ON THE GROUND: We still rely on nature to come through when it comes to our favorite al fresco activities. We want the ball game not to get rained out and we want the ocean to not be too cold when we go surfing and we want fresh snow on our slopes as the holidays, and some vacation time, approaches. Nature has a way of coming through on so many things -- it can, being epic and grand and all -- and it has certainly come through on with lots of snow for one of SoCal's main play places. We're talking Bear Mountain, which will mark Thursday, Dec. 13 as the day that many inches of fresh snow fell. And what do we mean by "many inches"? Several, and enough to make a different. Three inches had fallen by morning, with up to nine expected. That's good stuff for up Bear Mountain. There happen to be some lodging and lift deals afoot in the area, too, so if you can match up the fresh snowfall with savings, you've won twice over.
Let us also add that the Bear Mountain hopes to have three lifts open as of Dec. 14.
OVER AT THE TRAM: Just a couple hours away from Big Bear, and up yet another mountain, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway marked a milestone: an inch of snow at Mountain Station, up the side of San Jacinto. It's yet another winter hallmark in our minds. Once the cold stuff arrives near the desert resorts (if not in them), then the season is here. Making it all the more seasonal is the fact that Santa will visit the tram on Saturday, Dec. 15.