Big Bear Valentine

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Big Bear Valentine


Feeling restless from COVID quarantining (we only leave home to go hiking and grocery shopping) we decided to do “something” for Valentine’s Day. Eventually, with diminished options, we settled on driving up to Big Bear Lake for a hike and picnic.

We woke up late because the pandemic has made time irrelevant, but traffic was easy-going until about 15 miles from town. At that point, we ran into a line of cars. It turned out that the cars were all waiting to go to one of the kiddie tubing parks that had no overflow parking. Once we got past that the drive wasn’t too bad.

We found parking on the side of the road by our hike and prepared. It was an opportunity to wear our cold-weather gear that had been in storage since returning from Christmas in Banff years ago (and was purchased for winter in Iceland before that). We didn’t think we’d need especially “winterized” shoes, though, and that became our literal downfall. Multiple times. Jeans, gloves, and a puffy jacket really take the sting out of cracking your backside on solid ice, though.

Other than the constant threat of taking a tumble on the snow that had compacted into sheets of ice, it was an enjoyable hike. Arriving on the trail around 2pm we only had time to make it up to the “crown” of rocks on Castle Rock Trail and not go all the way to the top of the mountain.

These rocks are NOT on level ground, so I had to run down a snow-covered embankment with the camera on a timer to get this…which is why I look weird. I blame my parents for making me look weird the rest of the time.

I suppose we could have hiked higher if I’d stopped trying to take dramatic photos, but when the sun is at that magical bokeh-glare angle everybody turns into JJ Abrams.

“look natural”
this is what happens when your model gets tired of posing
Love is (freezing) in the air
“stand in the light!”

After slowly sliding all the way back down we went around to the north side of the lake for a sunset picnic.

This rock looks really big but…
it’s the rock in the middle of this picture. I forgot to bring my tripod down from the car for our picnic and had to cradle the camera between other rocks for open-shutter shots…

Our last stop was on the side of the 18 somewhere past the ski resort so I could take night photos of the city under the mountain.

Sam enjoying her phone in the warm car
but missing out on this view

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