by Kelly Atlas
Big Bear Lake, California
Elevation: 6,752 ft
wick·ed (adj.) - modernly known as evil, sinful or unpleasant. However, to anyone who lives on the east coast of North America, particularly New England, knows that wicked means quite the opposite. Instead it is spoken with more of a buoyant tone and is used in conjunction with words such as awesome, rad, cool, and amazing.THAT is what the west coast of North America became last week in Big Bear Lake, California - wicked awesome.
Located only a little over two and half hours away from the infamous golden coast of palm trees and crashing waves is another world. Filled with Evergreens, crisp smog-free air and the most rare of all - silence. For a city resident like myself, there is nothing better than this.
Arriving on a Monday afternoon, there wasn’t a pocket of snow to be found, frigid temperature-yes, but snow-no. The forecast predicted the start of this seasons snowfall late that evening and my eyes were peeled looking for the first flake. The evening came and went and absolutely nothing fell. Waking up Tuesday morning I was optimistic to find a blanket of snow outside the cabin, but, again, nothing. Checking the weather forecast once more, it predicted the eye of the storm was moving towards Big Bear Lake earlier that afternoon. Hopeful this forecast was correct, I bundled up, grabbed my camera and car keys and drove off to check out the mountain scenery.
Alas! My timing was impeccable, as I ventured over to the north side of the lake a few flakes began to dance downwards, followed by millions more. Black pavement soon turned to white cotton, and pine trees were dusted with crystals. The scene unfolding before me was incredible.
The snow fell for hours more and by nightfall there was over eight inches. By morning there was another three inches. Touring around town was a completely different drive than yesterday's. The snow had transformed the village. As a guest who has been coming to Big Bear Lake for many years, I barely recognized where I was. The dark roads were no longer visible, it was as if someone spilled all the contents of a large bottle of baby powder onto the mountains--everything was covered in snow.
The storm continued all day Wednesday and into Thursday afternoon. By the afternoon there was another ten inches of snow. The lake was now completely frozen over, cabins were masked in white, and cars were buried in banks of ice. Since it had been almost six years since the town had seen this much snowfall, they were looking forward to it just as much as I was. Ski resorts traded in their snow machines for snow plows as they paved way for the eager skiers and snowboarders.
The end of my trip was winding down to an end and I began the descent back to sea level. Cruising around the curves of the mountain was no disappointment. Turning each corner was another view, another remarkable scene. The road ahead becknoed to be explored, and I didn't let it down. It was truly a wicked beautiful adventure.
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by Kettler Thomas
The Summit is created by a team of guest writers and photographers.
Header photo courtesy of Kyle Sipple