Monday, March 07, 2011

Snow Day in the Slowly Reborn Angeles National Forest

Sunday afternoon up in the mountains, north of L.A.

We almost didn't make it up into the mountains for our annual snow play. But thanks to the recent rains, which dumped more of the good stuff last week, there was still plenty of snow waiting for us as we made the hour-long journey up past Newcomb's Ranch restaurant and Mt. Waterman.

It was the perfect weekend to travel up to the snow, given the warm temps (which is rapidly melting the white stuff). And yet, it wasn't crowded at all up in the mountains, other than a rather busy Mt. Waterman. We grabbed lunch at Newcomb's Ranch, which was busy -- but by no means packed. (We also drove by a film shoot for "Law & Order: Los Angeles" at the start of the drive, just outside of Sunland.)

Meanwhile, two years after the devastating Station Fire, I'm happy to see a bit more green on the mountains (thanks to all those rains) and even pine needles returning to some charred trees. But sadly, too much of the forest continues to look like a lunar landscape. Nonetheless, the highway signs are now new, and contruction on replacements for the burned-out structures is well underway. And TreePeople is hard at work restoring the forest's tree count.

The boys, of course, enjoyed playing in the snow -- although Blogger Toddler 2.0 wasn't quite sure what to make of it at first.

The trip to the snow is quick, but it used to be quicker -- back when the Angeles Crest Highway (the 2) was open above La Canada Flintridge. The highway hasn't been open since the Station Fire, and the businesses in the forest are getting restless. Fewer folks bother to take the longer route from Sunland (which is what we did).

More pics:

One of these days we'll buy an actual sled. But yes, that's our low-rent alternative: plastic tub covers.

Lunch at Newcomb's Ranch.

Skiing at Mt. Waterman.

Bridge near the start of the drive.

Out of charred remains, new life emerges...

... yet the landscape is still scarred and pretty desolate, post-fire.

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