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…

John Cushenbury aimed to hit it big, and looking back, he did. A prospector and miner in 1860, Cushenbury discovered silver in the limestone deposit where Mitsubishi Cement Plant is now situated. Hopefully the next silver baron in California, Cushenbury set up a mining camp at the springs below his deposit. When word got out about the discovery the local desert came alive with dreams of grandeur that prospecting brings. Little did he imagine that someday his strike would result in a mega-million dollar kingdom of cement…

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