The Day the Mountain Melted

No one can deny that Southern California’s 2018 Monsoon Season has been one heck of a lalapalooza. When retired school principal Tom left his home in the high desert on July 12, 2018 to visit his adult son at his other home in Big Bear City, he had no idea he would soon face nature’s fury on State Highway 18.

It was cloudy, especially towards the top of the mountain, but Tom wasn’t concerned as it wasn’t raining yet where he was. However, a stationary thunderstorm cell was dumping over Big Bear City and Baldwin Lake for over an hour.

After Tom passed by the Mitsubishi Cement Plant on his right at about 12:30 p.m. and followed his well-beaten path, he was suddenly confronted with an astonishing sight. A surreal wall of mud and debris careened down the road toward him…

Bluff Lake is a reservoir located just 3.8 miles from Big Bear Lake, California. Located at 7,600 feet, Bluff Lake Reserve has towering pines, a 20-acre lake and meadow, and majestic outcrops of quartz monzonite.

Once a stopover resort for pack burro trains and stages bringing tourists to Big Bear in the late 1800s, it is home to several species of rare plants and is a thriving animal habitat…

Within two months of Holcomb’s discovery of gold in 1859, a town called Belleville sprang into existence at the entrance into Holcomb Valley, near the upper part of Van Dusen Canyon. It had a collection of stores, saloons, dance halls, and blacksmith shops. In 1860, the Wild West town lost its bid for county seat by a mere two votes.

Charles Wilbur was the first tax assessor in San Bernardino County. He was also a gold placer miner who lived in the area around the mid to late 1800s. He was well liked among his fellow miners who lived in the area and they voted for him to organize the miners and the boundary stones. Before he died he asked to be buried by his favorite pond, Wilbur’s Pond, and they did as he asked…

There’s an air in Big Bear that sets it uniquely apart from the bustling cities an hour away. Maybe it’s the vivid visual imagery at every turn, the crisp weather, nice people, diverse neighborhoods, or amenities. But I think it’s much more.

This is the stuff of our childhoods that sparked a thousand day dreams of the Wild West and beyond. Where the good guys fought the bad guys and always won. The world needs more of that…

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