Sam 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.
Buildings and Trees