Monday, 26 March 2007

Off to the mountains ...

It's getting near the end of the ski season, and the snow is far too soft and mushy for Dave and me to take to the slopes with our usual ease and grace (!), but on this lovely sunny Sunday morning, we got up early and drove about two and a half hours north-east, to Big Bear Resort in the San Bernadino Mountains, out the back (east) of Los Angeles. That's me at the wheel of my fabulous Freestyle (above), and we had the roof open. Don't forget you can click on the pictures to see bigger versions.

:: Once we were off the big freeway and the road started to climb, we stopped for brekkie at the country cabin pictured above: coffee and magnificent BLTs served with a big spoonful of sauteed potatoes - yum.

:: Above: Lily was in her pyjamas still, and Will in his trackies, but hey! They didn't care! That's Julian on the left, one of the Bondi partners. He was taking a couple of Australian friends snowboarding — they know how to do it, and even have the right gear!

:: Julian took this pic (above) of the four of us at the entrance to the resort. Apart from Will, who went to Mt Hotham for the annual Christ Church Year 7 ski trip, none of us had ever been to a ski resort before, but we quickly discovered, that, like everything in this country, it is brilliantly organised, with easy, free parking, lots of chair-lifts to clearly designated slopes, classes for everyone from tiny-tots to geriatrics like Dave and me, and loads of fun.

:: We don't have any real snow gear - though Will is in his very classy snowboarding jacket that was a birthday present from Dace and family , and Lily is in a jacket she found in Randy's cupboard at our place - but we were able to hire boots and boards.
They wore jeans and got absolutely soaked to the skin. But that didn't seem to worry them in the slightest. I didn't get any good still shots of them actually coming down the slopes because I switched my camera to video. The videos are hysterical! Will got the hang of it and started to pick up speed by the end of the day, and Lily was getting on pretty well too. We were all worried she would sprain or break something (you know how she is!) but she has nothing but a couple of bruised knees!

:: I did get a shot of them at the bottom of the slope before they rushed off back to the chair-lift.

:: It was a pretty warm, sunny day, and the snow was melting fast. The resort makes a lot of its snow at this time of the year, using water from Big Bear Lake (above), at the foot of the mountain.

:: This (above) was a shot from the car as we drove home - gorgeous mountains with just a touch of snow still. The highest point we drove through was just over 7000 feet.
:: Above: The road down was 12 miles of hairpin bends and tight curves - and fantastic views. The tall trees with the 'broken' tops are Douglas firs.

:: It was a fabulous day! See ya!

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