Tag: Off the Beaten Path

Warrior Hike Comes to Big Bear

Big Bear, CA, May 2, 2015 – In 2012, two veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars decided to hike the Appalachian Trail. Their mission: to raise money by holding fundraisers and collecting donations at VFW Posts in trail towns along the way. By the time their hike ended in Maine, they had stopped at nearly 40 Posts and raised $48,500 which was all donated toward adaptive vehicles for amputee vets. Astounded by the therapeutic results they experienced, they came to believe the hike could offer veterans diagnosed with PTSD the same benefit and so they created the Warrior Hike Program to literally ‘walk off the war’. In 2013, Warrior Hike sponsored 14 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who hiked the trail. Sean Gobin, who runs the program stated, “The process of hiking eight hours a day for six months forces you to think and reflect. The hikers watched each other process their own experiences and helped each other along the way. They witnessed a change in themselves and each other.” Last spring 4 hikers took on the 2,650 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail which included a stop in Big Bear. This year 6 Warriors will be making the hike from Mexico to Canada. Every VFW Post they visit offers immense support, providing the veterans much needed rest as well as home cooked meals and clean sheets. But more...

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Winter Sports in the San Bernardino Mountains

Big Bear Valley, CA, November 29, 2014 – In 1925, Walter Kruckman ran a bus line which serviced the San Bernardino Mountains. The Motor Transit Company had a franchise to the mountains which required them to operate a year-round bus service, even though they traveled empty in the winter months. Kruckman came up with the idea of developing public interest in snow sports to fill his empty buses during the winter season. He helped form the Southern California Winter Sports League and took the position of publicity director. Kruckman promoted winter sports with 15 minute radio spots detailing road and snow conditions, and attracted Norway’s ski champion, Sven Hansen, to donate his time as Big Bear’s first ski instructor. In the early 30s, the Viking Ski Club of Los Angeles provided instruction and began holding competitive, winter sports events in Big Bear. Downhill skiing was gaining in popularity and the historic Lynn Sling Lift opened in Big Bear in 1938 at the Snow Forest Ski Resort. After World War II, owner Clifford Lynn built a 3000 foot single chair lift. During the 40s and early 50s several small rope tows were constructed, including an Upper and Lower Moonridge Rope Tow, located where the base of Bear Mountain Ski Area is today. In 1947, Tommy Tyndall arrived in Big Bear and started ski schools at several of the ski areas....

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Fox Farming in Big Bear

Big Bear Valley, CA, November 8, 2014 – In the long history of the Big Bear Valley starting with the gold rush days of the 1860s, fox farming was certainly one of the more unique enterprises. Raising foxes for their beautiful furs dates from the 1890s when a consistent strain of valuable silver foxes was developed from the common red fox. Demand for fur was high at that time and profits were quite large, so many in the northern areas of the country became fox ranchers. This included the very successful R. T. Moore of Maine. He heard about the climate in Big Bear and realized it was ideal for raising foxes. Cool summer nights and cold winters are perfect conditions for the industry and the high altitude and dry air eliminated many internal and external pests. In the 1920s, Moore purchased 84 acres east of Pine Knot, which he named the Borestone Ranch, and quickly built extensive pens and kennels. Today, the site of the original ranch is bordered by Fox Farm Rd., Teakwood Dr., Crater Lake Rd., and the rocky hills to the north. The pen-raised silver foxes required diligent care and feeding. A fine pelt could command as much as $1,100 in those days, but it was the sale of breeding stock that was the primary objective of fox farming in the early years because it...

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Weather in the Big Bear Valley

Big Bear, CA, Sept. 27, 2014 – According to the National Weather Service, the warmest month in Big Bear is July, with a daily average temperature of 65 degrees. The coolest month is January, with a daily average temperature of 34 degrees. There are an average of 2 days each year with highs over 90 degrees with the highest temperature ever recorded being 94 degrees on July 15, 1998, while the lowest ever recorded was -25 degrees on January 29, 1979. Freezing temperatures have occurred in every month, on an average of 186 days each year. Due to the elevation of the weather station, precipitation is greater than in the San Bernardino lowlands, averaging just over 21 inches of rain per year. The maximum 24 hour rainfall was 9.5 inches on December 6, 1966. Measurable rainfall normally occurs 45 days per year with mountain thunderstorms occasionally producing heavy rainfall, even in midsummer. Big Bear’s climate is considered ‘Warm-summer Mediterranean’. The Big Bear Valley normally receives significant winter snow because of it high elevation. Snowfall, at lake level, averages 72 inches per season with upwards of 100 inches accumulating on the ridges above 8000 feet. The most snow in 24 hours was 27 inches on March 27, 1991 with the greatest depth of snow being 58 inches on February 3, 1979. There are normally 18 days per year with measurable...

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Holloway’s Celebrates 100 Years in Big Bear

Big Bear Lake, CA, September 20, 2014 – Big Bear Lake offers the opportunity for every imaginable water sport activity, from quiet kayak outings to high-adrenaline wakeboarding. And one of the busiest hubs for watercraft is Holloway’s Marina, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. It started with a nurseryman from Corona. Charles Holloway loved to fish, so in 1914, he hauled boat parts up the old Clark Grade to assemble them in Big Bear Lake, and he was approached by someone wanting to rent it before he even got it in the water. Charles knew he was onto something. He built a camp with 16 cabins, 30 rental boats, a general store and a barbershop. In 1930, his daughter Frances moved up to help run the business. In 1939, a Holloway’s employee named Homer bought the landing and married Frances a year later. He became a director for the Chamber of Commerce and the wastewater agency. Charles retired to a stone house in Lucerne Valley that still stands today. In 1971, two couples — Marge and Don Hafen and Betty (Marge’s sister) and Bruce Turner — bought the property from the Moores, ending a 57-year era. The Hafen/Turner family expanded the business a few years later with the purchase of three additional acres of land. Loren Hafen currently runs the family business with his brother and cousins, and says the...

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