Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Change in Scenery!

I'll apologize in advance for my long-winded post, but I have a lot of photos I want to share :-)

My wife and I don't get up to the mountains in S CA much anymore... our passion has turned to the desert. But for many years, the mountains were our passion (specifically, a cabin about half way between Big Bear and Arrowhead).  You could find us up there every other weekend.

We needed to go up this weekend for cleaning and maintenance.  As I type this, I'm tired and sore with a back ache and sore knee from a long working weekend, but I enjoyed every minute of it!  Between all the work, I managed to go on a hike and get some fun pictures.

The hike was along a trail accessed by one of the old forest service roads behind the Green Valley Lake campground.  My first impression was surprise... surprise that many of the Forest Service Roads are closed to all vehicles. I didn't see another human being all afternoon!  Also surprised at the number of burned trees (see below).  The fires in the San Bernardino mountains were really extensive (more so than I realized).  Lastly, surprised at the number of wildflowers.  It's been a great year with regard to rainfall, and I've never seen such heavy blooms in the mountains.

My hike took me to the top of a high peak with an incredible view.  You could see all the dense cloud cover and "June gloom" bumping up against the mountain range.
Top-of-the-world view!  You can just make out Lake Arrowhead in the distance.
Certain areas were beautifully carpeted with Erysimum capitatum - the Western Wallflower.
The Black Oaks were just starting to leaf out - near 8000' elevation.

A stand of burned trees.

Lots of water in the mountains right now.

Hiking back, I passed through the Green Valley Lake campground, a really pretty area.

We then made our way down to the lake... for years, we kept our little row boat in this cove (above).  They stock the lake with trout, and I saw a lot of nice stringers and we walked the lake.

Shortly after getting home, we spotted a HUGE raccoon.  It came right up to us.  My wife, the worlds biggest lover of any and all creatures, wasted no time in sharing a pretzel.

Count your fingers!!!
Interesting, Mrs. Raccoon wasn't interested in broccoli or a piece of fruit... she seemed much more interested in junk food!  And yes, I know, we shouldn't be feeding her.  Clearly, someone has been (she was really tame), but that doesn't make it right.  At any rate, it was a fun encounter!


  1. Mrs. Raccoon has a nice set of encounter, maybe she's living in that tree near the deck and the tulip cabin folks make their trash can available. Great pictures - hope lots of people go up to enjoy and get the area rocking n rolling again for the business owners

  2. Lover of mountains that I am, it is strange that I didn't spend much time in the local mountains when I lived in SC. Now we spend as much time as possible in the Sierra to avoid the summer heat of the Sacramento Valley.
    I like the mist on the mountains in that first shot, even with the burn it is lovely.

  3. These are breathtaking photos...nicely done!