This Thanksgiving I spent the day with my family at Big Bear Lake. It was an experience unlike any other. I was given the task of driving us up the mountain towards our destination. Along the way it started to rain a bit and I thought ok, no problem, a little rain can’t stop us. As we started to snake our way up the mountain I noticed that the rain wasn’t falling straight downwards but was falling in a kind of arc and looked less like rain. It was then that I realized the rain was beginning to freeze and what I was actually seeing was snow. SNOW! I had only seen snow fall once in my life for a very brief moment and to be driving through it was just insane. As soon as I could, I pulled over to a turnout and jumped out of the car to stand out in the freezing cold and watch the snow fall. The feeling was absolutely unreal, I just could not believe what was happening. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few photos to document this moment of history in my life.
After the initial shock of the weather turning to snow wore off we made our way further up the mountain to a little town called Arrowbear. Along the way we saw the mountain littered with snow on the rocks as well as the trees, the fresh snowfall only adding to the awe. It was funny because when we entered the town there was a flashing sign that read, “Carry Chains with You” and we just kept driving on hoping that it would not get to the point where chains would be necessary as we had none. We stopped in a little park that had a rock island separating it from the larger Big Bear Lake. Seeing this was amazing because not only was there snow, but the little lake itself was beginning to freeze. This was the point at which I realized I needed to wear like three more jackets because it was freezing. The snow was falling which meant that it was, at the very least, 32 degrees Farenheit, and extremely windy on top of all of that. My face was numb. The song Can’t Feel my Face was playing over and over again in my head as the wind would blow the cold air straight into my face. It made for a great experience overall, but the moment I had the chance, I went straight to the car and warmed myself up.
Originally we had planned to have a nice picnic complete with a red and white checkered table cloth and cold drinks but 5 minutes out in the freezing cold weather led us to eat lunch in the car. I wasn’t complaining. It was nice to be warmed up the sandwiches we had made as well as the hot tea. After lunch we journeyed on to our final destination, Big Bear Lake. When we arrived I was surprised to find that it was sunny since we had traveled through rain and snow for most of the trip so far. It was still freezing as we were walking around the small town but the sun did a good job of warming me up a bit. The town was like a small little area lined with various shops and eateries that were decorated for the upcoming holiday season. In the middle of the town there was a decorated Christmas tree as well as lights and wreaths spread all throughout the streets. After walking around the town for a little while we made our way towards Big Bear Lake itself. It was quite striking to see how low the water level had become thanks to the California drought. The lake itself wasn’t freezing over because it was getting a lot of sun exposure, but it would be amazing to see the entire lake frozen over.
After a little drive down the lakeview drive it was time to start the drive back home. The drive back along the road we came was amazing because the views that were shrouded in the fog and clouds and snow were finally available for us to see. It was literally like we were driving through a winter wonderland. I had never had experience with fresh powdery snow which made me appreciate this trip even more. This Thanksgiving was one that I won’t soon forget. If you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving or are looking for a good place to spend the holiday, I would highly suggest going out and having a picnic in the mountains, or at a national park for the day. However you spent your Thanksgiving Day I hope it was wonderful.
Till next time,
P.S. Check out this quick little edit of footage I captured during my trip.