Saturday, April 5, 2008


Our first morning in the SoCal mountains, we took a good "starter" trail: Cougar Crest Trail on the north shore of Big Bear Lake. That's the view from this trail down onto the lake and at Snow Summit where they continue skiing today.

Temperature was in the low 40s when we began our hike, but easily felt like 20 degrees more in the sun. This is a great trail! Only 2 miles, its several hundred feet of climb is so amazingly gradual that after about 15 minutes I felt warmed up and ready to move forward full tilt to the top, where it meets the famed Pacific Crest Trail that one can hike from Mexico to Canada.

The breathlessness is not just due to the views, however. The hike begins well above 7,000 feet altitude, so even if you are in good shape aerobically, it does take getting used to. Tomorrow our plan is to take a longer hike.

After this one, we stopped at Paoli's in Big Bear Lake's village, sat outside at a sunny table and ate basic but good Italian lunch. We drove around the lake with the top of my convertible down until we reached Arrowbear (returning to Lake Arrowhead where we're staying) as a chilly fog was rolling up the mountains from below.
The top photo by the way is a view of the Los Angeles basin this morning--totally clouded in below us.
Until next time...

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