PCH Chronicles: Through My Looking Glass

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In the first ‘chapter‘ of the PCH Chronicles, I shared the utter helpless navigation “rabbit holes” and BLISS of my barefoot experience driving from the Mountains of Big Bear to the Oxnard coast in California. It would have been nearly impossible to disappoint … Continue reading

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PCH Chronicles: The Hearst Castle & some sick Coastal Views

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(Estimated Reading Time – 1min30sec) THE PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY – *** Notes prints which are available in Limited Edition ACEO – some can be ordered larger and/or as Original Acrylic on Canvas. Click HERE for information on ordering. All proceeds go toward helping … Continue reading

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Sweet Dreams are made of This… (PCH Act II)

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A DREAM COME TRUE! Right before The Epiphany, I had already planned a road trip to Portland. It would take me (& whoever joined me) along the Pacific Coast Highway. Beginning near the Los Angeles area & driving up thru the … Continue reading

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The Eye of God…

Like most (if not all) of our ‘unwritten’ US History, the Eye of God was originally named by the Native Americans. The Serrano Indians to be precise. It is said that over 2,000 years ago, it was a “complete dome of exquisite quartz, and the Serrano Indians believed that this rock was actually God’s eye.”

It is said that “They took comfort in knowing His watchful gaze looked out at them as they went about their daily lives in the valley.” And, “today, the ancestors of the Serrano Indians still think of this place as sacred.”


When I looked at one of the pictures I took, and witnessed the hovering glow of additional vertical mass that somehow showed up (camera of course), it gave me the chills.


The Folklore

During our trek to the site, my friend told me a ‘story’ about a terrible battle that took place over this land. The Serrano Indians wanting to protect the Sacred spot, and Miners wanting (of course) to procure the White Quartz for profit. “This dome was originally over eight hundred feet high!” she declares, with such conviction it makes it difficult to doubt the authenticity of her words. “Hundreds & hundreds of the Serranos were murdered in a horrific battle. The miners won of course, blew it up & chopped it all down. This is all that is left.” According to my dear friend, that would make the Eye of God originally about 80 stories high… only 30 stories short of the Twin Towers. Hmmm. Here is where I’m guessing a little ‘folklore’ comes in. Now, I’m not doing my dissertation on this, so my ‘research’ about this sacred site has been limited to the internet – but I did not find a solitary hit to back up this claim of such massive proportions. Not even one saying it was originally 80 feet high (which seems more realistic). However, the story was engaging – and our US History has truthfully been largely embellished to make us look like the good guys… which is untrue. But that’s a whole different topic. Completely.


The fact

In truth, the Eye of God is a relatively small, albeit beautiful & peaceful spot – and definitely worth seeing. Even the drive there on the 38 thru Big Bear City and Shay Road into the Baldwin Lake area is breathtaking. It’s like getting a great big, warm hug. Unlike the Big Bear Lake area, which is gorgeous in a completely different way, Baldwin Lake holds a more “Little House on the Prairie” feel. Very serene. The dirt road heading to the Eye can be a tad sketchy in places, although I never needed to throw my Land Rover into 4WD; you definitely want some clearance, so a truck is highly recommended in my opinion. We pretty much drove right up to the Eye, though I’m certain there are a multitude of hiking trails to the spot as well. For specific driving directions click here.

As my time in here gorgeous Big Bear comes to a close, I find myself in a hurry to explore several more spots, including Peace Rock (which is in the same area as the Eye of God), the Big Bear Queen Lake Tour, do a little zip-lining, and of course I still need to put in a few hours on the Pacific Crest Trail. So, stay tuned for more fun things to do here on Bear Mountain! I’m heading toward the Coast tomorrow, God willing, to visit some friends in Oxnard & San Jose, and will hopefully be taking the PCH if time allows – keep your fingers crossed! I’m sure it’s a magical drive… and I am in dire need of some OCEAN BEACH.

Team Big Bear celebrates 25 years!


This past weekend, I spent a sunny, seven hour day, witnessing both élite pro-athletes and families alike ‘strutting’ their wheels in Team Big Bear’s Conquer the Bear & the Kenda Cup West/US Cup Mountain Bike Series. Considering itself the “Birthplace of Mountain Bike Racing”, Big Bear Lake has it going on. One local hero, Tom Spiegel helped pioneer Southern California’s novice and pro MTN bike races starting back in 1985.

(c) 2011 Authenchic Pics

Although a former triathlon junkie, once Spiegel tasted the freedom and thrill of Mountain Biking, he was hooked; and Team Big Bear was born. Twenty-five years later, boasting an average turn-out of over 400 racers per event, the XC, Endurance & ‘Super D’ Mountain Bike scene in Big Bear Lake is truly Epic!

 Now home to both the Kenda Cup West and US Cup Race Series, even novice riders can find themselves avoiding death-cookies as they navigate single-track courses alongside the likes of Olympic and Elite Pro Riders such as Tinker Juarez, Todd Wells, and Georgia Gould.

TINKER JUAREZ (c) 2011 Authenchic Pics

(c) 2011 Authenchic Pics

Random shots

(c) 2011 Authenchic Pics

One of the beauties of Mountain Bike racing is that the Family (including the kiddos!) has the opportunity to ride the same course as the Pros! (Albeit without the competitive speed and technical prowess.)

(c) 2011 Authenchic Pics

A Racer contemplating his finish…. I wish I could have talked to him but things were insane

If you’re into XC Mountain Biking (or ANY kind of Off-Road sport), Big Bear is a sweet place to test your skills, and hook up with a community of riders from all over the world. This area offers such beautiful and challenging rides; it seems a shame that anyone who enjoys XC biking would miss out on its glorious and bountiful landscape.

I met all sorts of folks enjoying the race…. here are some fellow Big Bear “riders” of sorts watching the action; including a few “Super D” racers warming up for the next event…

(c) 2011 Authenchic Pics

Super D

So, whether you’re catchin’ air (and most likely some face plants) as a downhill rider, or just into some challenging and beautiful track, Big Bear has a plethora of terrain to explore. If this didn’t wet your dust enough to plan a trip up here, I will be posting about my own Big Bear mountain biking adventures very soon….

ૌ  Authenchically Yours, Lisa