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.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
FACT OR FOLKLORE?

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.

Belize it or Not!

     Exciting & Eco-friendly Adventures in Belize

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Located in the very heart of Central America, this hidden gem of the Caribbean offers an unspoiled encounter for beach-chillers and thrill-seekers alike. Whether you’re backpacking solo or on a family vacation, Belize has a plethora of hot spots to whet your appetite.

photo:uwphotographyguide.com

Second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the Belize Barrier Reef provides world-class diving and snorkeling opportunities. From the novice to the most seasoned diver, one can explore three of the four Atolls to be found in the Western Hemisphere. Both the Turneffe Atoll and the Lighthouse Reef Atoll are conveniently accessible for your diving pleasure, as is the famous Blue Hole.

Vacation on a Live-Aboard boat or have a posh experience at the Turneffe Island Resort, where the beaches are glorious and the reputation for service impeccable. Either way, you have diving at your doorstep!

Crystal clear and 80 degrees, the water in Belize is calling to you. For those who would rather ride the waves rather than dive deep, Slickrock Adventures has your back…and your board!  Literally an “Island Unto Itself”, they boast that Long Caye enjoys the only surf break in Belize that is both accessible and safe (not breaking over live coral).”  Paddle boarding, Kayak & Windsurfing, you name it, this place rocks it. Slickrock is also the only venture to offer full-on kayak & rafting tours of the underground Caves Branch River.

For those primal souls with a global conscience, who find themselves wildly attracted to the thought of truly connecting with Nature; Belize can put a whole new spin on being infected with Jungle Fever. If exploring the Belizean Rainforest safely & to your heart’s content, while being certain of leaving a minimal carbon footprint, I’ve heard a stay at CHAA CREEK Resort is mandatory. They provide a wide range of authentically Eco-friendly accommodations and Adventure Travel Tours galore – you’ll have to go back several times before running out of things to do!

Well before the catch-phrases “go green”, “eco-friendly” & “sustainable tourism” were hatched, Mick and Lucy Fleming were striving to ‘co-exist with nature’. They opened Chaa Creek back in 1981 focused on ‘sensitive construction and creative recycling’. What began as a couple of cottages to accommodate visiting travellers has grown into a 365 acre private nature reserve.

   Backpackers can have an affordable posh-tent-like experience staying in one of the Camp Casitas, where “Every effort has been made to create a true jungle experience without relinquishing comfort and safety… at the Macal River Camp you can experience nature much as the original Maya inhabitants or early settlers did – with little of the distraction or noises of civilisation. It is a tranquil, peaceful location that brings home the beauty and vibrant life of Belize’s rainforest and rivers.” 

    If travelling with the Family or even if it just takes a little more four-star fancy to turn you on, there are Garden Jacuzzi Suites and palm thatched cottages furnished with a tasteful, casually elegant mix of hand crafted furniture, fine fabrics and local and international art, all designed to blend in with the exquisite rainforest surroundings and local culture.”      Perhaps best of all,  you can recapture the days of a Tree-house Summer by combining the best of both worlds, with Attitude and Altitude! Chaa Creek’s Treetop Suites are “Perched high atop the meandering Macal RiverThese “…large airy suites provide a one-of-a-kind Rainforest Experience in Belize’s verdant Western Cayo District. You’ll share a birds’ eye panoramic view with toucans, parrots, kingfishers and many other colourful avian species.Count me IN.

  

With an eco-system as diverse as it is lush, the possibilities for exploration are seemingly endless. Take a guided Birding tour. Go horseback riding or mountain biking on the well maintained trails or drift lazily down the Macal River in a canoe. Listen to the monkeys as you enjoy a hot stone massage or stimulate your intellect and experience the architecture and history of the ancient Mayan Temples of Xunantunich and Tikal.

Visit the Butterfly Farm, Natural History Center or take the Medicinal Plant trail, learning about healing & culture. You can even take a Helicopter Tour and get an eagle’s eye view of the magical Rainforest, glorious waterfalls and lagoons, & the Caves Branch River. Like I said, the possibilities are endless , and hooking it up with Chaa Creek gives you access to it all as well as affording you the benefit of responsible tourism… ensuring that the landscape is there to enjoy for generations to come.

Anyway – this is just my two cents – some places I totally intend to hit when I go through Belize this fall on my way to Guatemala. I’d love to hear any stories from readers about your adventures through Belize too!! If there is a place that one travelling through MUST NOT MISS… let me know!

peace, L

Gratitude For Movement – Week Three

GRATITUDE FOR MOVEMENT – Final Week!

Getting back in shape automatically admits the horror that you’ve allowed yourself to get out of shape. No tears or whining allowed now, just aggressive determination to change that horror into an inspiration of success! Instead of focusing  on what you may not be able to do, focus on being grateful for what you CAN DO!

This is our final week of focusing solely on that Gratitude for Movement. Being able to walk or jog or hike or bike. Being grateful for our limbs and breath and shoes…

Rather than get into what the next phase will be, I really, really want to enjoy being immersed in this gratitude for movement. It’s a good place. Instead of focusing on how fast or far or intense each workout is, we are to be focused on “thank you” that I can make it this far, at this pace – “thank you” that I’m moving forward and not backward.

THE HEALTH & FITNESS SCALE IS IN CONSTANT MOTION

There is no stagnation with our health & fitness. Not really. There may be what some call “maintainance”, but in order to maintain any level of fitness, we must constantly be changing what we are doing in some way – causing muscle confusion – to keep from what is referred to is a plateau. We are, in a very real sense, either moving forward (toward our goals) or backward (further away from our goals). During this phase, just moving for at 30 minutes, at least 3 days each week, is our goal. So every minute you walk or ride the elliptical or dance, is a minute spent moving forward to your goal of a healthier and happier you. Every glass of clean water you drink (I see pure water as God’s Sweet Nectar), is a glass taking you forward to healthier, hydrated skin, increased cellular productivity, moisturized joints, and increased metabolism & energy!

"Celebration" by Keith Mallet

 

So, I plan on enjoying this final week of celebrating and being grateful for my ability to move! Forward or backward is up to me.

Isaiah 40:31
“but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.” (NIV)

Please leave your comments on the Gratitude For Movement: Beginning Workouts PAGE. Thanks!!

AuthenChic Discovery…

 Where ever your travels take you, if snow is available, and you’re into snowboarding or skiing, you will (hopefully) make your way to the slopes. Having already hit that myself, it was time for #2 on the list of “things to do” in Big Bear. On that list is visiting the Big Bear Discovery Center (BBDC). Although it wasn’t tremendously ‘adventurous’ in and of itself, it was informative! 

  

The eco-friendliest way to arrive at BBDC is to hit the Alpine Pedal Path that parallels the lake off the Stanfield Cutoff. At the 1.5mi marker there is an option to head off and up on another trail which leads to the Discovery Center, as well as a grip of other trails (which I will share with you later). From the marker, it was a .7 mi paved hike to the DC, where we checked out the ‘stuffed animals’ (see below), and got some information brochures on all the available ‘things to do’.

 

 

view from BBDC

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Personally, I am not a fan of taxidermy, it makes me sad. However, I can’t imagine the lay person, no matter how adventurous, often has the opportunity to see animals such as the bobcat, brown (or black) bear, etc. as up close & personal as one can because of this particular ‘art’ form.

  
 
 
 
 Along with viewing the prevalent wildlife species, the BBDC also has a plethora of 411 on the countless hiking, biking, and equestrian trails that are accessible from this California Mountain Town. For even the remotely ‘fit’ person (we passed a couple toting a stroller with a baby girl and tag-along three-year-old son), the 2.2mi trek to the center is as easy as pie. One of the most famous trails you can hit from this point is the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
THE PCT runs from Canada to Mexico, and every year hundreds of brave souls trek either part of or the entire route – a whopping 2,650 miles (4,260 km) –  having necessities shipped to rest stops (like Big Bear) along the journey. This is one AuthenChic Adventure I have definitely put on my “bucket list”. 😉

 

   Photo courtesy sunset.com                                                           
                               
 
 
 
 
 For the fellow conservationists out there, just a cool FYI – part of the proceeds generated from the BBDC Gift Shop go to help the San Bernardino National Forest Association, so you know that any souvenirs you pick up for friends, family or yourself will be a gift that keeps on giving! There are plenty of educational and volunteer opportunities available, no matter what your Stay Green interests.   

 
   
       
 
If anyone who reads this has actually been ON the PCT, I’d love to hear about it!

Peace, L
 
©AuthenChic Adventures | 2011