Quiet as a mouse?

Above: One of the snaps from Fredalba from a public photo album courtesy of Rim of the World dot net.

I don’t have the heart to post any more of the pictures from the recent Slide Wildfire or Grass Valley Wildfire but there is a public photo gallery posted here.

As of last night the Grass Valley Wildfire containment was reported at 95% and the Slide Wildfire containmentwas reported as 85% containment. Across the state a pretty good handle on many of the fires is now reality.

Yesterday at Noon the mandatory evacuation order for the communities of Twin Peaks, Rim Forest, Blue Jay, Agua Fria, Deer Lodge Park, Sky Forest, Cedar Glen and the majority of Lake Arrowhead was reduced to voluntary evacuation effective at Noon.

I don’t have any other updates for you since last night at this time but the news is a good change.

Here in the Big Bear Valley, town was quiet. Since many of our visitors come up from San Diego and Orange County the fires have impacted the area economically as well. It doesn’t help that some conflicting information was being disseminated by officials down the hill.

I’ve had a few people share that they were told Big Bear was not accessible due to the fires. Any time we face a natural disaster this is a risk. I find this area is vulnerable to such events in ways that other communities off the hill aren’t.

I am wondering how the other mountain communities will fare in the aftermath of the fires as they recover from the damage. It is a sad, sad, situation but the upside is that it could have been worse and that most people escaped with their lives and their loved ones.

Moon Camp
After all my years in Big Bear, I tend to avoid public meetings based on my experiences with all the hot air and emotions but you can read about the Moon Camp meeting at the Grizzly.

In my opinion, one of the shortcomings of the entire valley is the lack of a identity. We took a drive yesterday and looked at all the empty buildings on the main drag. There is prime real estate on the frontage with buildings that look like they are falling apart. There are tons of franchises and other businesses that have pushed many of the mom and pop businesses out…what is missing is the identity. The charm of a quaint mountain resort pops its head up here and there but it is getting lost.

Personally, I live in Fawnskin because I don’t want to live someplace that is like every other community down the hill. The valley doesn’t look like the vacation resort it did many years ago. I know that progress needs to happen at some level but I can’t help but think about how hodge podge the whole area seems.

The thing I don’t like about the developments happening in the valley is that they sell to people who usually don’t live here and after a while quit visiting. I think the average flip is about two years or so. The issue is that the down-the-hill mentality comes up with them–and I have to ask, just how much do they support the economy and community?

People want to buy or build here because they enjoy the area but the development is changing it and making it just like anywhere else.

I also have to ask, how about those people whose property values are diminished when their views are cut off by a neighbor who is building a multi story home? I hear that this is a consideration in some other communities.

Where are the more reasonable size homes? Just how much space do you really need when you don’t have a big family and aren’t in the home very much? My neighbor couldn’t get their architect to construct a home the size they wanted and with all the other hurdles around this county just bought a new custom home down in the desert.

I remember when the Castle Glen area was eagle habitat and wasn’t supposed to be built up. It makes me sad to hear the people moving up complaining about the dirt, pine sap, insects, etc. One even said she would pave over her backyard if she could–ugh! Why did they move here?

Today, we have multiple traffic lights and it takes forever (okay, 20 minutes SEEMS like forever) to get across town…

I guess I’ll quit my rant now but I am wondering what needs to change to stabalize Big Bear economically, keep the attractive quality of the “mountain resort” area, and still allow progress.

If you know a solution post it the comments, will ya?

Quiet as a mouse?
I always know when my neighbors have feed the birds since it attracts mice–and for some reason they like to get between the ceiling of my dwelling and the floor to the upstairs. I quit feeding the birds as an experiment and found that removing the food source kept the mice away until my neighbors came up recently.

The mice (or rats) are not quiet…they sound like elephants running back and forth all night long. Geez-uhs!

I think they are having races. They are not chewing at the moment because that also echoes.

We’ve tried a variety of techniques. Now I have this nifty super ultrasonic device in the kitchen between the light panels and the ceiling BUT they have moved to the living room where I don’t think I will be able to get something in between the floor and ceiling–I don’t think the device is good at penetrating the space.

Anyway, I am supposed to give the device 2-4 weeks but if it doesn’t work I’ll have to look harder at another option or go back to the ear plugs I use for particular noisy times. I enjoy living near a wilderness area and the mice are just another one of those things that come with it.

Outside many of the plants and trees have turned to a golden brown. Fall is here despite the warm weather that we were out in yesterday. Honestly, it was hot! I can’t remember a time this late in October when I could go out in a t-shirt. Even last night was fairly warm.

Boy were local businesses were happy to see us. There were no waits in any of the restaurants and the movie theater was pretty empty as Big Bear has hit that dreaded “in between” lull.

When I say dreaded, I mean for businesses because many locals like the quiet time. Today there is not a big buzz yet and I can hear the waterfowl chortling on the bay. ..

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