The rustic little shops in the downtown area provide hours
of shopping with an incredible spread of varied merchandise-
from leatherwork and indian replica museum pieces, nautical items, collector plates and figurines, t-shirt places, sporting goods, all the way to one of a kind treasures which can be found only here.
On the north shore kayaks, canoes, pontoon boats and other
recreational equipment can be rented by the hour for those
wishing to venture out on the lake in the summertime. In
winter, snowboards, skiis, snowmobiles and such can be found
near the various ski resorts on the south side of the lake.
Fondest memory: Old mining towns reside beneath layers of dust in the mountains north of Big Bear Lake. These places once had
their own schoolhouses and homes, and now all traces have
been virtually extinguished. A couple of logs left from
what was once an entire saloon, but even without the real
material remenants...atmosphere still lingers like perfume
in an empty room. The spirits of those who once toiled in
these dirty acres still wander the hillsides and valleys- or so it seems....
A few years ago my father bought me a plane ride above Big Bear as a birthday present. I was through a small tous service on a little runway east of the lake. We left in the morning when there were just a few puffy cummulus clouds in the sky and the sun was just peaking above the mountains. Before my father and I got in the small four person aircraft, we were instructed briefly on the safety procedures of flying--of course, I've forgotten all of them now...:)
Fondest memory: Okay, you fellas ready?' Said the pilot as we buckled ourselves in. 'Oh ya,' I said. 'Uh, I guess so,' said my father. The pilot, after communicating something to the 'flight tower,' started the engines. The propellor became a whir and soon we were shooting down the runway and were lifted off the ground, flying over the treetops. The first thing I saw were all the people, endless throngs of people using their weekend to enjoy the things they had worked hard all week to appreciate--I saw them get smaller and smaller until they looked like ants scurrying around on the ground below...
The lake glistened to the right of us as we flew over a small little league game, a resort hotel, and, of course--McDonald's. The the pilot swerved towards the lake. As we flew over the sun observatory and people on dozens of boats partying and fishing, the pilot said to me, 'You wanna take the wheel awhile?' I looked a little confused, 'Um, won't we die?' He laughed, 'Nah, all ya gotta do is make sure you keep the wings level with the horizon.' I said, 'It's that easy huh?' I took the wheel...
WHAM!! The whole plane shook. 'What was that?!?' My dad started sweating. The pilot looked back at him and said 'Just a little turbulence, nothin' to worry about.' WHAM! WHAM! Heavy wind suddenly pounded the plane. 'Geez!' The pilot reached for the wheel, which I handed him gladly. After another quarter of an hour of beautiful sights from a cloud's perspective, the pilot flew the plane back to the airport and the safety of the ground. Upon landing, my father threw himself on the ground and kissed sweet mother earth, glad to be alive--well, something like that. ;o)
Several movie, music, and sports stars have vacation homes in Big Bear. One day, while getting bored outta my mind while fishing with some frieds in a boat, I noticed a big mansion bordering the lake near an isolated section of the water...
Fondest memory: 'Supposedly Michael Jackson owns that house,' said one of my friends. 'No way! I heard it was Madonna!' Said another. Suddenly we saw a figure approach the rail of the balcony high above the surface of the water. We were pretty far away, but I could barely make out the pale outline of someone standing with their hands on the rail, staring out across the surface of the water.
'Look! It's Michael!'
'No! It's Madonna!'
'Look at the dark hair! Madonna's blond!'
'She's whatever she wants to be stupid!'
Was it Madonna? Was it Michael Jackson? Or someone (or something) even more sinister? The mystery remains...
skiing and snowboarding at Snow Summit, take their free classes if you're beginners like us, you'll be gliding down the slop in no time, the younger and shorter ones advance faster too, John and I may look like a pro, but were we shocked to see Diana gracefully skiing down the big hill like she was born to ski, while John and I were still struggling hard not to slid and fall on the lower part. Snowboarding class was even more frustrating, all three of us quit after it's getting dark, cold and we're not getting any better on our boarding skills.
Fondest memory: The hilarious moments of our own and fellow students awkward, embarassing and unexpected moves on the slop.
This was our first trip without our good friend Dave. Dave died on March 31st 2006. We had so many plans for 2006 and 2007! Unfortunately Dave lost hs battle with cancer. We almost lost him in 2005 but the Lord gave us alittle more time with him. While at Big Bear we felt that Dave was with us still. Big Bear was so peaceful and tranquil that we honestly felt his spirit with us.
Dave had Cancer Chondro Sarcoma. It started in his knee, His leg had to be amputated above the knee, then the cancer moved to his lungs, then his intestines, his spleen, liver and then eventually his brain.
Dave was someone so special to us and his death greatly affected us. We took Karin to Big Bear with us. She is only 26 years old. We hoped alittle get away would help her somewhat.
Dave can never ever be replaced. He was the most honest, most unselfish person, and a truely great friend. We will miss him so much but we know that we have been blessed to have had someone like him in our lives. A friend like Dave come around only once in a great while, if you are lucky.