Be part of the fun! Send me your best joke(s) and interesting information.
If I like it and if it's new (at least to me), I will publish it, give you
credit and add my original drawings to give it that personal touch. Sounds
like a deal?
Raoul Pascual: Big Bear Family Summer Vacation
(I normally start off my articles with a joke but
since this article is pretty long, I decided to dispense with it. ---
Bear Summer Family Vacation
Whenever I hear the name Big Bear, I think
of snow-covered mountains, winter sports and the brave young souls who
love to get their butts frozen. Growing up in the tropics and being
as warm-blooded as a chef during peak dinner time, I crossed out Big
Bear as a potential vacation spot. This summer I had to correct my prejudice.
my Boitano brother, told me that there were so many things to enjoy
in Big Bear Lake in the summertime and so, on the 2nd week of August,
my wife, our three kids and I decided to see things for ourselves. Booking
was easy over the phone and the Internet. I calculated that it would
take me a mere 2 hours to get from our home in the San Gabriel Valley
to the mountains surrounding the lake. Leaving the main freeway and
heading north towards the mountains, the terrain started to change.
Pine trees started to replace the palm fronds and featureless flatlands
turned into boulder formations. Our car engine seemed to gasp for air
as the elevation began to pass the 7,000 feet mark. Clean, fresh air
took over from the smog we have been so accustomed to in the city. "Raoul,"
I said to myself, "I don't think this is Los Angeles anymore."
The SUVs rule the roadside on the mountains. The sun was blazing but
surprisingly chilly air shielded us from the heat making it a perfect
day. "I've got my family, the weather's perfect this
is gonna be a great vacation."
I met Dan McKernan at the Big
Bear Lake Resort office who gave us a packet of tourist materials.
Dan's a fun guy who cracks a joke easily. I knew I was gonna like him.
Our first stop was lunch at an Italian restaurant. From the brochures
we thought it would be this huge restaurant seating hundreds of people
but when we got there, we saw this dinky little room that would max
out at 30 people. I saw the cook whizzing about in the kitchen and a
lone waitress was our only personal contact with the restaurant. Like
many families, we each ordered different dishes so we could sample from
each other. The mushroom burger was my choice. When I took my first
bite I was pleasantly surprised at the distinct mushroom taste that
was perfectly burned at the edges. I liked that cook's taste buds. Mmmm
Looking around I noticed business was brisk and I understood
why. All of the choices were fabulous but I liked the Italian mushroom
burger the best.
few blocks away, we boarded Miss
Liberty, Big Bear Lake's largest tour boat manned or should
I say, "womanned" by Captain Ginny Murphy. According to the
narrator, Arnold Baldwin, the area's first known inhabitants were the
Serrano Indians who regarded the grizzly bears as ancestors. This allowed
the bear population to flourish. The prospect of a plentiful supply
of bear fur then attracted many immigrants to the region. Snow blanketed
the area in winter but it would melt in spring forming seasonal marshes.
Immigrants then named the place Big Bear Lake. A prospector from
Indiana named William Holcomb sparked Big Bear Lake's modern growth
after he discovered gold in 1859. Legend has it that Holcomb wounded
a bear one day. In his search for the elusive creature he stumbled upon
a vein of quartz flecked gold. He quickly switched profession from hunter
to gold miner. As soon as word leaked out, the Southern Califonria gold
rush was on and the number of prospectors blossomed to 15,000, turning
San Bernardino County into the most populated area of its time. This
gold rush lasted only 4 years. Some experts estimate that despite the
thousands of tons of gold that have already been excavated, 80% of the
mineral has yet to be discovered. There were attempts to make San Bernardino
the capital of California but it lost out to Sacramento by a mere two
In 1884, a business tycoon came up with an idea to build a commercial
dam on the site of the valley where the seasonal marshes were to be
found. The first year was a financial disaster. But being a typical
businessman, he continued his campaign and by the second year the valley
had become a large lake. Today, the lake is managed by the Big Bear
Municipal Water District.
Fawnskin is the stretch of land north of the lake. It is where Shirley
Jones, the singer and actress lives. She is one of the few celebrities
that actually call Big Bear home. This is also where all the gold prospectors
staked their claim. In the 60's the hippies built their colonies in
gold country but, thanks to overly zealous government officials who
were scared of liability claims, they were bulldozed out of existence.
Our lodge was huge! It boasted a large living room with a fireplace,
a pool table and satellite TV, had three bedrooms and a tall ceiling.
The huge kitchen shared a bar and dining room. Underneath was a garage
with a washer and dryer. Hanging on the garage ceiling were 2 BMX bikes
ready for action. Bear and moose fixtures permeated the rustic surroundings
and there was a Jacuzzi at the patio. Our lodge was located about a
block away from the lake. Dan (who made the arrangements) later apologized
because he wanted to give us an even better cottage but this was the
unit that had an internet connection. No apologies needed. My family
Dan invited us to dinner at the Cowboy Express. Bearskin, Indian artifacts
and goldmining memorabilia provided the restaurant's ambiance. The rib-eye
steak was tempting but I decided to be a good boy and ordered halibut
steak instead. The fish was good but when I saw the others eating their
juicier finger-lickin' steaks I almost kicked myself. It's definitely
the place for hearty meat eaters. Take my advice: eat what's good
for your palette when you're on vacation!
Early Saturday the next morning, my son and I headed for the docks where
we met Mike and Trish Marzell of Lucky
Bear Charters. Dan wasn't planning to come but we managed to convince
him to join us after all, it was my first fishing expedition
ever. Yup! Believe It or not, I had never fished before. I cook 'em
and I eat 'em but I never catch 'em. I never understood people's fascination
for fishing. That morning I was going to find out.
discovered that when they say fishing is a sport, it really
is a sport --- just like poker is a sport. It's not about flexing your
muscles but about strategy. It's a battle of wits between you and someone
a little lower in the food chain. Your playground is the whole 7 mile
long lake. The objective is to lure that little critter to come to you
in that vast body of water, get it to nibble on a worm that you dangle
at various depths --- either stationary or moving. Depending on what
kind of fish license you have you are allowed to dispatch 2 fishing
lines per license. Using nets (the obviously time efficient way of catching
fish) is considered cheating and thus prohibited --- after all, we need
to give those guys a fighting chance.
It's fascinating that every fisherman (or fisherwoman) has his own secret
strategy for the game. But the variables are the bait, the line, boat
speed, the specific spot in the lake and the time of day. They have
live worms (called night crawlers) or fake ones made of plastic, metal
or feathers. The lines can be regular nylon or reinforced with steel
(they feel like soft bass guitar strings) and come in different colors.
They are tied end to end with a different color so you can tell the
depth of those lines by the number of colors you release. You can dangle
the bait from a moving boat or you can drop it down at your favorite
spot and just wait. Choosing your spot is essential. Trish's boat is
equipped with some fancy radar that tells her where the fishes are.
Unfortunately, just because they're there, doesn't mean they're gonna
bite --- kinda insulting actually when you think of them swimming about
and paying no attention to your well prepared gastronomic earthworm.
I imagined them laughing at that pitiful bait. Mike said that they like
oxygen so there were several boatmen near the dam where a pump was shooting
water into the air. The last variable is the time of day. Our experts
said that twilight and mid-morning were good times to "play."
I have to admit, I thought their theories were hogwash until
my son's line caught something at exactly the time they said fish would
bite. A few minutes later, in the exact location they said they would
bite, my line caught our second rainbow trout.
There are many other tips I'd like to share but I would be giving away
some trade secrets. It's best you come and learn about them yourself
from the masters at Lucky Bear Fishing Charters. And if you go, ask
the Marzells about the legends of the lake. They have some interesting
ones about some Hollywood celebrities and UFOs (Unidentified Floating
Objects). They can point the houses owned by Cecil
B. DeMille, Shirley
Judge, the Max
Factor home, Olivia
Newton John, Roy
Rogers, etc. There is even a legend about Al
Capone's house of ill-repute where prostitution and gambling parties
were the best known secret. Once someone tipped the managers of a raid
and so they dumped the slot machines into the lake to hide the evidence.
Even if we had gone home empty handed, it would have been perfectly
fine because soaking in all that natural landscape with your son and
new friends was already winning the sport in my book.
have to confess that this was one activity I was a little worried about
because I had developed a phobia for bikes since I was a kid. I had
rammed my bike into my girl cousins because I couldn't find the brakes.
We chose Blauer's
Board Shop to rid me of my phobia. The Blauer team was so patient
fitting us to just the right gear. But then they started showing us
how to brake and then shift gears, I realized what a predicament I was
in. Shift gears!?!? Suddenly, what I thought was going to be a scientific
experiment of balance and inertia turned out to be a trip to the moon.
I was petrified but my wife, my son and eldest daughter nodded in agreement
signaling they could handle it. Thoughts of broken clavicles and arguments
with my insurance agent raced through my mind. How was a robust 6 foot
male supposed to wiiggle out of this? And then it happened. I saw my
youngest daughter straining to keep her balance with my wife in tow
from behind. "Don't worry. I'll help her out," I said.
"You guys go ahead and I'll help her get used to it."
It was a comedic scene---me teaching my daughter to bike --- the
blind leading the blind. When she would lose her balance, I would
lose mine too. I was getting desperate again. Thoughts of that insurance
agent flashed in my mind again. And then the second miracle happened.
Dan, in all his wisdom said "why don't we put biking aside for
now and take the Scenic Sky Chair? We can do this when we come down."
Thank you Lord! Who says there isn't a God?
It was a bit incongruous that I was dangling about 50 feet above the
ground heading to the top of the mountain in an engineering marvel called
when there was no trace of snow in sight. But there I was in the car
with Dan. The rest of the family was a car ahead of ours. Shortly I
realized how a little shift forward would send me falling 3 stories
below. Visions of my favorite insurance agent appeared again so I didn't
dare look straight down for fear I would jeopardize the car's equilibrium.
My wife motioned to bring the safety bar down in front of me. I noticed
their car didn't do it so why would a macho man like me do it?
"Nah! That's for sissies!" I shouted back even as I leaned
back for safety even more. I did notice that Dan had his arm around
the backrest. Hmmm smart guy he must be scared too and
actually holding on for dear life with that suave move. Naturally, I
followed suit. These little tricks of manliness are crucial to one's
dignity. They don't teach that in the manuals.
The death-defying trip up the mountain took 15 minutes.
Atop the mountain, the view was spectacular. A slight wind blew through
the pine trees. Neighboring mountain tops alternated between shades
of blue and green. Down below a city was visible as cars moved about
like ants. A few feet away a tranquil blue lake thrived with boats of
all sizes. It was a postcard moment.
if to reward our courageous spirit, we had a perfectly grilled hamburger
lunch at The View Haus. We stayed there a long time --- again
just taking in the clean mountain air. I could have sworn I saw Julie
Andrews twirling in circles singing "The Hills are Alive."
Around us I noticed some hard core BMX bikers padded up in black tights
circling about us unleashing dust with every turn. I bet these show-offs
were in cahoots with my insurance agent beckoning me to
join them to their death.
Dan was "dressed to kill" in his BMX outfit. Remember, he
wanted us to go biking earlier? He was geared for a fun day biking down
the hill. But now he had to babysit this pathetic family. "Would
you care for a hike?" he asked. My wife said she was willing
to try it. We walked down a few feet towards a huge boulder. Our digital
cameras clicked like crazy. (That's what people who aren't the energetic
type do --- they take pictures to tell people they conquered something.)
We walked up a dirt road and then headed back --- i.e. we simply circled
the summit building and that was it our exercise for the day!
Dan must have been miserable.
The ride down the slopes was pleasant because this time I insisted on
having that safety bar down.
Dan scheduled us to go kayaking but we just wanted to relax and
enjoy the cabin. We decided to have rainbow trout for dinner. Dan suggested
we put a dash of salt and pepper, a little butter, salsa, wrap that
all in aluminum foil and bake. He was right. That fish was fresh, soft
We capped the evening with a family Jacuzzi. The warm flowing water
was a perfect blanket to the chilly evening air. Funny, I think God
added a million more stars since the last time I looked up.
was hard to drag ourselves out of our warm beds so we were late for
our appointment with Eric Minnick, driver and tour guide of a 3 hour
trip they call "Off-Road Adventures Tour at Big
Bear Discovery Center (try saying that ten times). We packed ourselves
into this Austrian mini-Hummer called a Pinzgauer.
This pint-sized truck rattled so loud, it scared away all wildlife for
miles around. Seriously, it was a scene from Indiana Jones and we were
part of the Nazi army. He pointed us to Shirley
Jones's house. For you young folk, she's the lead actress in the
musical Oklahoma and Music Man. Shirley is also known for her role as
the mother in The
Partridge Family. Eric said he saw her shopping in town just
the other day. A mile later Eric drove off the cemented road into a
dirt alley. Then he stopped. Eric explained that we were going to find
out why they called this an "off-road adventure." As he was
speaking I noticed the terrain on the side of the road. It was hilly
and dusty. Reminded me of the maze that BMX bikers like to play in.
"I pity the guy who would have to go through that dirt and grime,"
I thought to myself.
Then Eric revved up the engine and turned towards "BMX heaven."
"Are you crazy?!" I shouted inside. The female passengers
started to scream. Eric, the evil chauffeur, careened his toy up hills
that had 60 degree inclines.
"Don't worry," he
said, "I haven't fallen over yet!"
My life flashed before me. When I was a boy I played with GI Joe action
figures and played in dirt and imaginary water streams. Fast forward
--- I was living that moment! My insurance agent was laughing in my
After Eric had his fill of screams, he started our dirt road journey.
He taught us survival techniques like finding water sources near willow
trees. He also pointed out the willow tree leaves are the main ingredient
in aspirin. Pregnant native Indians used this. Indian braves must have
gathered these often every month. Eric explained that the decorative
mistletoe is actually a parasite that attaches itself to pine trees.
He also mentioned that the bark beetles were still a major pest to the
He led us to a wide meadow known as Hitchcock Ranch which was
the location of the 60's TV show "Bonanza".
Right in front of it was where they filmed a stagecoach scene from the
last western musical "Paint
Your Wagon" starring Clint
Eastwood and Lee
Marvin. The owners of that property recently donated that land to
The Boy Scouts of America. Eric boasted he personally taught one of
the stars to drive stick in the pilot of a current MTV show called Parental
Our next stop was at a limestone cliff overlooking a wide valley. At
one point in my life I used to be a limestone miner so the terrain was
strangely familiar. There were two limestone factories way below us
that produced cement and other lime products like baking soda which
is used in toothpaste, chicken feed and glass. Eric said the top of
a distant white mountain was composed of the purest type of limestone
in the world. I believe him.
Our final lesson was about gold mining. Believe it or not, prospecting
for gold is still a viable activity. Most prospectors do it only during
major holidays. People own mining rights to stretches of land for a
fee of $200 a year. Recently, one of the miners turned in a payload
of some forty thousand dollars. People are allowed to walk through their
property as long as they do not pick up any of the minerals; otherwise,
an unchanged 1859 law gives the property owner the right to shoot robbers
dead for "Claim Jumping." Back in those times, justice was
swift and deadly. Claim jumpers were hung on a branch of the Hangman's
Tree. After they were executed, local townsfolk would bury them
along with the rope and the branch of the tree as evidence of their
crime. There were so many violators that Hangman's Tree died
when all its limbs were torn off. All that remains of it today is a
We visited Wilbur's Grave. Wilbur is a famous goldminer whose last request
was to be given a "proper burial" which (in gold miner lingo)
meant his body would lay above ground covered with stones and pieces
of wood to prevent wild animals from eating the body up. There his grave
stood all these years. Once in a while visitors would leave flowers,
letters, soda bottles and other worldly possessions but those are all
considered trash by the Lithuanian Church in Pasadena who currently
own the property and come out regularly to clean up the debris. Some
people leave half-finished beer bottles so they can brag that they had
a drink with ol' Wilbur.
Heading Back Home
We were scheduled to visit the Moonridge
Animal Park but we were physically exhausted after the dusty
trip so we decided to skip the animals to start heading down home to
the South Land before the weekend traffic built up. But the Missus said
she hadn't had time to buy any souvenirs. If you're a married man, you
know the women need to do their obligatory shopping at The Village.
The shops were nice and quaint. My wife and daughters were in their
element. I needed to preserve my energy for the drive down so after
the first hour I was sound asleep in the car. I dreamt about what Big
Bear would look like in the winter.
son's favorite adventure was the fishing and the off-road adventure.
I share his views. My wife and my eldest daughter enjoyed the Sky Chair
and the view from the top. My youngest daughter said staying in the
cabin was her favorite pastime. What I love about our trip was it was
indeed a family adventure --- something for everyone.
We dropped by a Fast Food Chain
before we headed down where we bumped into a bunch of actors from the
Renaissance Festival. This reminded me that there were many other
non-winter activities that we should have gone to like the annual Fishing
Contest (where you can win $50,000 if you catch a tagged trout) the
Art Festival, the Oktoberfest, and lots more.
Big Bear Lake isn't just a winter
wonderland. It also means a great summer escape which is a hop skip
and a jump away from L.A.
For Austin Deep in the Heart of Austin Texas-
From JRP, Iligan City, Philippines - Hi Raoul! When I
was in Austin in 1957 it was a small town. I was even interviewed by a local
newspaper & remember telling him our family is in the fishpond business.
A Mexican brick layer in the lime plant I observed for a week took me to his
houseboat in a lake near Austin & we had steak & beer while we fish.
I thought the guy's lifestyle is better than the millionaire I stayed with in
Salt Lake city.
For Italian Profiling -
From Pia Hugo, La Crescenta, CA - Hi Raoul! I came here
to make reservations for our Sta. Barbara trip and decided to read the Italian
jokes because. I have a few from my church. Very funny! Give Mike my thanks!
And the illustrations are, as always, very creative! Thanks for the laughs :)
From Dette of Iligan City, Philippines - Always a treat
and lift of the spirits whenever I see your cartoons. More power!
From Dette of Iligan City, Philippines - First of all,
that cartoon of the lady reindeer and Sta Claus had me laughing loud. You really
have imagination, lots. Original too. Congrats. But I really have to thank you
for that X'mas story. It touches the heart. May I use the story for my own column
in "Mindanao Scoop"? With your name and the "Traveling Boy"
properly acknowledged of course. It says below "All Rights Reserved".
Does this mean I can't reprint your article even if I acknowledge authorship?
From Nina of Quezon City, Philippines - Your Big Bear
adventure sure looks cool. Most of my friends in San Diego only go there during
winter probably because that's the best place to experience snow in Southern
California but I didn't know that summer in Big Bear is a good treat as well.
From Hannah of Monrovia, CA - We've been to Big Bear
for several anniversary week-ends and enjoyed kayaking on the lake. But we didn't
know the history of the place and we didn't know the owners of the fabulous
homes on the lake. Sounds like you had a lot of fun. You make us want to jump
in the car and go this weekend.
From J.B. of Virginia - Nice [Big Bear Lake article]
... isn't [the pleasure of taking a vacation] why we are fighting wars, sacrificing,
staying up long hours, suffering?.Isn't it for our freedom of self determination
... for our right to live our lives the way we want to and for the ones we care
From Tom of Pasadena, CA - Great Big Bear story Raoul.
You definitely caught the essence of the place and remind me when my Mom and
Dad and 5 brothers and sisters went there to camp in a 14 foot trailer and fish
from a 10 foot boat with a 5 horse power Johnson Motor on it.One Summer I caught
a 6 pound trout and got my picture in the paper. I was stoked as an 11 year
old kid.Many happy memories came flooding back into my cranium regarding the
great times enjoyed at Big Bear Lake.Thanks for your sharing them with me.
* * *
So glad you enjoyed the article Tom. Your childhood must
have been fun. A 6 pound trout? Wow!! That must have been delicious. --- Raoul
* * *
It was delicious but the fame of catching it was tough to take
with all the paparazzi hanging around. Ha! You have a real gift for writing,
I thought I was right there with you in that article. --- Tom
From Mike & Trish Marzell of Lucky Bear Fishing Charters,
Big Bear Lake, CA - Hi Raoul, You wrote such a wonderful article on summer
in Big Bear! Nice website. Thank you for coming out fishing with us - we had
so much fun with Josh, you and Dan. We're thinking up good legends and "UFO"
is priceless! Please tell us whenever you come up the mountain; we would love
to take you and your family out again. You are a great writer (kept us interested).
We are going to read your other articles. Thank you again.
Some responses from my Lake Tahoe Adventure
From RV of Covina, CA - I enjoyed reading your Lake Tahoe
blog. It brings back memories when I brought my mom & dad
to Tahoe in 1999. My dad loved the place so much that when my
brother arrived two weeks later, we drove up to Tahoe again. I'm
sure you had a wonderful time with Danny, Edwin and their families.
Those are golden moments, including the snow chain malfunction,
which you won't get tired of re-telling over and over again.
From Hannah of Monrovia, CA - Thanks for your story about
the blizzard. It made our day to see how God protected you guys.
Otto remembered your bear story--same result; exciting adventure
and no one got hurt; but now you have another marvelous God adventure
From Kathleen of Massachusetts- Just read your mini-blog
and let me tell you, you guys are very blessed. I won't say, lucky,
I'll say blessed. Those slippery ice/snow scenarios are really
dangerous. Glad God sent you the snow plow!
We don't get that much snow where we live, but in blizzards,
we don't go out. It's too scary. One time we were retrieving our
daughter Mercy from Providence, a 25 minute trip in regular weather.
It took us 3 hours to get home, driving on the highway in blinding
snow. Blinding. We couldn't see a foot in front of us, and if
we pulled over there was a chance of getting plowed in to. Never
That stuff is pretty, but it's deadly on the highway and for
From Cindi of Connecticut - A great story and your family
has an everlasting memory. There is nothing like home, especially
when home is in So CA!
From Terry os Santa Monica, CA - Wow, what a compelling
story about snowy Lake Tahoe and the tire chains!
I remember driving my van up to Mammoth to go skiing in my much
younger days and having similar episodes with chains. One time
a rear chain came loose and wrapped itself completely around the
axle. It took two of us, on our backs in the icy slush, in the
dark, without wire cutters, hours to untangle that dang chain.
It still seems like yesterday. So I empathize with your plight,
and glory in your release.
From Ding of Vancouver, BC- Wow, brave souls, glad you
got home safely ;-) Thanks for the TGIF, as always!
From Maria of San Antonio, CA(the email that my article
was based on) - Only nuts and daredevils went to Lake Tahoe
last weekend. The lat time we went up to the mountains in spite
of the blizzard warning, we got snowed in. We just stayed home
and watched our own leaks.
Eugene Chaplin Introduces Chaplin's World Museum
in Vevey, Switzerland
Lake Geneva/ Matterhorn Region and Switzerland Tourism
recently blew into Los Angeles with the most esteemed guest, Eugene Chaplin.
A man of remarkable lineage, he is the fifth child of Oona O'Neill and Sir
Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, the grandson of playwright
Eugene O'Neill, the brother of Geraldine Chaplin and father of actress/model
Treasures of Ireland: Piped Inside Ashford Castle
The Palladian Traveler enters into a world of regal
elegance wrapped in Irish charm as he files his latest dispatch from inside
one of the Emerald Isle's most storied fortresses.
Chuuk + Wrecks = Scuba Divers' Paradise
As we dropped down to 25,000 feet I saw one of the
most extraordinary panoramas I'd ever been lucky enough to witness. The
majesty of it all and the stunning vistas that lay below and before me were
spectacular. It was as beautiful as spring's first rose, and it made me
understand why so many pilots on commercial jetliners love their job; they
get to see so many awe-inspiring sights from the cockpit. My view was that
of a vast vista of the Pacific.
Highway 49 Revisited: Exploring California's
In the 1840s, the population of California was only
14,000, but by 1850 more than 100,000 settlers and adventurers had arrived
from all over the world and they came for one reason: gold. James
Marshall had discovered the first gold nugget at Sutters Mill in El
Dorado County, creating the largest gold rush in history.
Bring a GPS. This is especially helpful as you zig and zag
your way up and down the mountain.
Bring warm clothes even during summer because it gets chilly at night
Be sure to have a CD of your favorite music for the many
hours you will be on the road
Be sure to bring dark glasses, a hat, sunscreen
and mask or bandana to protect yourself from the dust if you decide
to take the off-road adventure
Bring a windbreaker if you go out boating. And
don't worry about sea-sickness. The water is so tranquil.
The first thing you might want to do is get a
hold of local brochures at the Big
Bear Visitor's Center. They can help set up your itinerary.
And there are discount coupons to restaurants and current attractions.
For those on a tight budget
The cheaper grocery chains like Vons and Stater Brothers
are located at the south west end of the lake and their prices are the
same as down in the Southland.
o Don't want to cook? No problem. All the top Fast Food Chains are well represented.
o RV parking and camping are available but they are a bit of a drive from
the main road.
o There are different religious organizations like the Boy Scouts, YMCA
and the Lithuanian Church of Pasadena that run retreats in the summer.
You might just want to join them.
If you hate traffic congestion like me, the best
time to head down the mountain is before 4:00 pm. We left around
4:30 pm but we were still ahead of the pack and we were able to
drive relatively fast.
Talk to your tourist guides. They can fill you in on more
local tips like best shopping areas and best restaurants.
The best time to fish is in the Spring (when
the Municipal Water District stocks the lake with fishes) and
Fall when the oxygen level is high. When the sky is red, this
also means it is a good time to fish.
Big Bear Lake Resort Association
630 Bartlett Road
800-4-BIG BEAR (800-424-4232)
Bear Information Center
A live call center is also available for
inquiries and reservations by
Bear Lake skiers and boarders can now get the most up-to-date information
about Big Bear Valley 24 hours a day, seven days a week by logging
The website is designed to answer most questions related to Big
Bear Valley. In addition to the informative website, vacation specialists
are available at 800.4.BIG.BEAR (800-424-4232) to answer inquiries
and take reservations from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m.
to 5 p.m. weekends.
Big Bear Lake is close to Southern California cities and Las Vegas,
making it an easy daytrip or getaway weekend destination, and it
is the only four season alpine resort in Southern California. In
fact, visitors drive to Big Bear Lake because of its high altitude
and cool alpine climate, which makes it one of the few places in
Southern California where folks can enjoy outdoor recreation all
Big Bear is a great
place to stick around after a day of playing on the slopes, too. Whether
it's participating in another outdoor sport, or enjoying an entertaining
special event, or going out for a bite to eat, or having a ball at one
of Big Bear's nightspots, or resting in the comfort of a lodge. Guests
who wish to enjoy the entire spectrum that Big Bear has to offer can get
detailed information at www.bigbear.com or 800.4.BIG.BEAR (800.424.4232).
The website and call
center are great for up-to-the minute weather reports and road conditions.
Big Bear's information headquarters is also convenient for travel planning,
such as pet friendly accommodations, or great travel deals like the mid-week
ski packages, or easy-to-follow directions and maps to Big Bear.
To learn about
everything there is to see and do in Big Bear, to book accommodations,
or to request a Visitors Guide, log on to www.bigbear.com
or call 1.800.4.BIG.BEAR (1.800.424.4232).