One day in the latter part of the 1970′s, my brother-in-law and I decided to take a trip up to Big Bear’s, Snow Summit ski resort in the San Bernardino, California mountains. We headed out before daybreak in my brother-in-law’s screaming yellow Pinto in hopes of beating the Los Angeles traffic, also so we could get in as much skiing time as possible. The drive up the mountain was uneventful, meaning we didn’t have to put on chains.
When we finally reached the resort area, we were driving around looking for a parking space, I believe the parking lot was full, so we resorted to looking for spots in and around the adjacent neighborhood. We found a spot not too far from the ski resort. It looked as though the snow plows had just plowed all the snow off the roads. We had parked next to a wall of snow that was left behind from the snow plow. We grabbed our gear from the car and headed towards the mountain.
My brother-in-law and I were both beginner to intermediate skiers and we took the lift up to the top of the mountain. As we were skiing down, we detoured off the main run to a smaller trail to do a little exploration. Well we found out very shortly where that trail ended. We saw a sign with a black diamond on it, which means advanced run. The trail ended into what can be best described as a culdesac. Actually, the trail didn’t exactly end, the culdesac area was just a resting place so you could stop to say your prayers before you continued down the steep slope on the other side. We both looked over the edge, we looked at each other, I’m sure we made some sort of remarks at that point too. We thought about going back the way we came, but the trail was too narrow and too long for us to side step all the way back up.
Well after a little resting and a little praying, we went down the slope which was riddled with moguls, I tried going around them, I tried going over them, I tried staying upright, that was my ultimate goal. We eventually made it down the mountain in one piece and ready for more…easier runs.
We were tired after our day of skiing, so we took off our skis and boots and headed back to the car. When we got to the spot where we had parked the car, we saw that it was no longer there. The first thing that came to mind was the car was stolen.
We decided we better call the police to see if they could help us, so we walked across the intersection to the nearest house, knocked on the door and to our surprise, it was Sylvester Stallone in the flesh, what are the chances of that! We heard yelling from some people on the other side of the street yelling, “YO ROCKY!”
Anyway, after our initial surprise, we told him our situation and he graciously offered to give us a ride to the nearest gas station in town so we could make some phone calls. Sylvester, his lady friend (not sure who it was), my brother-in-law and I walked to his car and got in. This totally blew me away that he would do this for us, anyway, we eventually reached our destination and he dropped us off, we thanked him profusely and he went on his way.
We got our car back and we learned something that day too: If you see an open parking spot next to a wall of snow, make sure that it’s not hiding a driveway to someone’s house.
It was a great day on the mountain!