Snow Summit that is. In Big Bear.
Hiking to the Summit
Alan and I went back up to Big Bear over the weekend to visit our friend Cheryl, who lives about a quarter of a mile from Snow Summit, the big ski area there. Obviously there is no skiing going on right now, but the slopes are well used during the summer by hikers and mountain bikers. In fact, when we walked there for our hike, the parking lot was full!
One of the best things about traveling to the mountains (or the beach, or just about anywhere that isn’t the desert), is that we have a chance to sleep in a little without giving up any hope of exercising outdoors. We actually slept until after 6:00 (believe me, that’s late in our world where cross country practice starts at 5:30 am), take our time, drink coffee, eat breakfast, and generally enjoy the morning before heading out for our hike at about 10:00.
Alan and I are in pretty good shape, but this hike was definitely a challenge. The trail was really steep in some areas, but really beautiful too. The views were stunning, especially of Big Bear Lake.
At one point in our hike I was feeling cocky and started running up a fairly steep but smooth part of the trail. Of course Alan had to run too. After about 25 yards I’d had it. I started walking again, but found that I actually needed to stop to catch my breath. Ah, hiking in thin air.
It’s huge! They have a lot of different courses from easy to difficult, and of course there are bike rentals at the base of the hill. The cyclists take the gondolas to the top and then ride all the way downhill. They keep the hiking trails separate, so you don’t have to worry about a random cyclist flying over a hill and mowing you down.
We stopped at the top long enough to refill our water bottles, take a couple pictures, and check out the elevation (about 8,200 feet). Then we headed back down. It was a lot easier (except on my gimpy knees). We even ran part of the way.
We actually bumped into a couple people that recognized Alan. Yes, as announcer of many races in Southern California he is a little bit of a celebrity among runners. One of them was a cross country runner from Beaumont, in Big Bear for the altitude training, who ran the Palm Springs 5k (and half marathon).
It was a great hike. Only about three miles, but oh, so challenging. In fact, I’m planning on bringing my cross country team up next week. We’re getting a good deal on a cabin and it will be great for their training (and their team building/bonding).
After the hike, we headed out to lunch with Cheryl. After a lot of Yelp searching and phone calls, we settled on a restaurant that was really close to her house. Alan had the vegetarian burrito, and I had the Southwestern salad, which was really good.
The server “got it” when I explained what I needed, so when I asked about the dressing he told me that it wasn’t vegan. Instead, I created my own dressing on the spot, using the guacamole, salsa, a little oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. It was delicious!
The Rest of the Week: Featured on Instagram
On Thursday morning I just wasn’t feeling the run, so I took a walk (which actually turned into mostly a run). Slowing down allows you to appreciate what you’re seeing out there (and gives you time to photograph it).
Coco and Johnny were also excited that we were home, though you can’t exactly tell from their pictures.
On Thursday afternoons, we have our cross country “heat adaptation” practice at a park about 6:00 pm. The girls need to have some heat training so that they can compete at their league meets in September. After a couple weeks where it was too hot even for heat training, we met at the park and we all were pretty surpirsed at how busy it was in the middle of August when it was about 103 degrees. In addition to the girls, there were peewee football players, tennis and volleyball, even an ultimate Frisbee game going on. And of course, the aquatic center, right next door, was packed.
Rest in Peace Robin Williams
I was just so shocked and saddened by the death of Robin Williams that I need to take a moment here to pay my respects. I’ve been a fan since Mork and Mindy, was always proud that I was part of a focus audience for Good Morning Vietnam, adored his more serious roles in Dead Poet’s Society, Good Will Hunting, and Awakenings (one of my favorite movies ever). I loved that, despite his struggles with addiction, he was also an athlete, and a big supporter of the Challenged Athletes’ Foundation. I was stunned beyond words when I heard the news this afternoon, as I’m sure most people were. My heart goes out to his family and friends.