenery and the children were a delight to see.
    Love,
    Bernice

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