August 25, 2010

On Big Bear Mountain

With temperatures soaring in the valleys, getting away to the mountains is a refreshing break. On this day, the air was sweetly scented with fresh sage after a brief rain; the setting sun reflecting on the departing storm clouds. I spent almost seven hours at well over 8,000 feet and did not experience any altitude sickness like I did in the Sierras. This was an enormous relief for which I was grateful.


  1. Hey! You didn't even have to go to Montana to get "Big Sky Country!"

    Gorgeous photos and I'm delighted to hear about the lack of altitude sickness. That's fantastic! Congratulations!

  2. No, I don't envy you. I'm happy you do the work for me and I can just enjoy your hard work! :)
    Great shots!!!

  3. Absolutely beautiful! I am sure the air was wonderful too!

  4. I am fascinated with the middle photo. Great picture. My Aunt used to drive my brother and me and all my cousins up to Big Bear for a day and a picnic. It was terrific in the summer. Not so much in winter. Back then as a kid I did not like snow or cold at all. Now I am an old hippie I like the cold and snow. Anyway, glad you did well way up there and were able to take these lovely photos.

  5. Oh shoot, I left a comment but the web page seems to have eaten it... that'll teach me not to do a copy first... it said something like...

    Funny, when I was very little, my favorite stuffed animal which I dragged around everywhere was named Big Bear. But I didn't know he had a mountain named after him. Now I do, thanks to you...

    Good to see that the thin air up there didn't blunt your eye-artist-brain coordination and prevent you from composing beautiful images. They look almost more like paintings than photos... And fortunately there were no big hungry bears up there looking for lunch in the form of a tasty looking photographer to munch on !

  6. Dear Pliers,

    Isn't that amazing? No sickness! And it's just good ole Cali. I'd love to go to Montana and Yellowstone. Someday. So many places...

    Hey BLOGitse,

    Thank you. It's my pleasure entirely!

    Thanks Myth,

    The air was so clean and sweet and filled with light. It was amazing!

    Thanks TechnoBabe,

    That was my fave of the day too! I like snow too. Snow pictures are always my favorite but even though I'm from back east, I'm too scared to drive in the mountains when it's snowing. I hope to overcome that fear.

    Hi Owen,

    Don't you just hate that! It's worse than when you forget what you were going to say! How cute about your little stuffed Big Bear. What a great memory. Thanks for saying they look like paintings. I'll take that as a high compliment indeed!

  7. I just had to congratulate you for giving up TV. Welcome to the Breathe Free club, there aren't that many of us you know.

  8. Amazing skies over beautiful landscapes! Fantastic images.
    Glad to know you were fine at 8,000 feet. You can visit the eastern African plains now! :-)

  9. Hey TechnoBabe,

    That's a club I'm proud to be a member of, even if we are in the minority!

  10. Funny that Owen mentioned that these gorgeous photos look like paintings because it's exactly what I thought. Almost like magic realism paintings in their heightened colours (pun definitely intended)and atmosphere almost too intense to be true.

  11. Thanks Louciao,

    The magic of a late summer afternoon rain on a mountaintop. Sometimes you are just at the right place at the right time.

  12. the air was sweetly scented with fresh sage after a brief rain...

    ah, but no matter how wonderful, perfect, the images are, they cannot convey this sweet scent for which i am longing now - yet, together with your words, they are able to set my imagination into such a frenzy, that i almost - almost - smell with my eyes...

  13. The Sky or that View I don't know which is more beautiful.

    Looks like a great drive to that shoot!

    Great work!

  14. You are a master of color and lighting. These photos are beautiful.

  15. Oh Roxana,

    The rain does release the perfume of the earth and it is wondrous. So rejuvenating. This was my first time to experience this scent filling the air in such a way and to realize the sense of smell is so comforting when it is thus.

  16. Hi Fi,

    Really. I could see those clouds from home and was lucky to get up there. The drive, the view, the sky were amazing. I passed Heartbar on the way. You would have loved it!

  17. Thank you James,

    What a lovely compliment. I have worked on these aspects and it is what always catches my eye first over everything else.

  18. My list of places to see and things to do keeps growing every time I visit your blog! :-)

  19. Thanks Sagittarian,

    Big Bear is great especially if you stay off the built up areas. Otherwise it's a crowded mountain. But if you crave a restaurant, a place for a tipple, or some shopping, well, they have that too. See you when you get here!

  20. I'm glad that being ill didn't ruin this trip. It's been so hot here lately (well except for this weekend) that a break seems necessary. We headed to the beach last weekend.

    I want to give Big Bear another shot. I've been once during the winter, and so many other people decided to go that most of my time was spent in the car in traffic.

    Seeing clouds like that would make it totally worth it.

  21. Hey Amy,

    I know what you mean. Big Bear can get pretty crowded. I stay away from Big Bear City and Arrowhead now. I drove up the back way on highway 38 and it was much less crowded. Then I took a wrong turn to get home and ended up going east on the 18 but it ended up being totally worth it, and finally popped out in Lucerne Valley (very cool place) and came home thru Victorville.

    Happy Trails!

  22. As always your composition is without flaw . . . the arrangement of the visual elements always level me wishing I was there with you.

  23. Good Morning Dee,

    Thank you so much. After looking at your photography, I wish I could be along for a morning walk to catch one of your spectacular sunrises!