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Dispatch from a Clear Day
Kendra Atleework
9.28.20

When the smoke is too thick to do anything outdoors besides the bare essentials—when the garden’s getting weedy and I had to thrice-wash a load of towels because the ash began to settle while it hung on the line—it feels important to remember all the reasons I love my home.

I love my home because it is cradled between the White Mountains and the Sierra Nevada, so no matter which way I look, I know exactly where I am.

I love my home because chances are I know you—even beneath your mask I know you—and chances are I’ll see you at the post office, or at Manor Market, or at Dwayne’s.

I love when I can hear the rumble of something going on at the fairgrounds. I love when I can hear coyotes in the fields. I love when little green frogs hop across the dusty road alongside the canals and skunks dash boldly around my yard. I love when everyone trades produce in the summer and helps each other get firewood in winter. I love when seasons change; I love when seasons douse us with their essence, in their prime.

I love the deep shade of the lawn in front of the Bishop High School, even on the hottest days, where my friend Ranae and I sit and write with our pastries from Great Basin and our drinks from Looney Bean, where the flag on its pole clicks in the breeze—half mast again, seemingly all the time these days—and a couple walks their dog and a family plays hide and seek amongst the huge old trees.

I love a certain locals’ hiking trail, and seeing locals on it, and I love the hidden trail that picks up where that one leaves off and makes its journey to a certain lake. I love bushwhacking and getting a little lost and using a topo map to figure out which crags and peaks surround you, feeling your way, spotting the lake below you, a turquoise bowl; throwing your clothes off, jumping in screaming, sitting naked in the sun until you scare some out-of-town backpackers coming unsuspecting down the trail. I love eating snacks in the sun, covered in goosebumps, up here in this rock and stone world that feels so different as to be magic, so strange and vertical and with a quality of light that changes by the minute, from the clean cool of morning to the ticking afternoon to the slanting blue of early evening that fades again to cool. And I love the return to the valley, a warm bowl you sink back into, your car winding down 168, the last of the sun slipping over the top of the Whites, and back in town there’s sand and pebbles to shake from your shoes and Burger Barn or the brewery or Salsa’s, and then the exhausted sleep after a hike that was longer than you planned and involved some surprise cliffs and backtracking but that’s okay, everything’s okay after a day in the mountains. I love the cool air that begins flowing down, so that by midnight when you are long asleep and sore in your bed, showered and fed, over your quiet house the Milky Way is a great gossamer ribbon across the sky, the satellites small and steady, the stars blazing in their otherworldliness, following some private course, streaking here and there, subsuming one another, flickering out.

This morning I opened my window for the first time in weeks. And I smelled September, as I have known September since my first: the coolness of night warming out of the grass, off the asphalt; the summery smell of the fields and the canals, the tang of the first falling leaves, which have started to gather in my yard. I pulled my nose away from the screen and opened the rest of my windows and listened to the birds, which was thrilling, and listened to the neighbor’s lawnmower, which was also thrilling after weeks of living shrink-wrapped alone inside my house hearing nothing but the air filter.

The year is 2020, and thus I am overjoyed by the simple fact of the neighbor’s lawnmower and clean-ish air. I am reminded that I love my home. Reminded, after weeks of an eerie semi-dusk, and refreshing the AQI app until it crashes, and wincing on behalf of the mail carrier who makes his rounds on foot, masked, not for the virus but the smoke.

Let me remember this. Let me remember what it feels like to open my windows. To go freely into the high country. To hug my friends. To be in a place I know full of people.

Let me remember until I have it back. And then, let me remember what it feels like to lose. Let us never forget how we love all the things that make our home. Let us hold them so tightly, so gently, place them with such honor in our lives that we nightly pray to whatever we believe in: may we never go without them again.

 

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3 days ago

Wishing you and your littles a happy Friday and a wonderful weekend!! ❤️

#visitbishop
Photo by Betsy Forsyth
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Wishing you and your littles a happy Friday and a wonderful weekend!! ❤️

#visitbishop
Photo by Betsy Forsyth

Comment on Facebook

Always enjoyed fishing the canal.

We went a couple of years ago maybe 3 yrs ago what fun times we had there🤗

Love Bishop and the Sierras

So beautiful and amazing pictures thanks for sharing 🙂🙂❤❤

My favorite place 😍🤗

I think the big Brownies got a few of those

Put any campfire completely out!

Beautiful

That's so cute.

Love that canal

Beautiful

Thank you 😊

Sweet .

Be there soon

❤️😍

So many wonderful memories there!

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4 days ago

Last year... Please #RecreateResponsibly!!!Remember this from last year? The smoke was horrific, and most of the fires weren’t even right here. Please remind ANYONE that is going camping, be it here in Inyo County, or elsewhere, to PLEASE BE CAREFUL WITH FIRE!!

Earlier this week Mammoth Lakes Fire Department responded to TWO different fires that started because campfires were not extinguished properly (one was a dispersed camping fire, and the other was in an area where fires are prohibited)!! It is going to be a tough year with the dry conditions, so we need to act accordingly!! Extreme fire conditions already exist. If you make a fire, please do it in a campground where there are fire pits, and make sure it is COMPLETELY out.

Please #RecreateResponsibly !!!
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Last year... Please #RecreateResponsibly!!!

Comment on Facebook

We need to stop the lightening and get rid of the power lines. No more electricity 🥰

Just everybody use common sense. And don't forget to pick up after yourselves. Leave no trace. <3

It gripes my ass when people just don't care. It doesn't take rocket science to put out a camp fire and to know how dry it is and we have international signs where people around the world know what they mean even when they can't read. They have no heart or respect for life animal's or human. I pray we don't have a repeat of last year.

It was awful, be careful out there. Be mindful of nature.

Its sound like it will be a dry summer across the west.....be careful....barb

Beautiful

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5 days ago

If you are wondering what it's looking like up Big Pine Creek, here is a shot from a couple of days ago. It is the view up the South Fork of Big Pine Creek from the North Fork trail. Thank you to Alan Haight for this stunning shot!!

We welcome you to send your beautiful photos to us in Messenger, or on Facebook or Instagram make sure to tag us #VisitBishop! Thank you!

#visitbishop #RecreateResponsibly #mindfultraveler #bigpinecreek
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If you are wondering what its looking like up Big Pine Creek, here is a shot from a couple of days ago. It is the view up the South Fork of Big Pine Creek from the North Fork trail. Thank you to Alan Haight for this stunning shot!! 

We welcome you to send your beautiful photos to us in Messenger, or on Facebook or Instagram make sure to tag us #VisitBishop! Thank you! 

#visitbishop #RecreateResponsibly #mindfultraveler #bigpinecreek

Comment on Facebook

Gosh this is beautiful!

Some of the most rugged terrain I've ever seen is up that canyon! Truly an amazing part of the Sierras.

Have hiked in this region. So beautiful

I highly recommend visiting Bishop. So much to see and do. 🤠

My old stomping grounds!💕

I LOVE BISHOP! ❤

Love the picture

Went as far as june lake

Gorgeous!

Love it there!

Beautiful

Beautiful

Beautiful!🏔

Beautiful!

Nice

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6 days ago

It’s spring. Wildflowers are blooming, roads are opening, and more folks are traveling and camping. It’s dry out there. Please please, please be careful with anything that could start a wildfire!!! 🔥 This reminder is for locals and visitors alike. It’s going to take ALL of us to prevent wildfires in the months to come.

#inyocounty #RecreateResponsibly #wildfireprevention
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Comment on Facebook

This is so beautiful!

I love that area!!

So pretty. Wish I were there. <3

Gorgeous!

Beautiful

Beautiful photo!!!

Beautiful

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1 week ago

In case you didn't get the memo: Mule Days is a GO this year!

In concert with health officials, they are planning for a safe event that fans and spectators will remember for years to come. In compliance with State guidelines, mandatory restrictions and capacity limits will apply to arena seating, so be sure to call now to get your reservations. Some of the popular indoor events have been canceled due to these limits such as the Concert and Opening Night Supper. Sadly, the parade is also on hold until 2022. Good news, though... Mule Days IS happening this year and is going back to the roots where Mule Days is all about the mule!

To read more, or buy tickets, visit: muledays.org/2021/04/16/2020-vision-through-the-eyes-of-a-mule-take-2/

#visitbishop #muledays
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In case you didnt get the memo: Mule Days is a GO this year! 

In concert with health officials, they are planning for a safe event that fans and spectators will remember for years to come. In compliance with State guidelines, mandatory restrictions and capacity limits will apply to arena seating, so be sure to call now to get your reservations. Some of the popular indoor events have been canceled due to these limits such as the Concert and Opening Night Supper. Sadly, the parade is also on hold until 2022. Good news, though... Mule Days IS happening this year and is going back to the roots where Mule Days is all about the mule!

To read more, or buy tickets, visit: https://muledays.org/2021/04/16/2020-vision-through-the-eyes-of-a-mule-take-2/

#visitbishop #muledays

Comment on Facebook

Sounds like so much fun!

I HAVE NOT BEEN TO BISHOP FOR 30 YEARS AND I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO A VISIT THERE THIS YEAR. I WAS BORN THERE AND I MAY HAVE A 60TH CLASS REUNION THIS SUMMER. WAITING TO HEAR IF IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN .

Yeah!!! The most fun you can have and still be legal? Or something like that. Stay well.

Thank you for being safe...

We will be there been going there for years Love it

They just approved The Reno Rodeo to full capacity as of two weeks ago and I do believe that the parade will happen as well

I know its a town thing & not affiliated with MD's but any word on the Craft Fair in the Park

No parade outside? Well that’s California for ya! At least there will be an event.

Yep Mule days is coming. this event is when the people are put on show and the Mules get to work out. Mules get to show how smart they are and the people get to show (well we will let you finish this sentence). Come as see for yourself what it is like to be here.

So glad to hear that!!! Miss Bishop soooo much!

The "Mule Days" bumper sticker has worn off the back bumper of the trailer.

Better something than nothing. Sorry to miss it.

Anything happening for 4th of July?

No parade?

what about the arts and crafts at the city park? is that still on?

Perhaps they should give the finger to the very person who ignores the orders for his own pleasures!

Nick Chudilowsky

Whoo Hoo 👏

Becka Lynn Kelley

Awesome!

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