Big Bear, Mammoth, South Lake Tahoe, Sun Valley, Jackson Hole, Durango, and Steamboat Springs: they are all touristy little mountain towns with the same cast of characters living a fraught and resentful symbiotic relationship. There are locals, the vacation homeowners, and regular tourists. Go into the grocery store and you can easily lump everyone you see into one of the three groups. It’s really obvious.
Big Bear is in the San Bernardino Mountains, about three towing hours away from our house. Yes readers not from SoCal, we have mountains. And they are quite rugged and steep. The San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains are the two main ranges in SoCal.
And here is where I admit that this is only the third time I’ve been to Big Bear. The last two times were in the 70s. That’s what happens when your younger brother moves to Mammoth in the early 80s. Mammoth became the focal point. Mammoth folk, including yours truly, looked down upon and even scoffed at Big Bear.
Now at sixty-one years old, looking back, man, we had a lot of dumb notions.
Glamour shot and reality. We couldn’t believe how close the dumpsters were. It really wasn’t an issue though since the campground was more empty than full the entire time.
The Skyline Trail: a popular South Shore ride. All the trails we hit in the Big Bear area were excellent.
Blue Sage: an aromatic plant. Once you got a whiff of it there was no doubt it was a sage.