Big Bear Forest Fest is an event put on by the IE4W (The Inland Empire 4 Wheelrs), with base camp at the Snow Valley Mountain Resort. It consists of a weekend of scheduled trail runs and special events. IE4W members lead trails on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Saturday features a vendor show and a BBQ tri-tip dinner. Vendors support one of the largest raffles in So Cal, featuring over $50,000 in prizes.
Forest Fest is a non-profit event. The funds raised are used to donate to various land use efforts. In a nutshell, our trails are in constant threat of closure. IE4W wants to fight to keep them open. This event allows IE4W to raise funds that are used to donate to land use organizations that help keep our trails open and free. IE4W also use the funds to donate to local charities and the club has created two college scholarships. Someone was overheard saying, “Why should I pay to go to your event and pay to go on public trails?” The answer, “To keep them open silly?”
Big Bear is just a short drive from Poway, so this trip was a nice easy breezy trek to the mountain for us to relax and soak up the cooler air at 6000 feet, escaping the heatwave in San Diego. This was the perfect little getaway, camping out with the motorhome, bumping into friends, and being lead on a trail run Saturday. We chose Pilot Rock Trail 2N17X, one of the black “tough” rated trails, although it was mostly hilly dirt rutted trail with some obstacles here and there. Of course we had options to spice it up a bit and add some challenge by taking harder lines, just to keep it interesting.
Overall it was nice to have a simple trail that circled Lake Silverwood, running along ridges overlooking the high-desert, peering down the valley and getting a glimpse of a huge section of the San Andreas Fault pushed up Earth. Had a blast hooking up with Mike Treadwell, where he always seems to pick some funky lines through rocks and challenging climbs, and of course I’m always game to head through the same line!
Once back off the trail and back to the Snow Valley base camp, we were treated to a vendor show showcasing awesome products, including a “Tembo Tusk Skottle” that I just had to have! Such a great Fathers Day gift from me to me, and will be a great addition in the Jeep or MoHo for firing up some yummy grub. We met our good budies Al Martinez, Audrey Byrd, Dennis & Vicky Gowey, Tim Pellegrino, and more. Raffle prizes galore, and food food food; these guys know how to host a meal! BBQ try-tip cow, grilled chicken, an amazing BBQ’d baked bean dish, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Plus, enough for anyone to scarf seconds! Mmmmmmm….
It was tough to come down from the mountain with mild temps in the 70-80º range to the So Cal heatwave smacking San Diego with 110º+, and work on Monday. Oh the struggle!
Below are some small-sized sample images, and to see the entire gallery of hi-resolution original photos, you can simply follow this link or click the Shopping link below. The links bring you to the SmugMug page with many options to easily purchase prints, wall art, framed images, photo books, keep-sakes, and more. If it is a password protected gallery and you do not have access, please contact me so I know you are part of the event!