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Bishop Visitor's Center

Dear Eastern Sierra community,

These past months have been rough. We’ve been separated from the people and activities we love. Our economy has tanked, our businesses damaged, or social fabric torn. We live in fear for our own lives, the lives of our loved ones, and the wellbeing of our healthcare professionals and essential workers. It’s not over—the future feels weird and uncertain and scary. A lot of us have different ideas about the best ways to move forward, and no one has the answers. I certainly don’t have them, but I have been extremely heartened by quite a few things in these dark days, especially the feeling of the community within Inyo County pulling together, despite our differences. A little cliché, but in our little towns, we really are in it together, as sidewalk chalk and signs all over Bishop will remind us—even sun visors in cars declare that together, Bishop is strong! In the wake of natural disasters, communities with the strongest internal ties often recover the fastest—it’s the folks who know their neighbors and have figured out how to get along, who are the most likely to survive adversity. We survive, or we perish, together. I offer here a simple and anonymous list submitted to me by members of this small town community: just a few of the ways in which people have come together.

The staff and volunteers at Inyo-Mono Association for the Handicapped (IMAH) has gone to great lengths to help adults with disabilities deal with quarantine. One community member reported that IMAH called several times a week to check on a family member in need of help. They made weekly packets of stimulating projects and distributed them to homes of clients to help keep everyone engaged. They even live-streamed cooking sessions. One client had a birthday and IMAH staff drove to that person’s home, got out of their cars, and sang to her from the street.

Several women spent hours making thousands of fabric masks, donating those masks to hospitals and care centers and anyone in need. One of these kind volunteers made the Facebook group Eastern Sierra Mask Makers to coordinate mask-making and donations.

A community member organized the “Adopt a Senior” program to keep our seniors connected during these lonely times.

A successful Bishop Eastern Egg Hunt was held despite the pandemic, organized by kind community parent volunteers.

The staff at the school district painted messages of love and solidarity on the streets, made deliveries to seniors, and drove all over the valley to collect homework and deliver lunches to kids. Many volunteers helped pack up these lunches.

Folks, you flooded volunteer opportunities to capacity! Several community members report signing up to help out with projects and being told there was a waiting list of volunteers!

One dedicated community member has been picking up trash all over our trails. This person lives in a vehicle and was thrilled when a stranger dropped off a pizza dinner, firewood, toilet paper (!), paper towels, and extra surprises. This act of kindness resulted in a new friendship. Another stranger loaned a battery bank. Another gave kindling. Another showed up (twice!) with a ladder to help clean up the vehicle’s solar panels. Yet another stranger brought a delicious meal (including chocolate covered cranberries, French bread, a bottle of wine, and homemade lasagna—“the most beautiful meal I had had in a million years,” says the recipient). Multiple people offered places for this community member to park while waiting for Forest Service campgrounds to open back up. This list goes on and on, representing an overwhelming wave of support and love this person has witnessed in our community.

A fellow in Mammoth has been delivering challah to local Jewish folks, reminding them that there is a Jewish community that loves and cares for them.

Others in town have been shopping for high risk friends and neighbors, as well as making weekly trips to the post office and the grocery store.

A new Little Free Library was set up in the parking lot of the Lower Rock Creek hiker/biker trail and in only a few days became very popular, with lots of people taking books and donating. (As for the little libraries in Bishop: canned goods and supplies appeared inside of them during the early days of food panic and empty grocery shelves.)

A local soap company donated hand sanitizers and soap to neighbors and folks at the Paiute Palace gas station.

One community member, who works at the hospital, tells a story of working long hours while also moving out of her apartment. When she locked her keys in her apartment, a local locksmith unlocked her door for free while she was at work so she didn’t have to leave the hospital—much appreciated by an exhausted healthcare worker.

A community member in Big Pine made a post on Facebook rallying volunteers and received dozens and promptly received dozens and dozens of responses offering help.

Volunteers with Inyo Mono Advocates for Community Action (IMACA) are making food deliveries all over the Eastern Sierra so no one goes hungry during a hard time and vulnerable folks can stay home.

Another community member assisted the Bishop Paiute Tribe Food Sovereignty Program by fundraising through the organization Indigenous Women Hike. This helped the program acquire seeds, which were distributed via mail and home delivery, helping folks start their gardens as far as Coleville and Pyramid Lake. (Anyone who tried to buy seeds this year knows how difficult it was and how great a service this must have been!)

A local restaurant employee shared a story of help from a regular customer, who learned that the restaurant shut down due to the pandemic. The customer reached out to the restaurant staff and made generous financial gifts to employees.

Here’s a touching story from a local couple, both of whom are RNs at the hospital. These folks have four young children and have a carefully built schedule so both parents can work and still spend time with the kids. Covid shattered all of that, and these parents were struggling. But the community stepped up. Hot dinners arrived every night, as well as activities and treats for kids in the mailbox—even gift cards, flowers, a gift of 40 beautiful handmade cloth masks, and hand lotion for the dry cracked hands nurses are experiencing now. This nurse shared that the months of the Covid shutdown were the hardest in her life—it was help from friends and strangers that kept her on her feet through the darkest times.

Thanks, folks. It’s not over yet but examples like these (there are so many more) make it all seem a little bit better.

##

RELATED ARTICLE:

Thanks to generous donations made by local foundations, organizations and individuals, several Inyo County businesses received COVID-19 relief grants. The Bishop Chamber of Commerce assisted by collecting online applications and organizing a five-member volunteer panel to independently review and score the applications. The program was open to any small business in Inyo
County, regardless of chamber membership. 43 applications were received, requesting over $200,000 in assistance. “We knew it wouldn’t be possible to meet all the needs of the businesses that have been
affected by the Coronavirus crisis, but we are hopeful the $45,000 contributed by the generous local sponsors is helpful,” states Tawni Thomson of the Bishop Chamber of Commerce.

27 businesses received grants ranging from $500 to $4,000. Recipients include: Astorga’s Restaurant, Bishop Art Supply, Bishop Creek Lodge, Bishop VFW Post 8988, Body & Soul, Bronco’s Deli, Bishop Twin Theatre, C5 Studio Community Arts Center, Cielo Hotel, CrossFit Bishop, CrossFit Radiate, Days Inn, Discovery Point Preschool, Eastside Sports, Salsa’s Taqueria, In the Zone Massage Therapy, Laws Railroad Museum & Historical Site, Luxe Salon, Mammoth Gear Exchange, McMurry's Bar, Pioneer Home Health Care, Rusty’s Saloon & Grill, Sierra Shanti Studio, Spellbinder Books, Tanya Zaleschuk, LLC, The Rolling Chef 395, and The Village Motel.

The Bishop Chamber of Commerce continues to seek additional resources to assist local businesses. “If additional donors would like to contribute to this program, we would be happy to facilitate a second
round of granting,” adds Thomson. “These are tough times for everyone, and we will do anything we can to assist the local businesses that are so important to our community.”

Let’s do our part to help keep our community safe by wearing masks upon entering any and all businesses. #keepInyoSafe #keepBishopSafe

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7 days ago

We are buried in smoke again today, so we thought it would be fun to share a little about how the names of some of the towns in the Eastern Sierra came about. Thank you, California High Sierra for the article!
californiahighsierra.com/trips/california-high-sierra-towns-the-origin-of-their-names/
Photo by Amy Leist
... See MoreSee Less

We are buried in smoke again today, so we thought it would be fun to share a little about how the names of some of the towns in the Eastern Sierra came about. Thank you, California High Sierra for the article!
https://californiahighsierra.com/trips/california-high-sierra-towns-the-origin-of-their-names/
Photo by Amy Leist

Comment on Facebook

Wow... been a good long while since I’ve been to Bishop. Their high school team was in our league (I went to Tehachapi High) and we traveled there for some football games — something like a 5-6 hour drive each way if I recall correctly. A tough team to beat also. I’m betting it hasn’t changed all that much over all these years (circa late ‘60s).

I'm so sorry the smoke is bad there still. I missed my annual visit this year. It's on my to do list for next year.

We can see it over the Spring Mountains to the West/NW here in Las Vegas. Fortunately, not much of it made it into the LV valley.

Would LOVE to move there if my hubby can find a job nearby!

We left this morning. Not only is it very smokey the smell of smoke is incredible. I don't smoke and I was ready to light up.

Nice photo. That's the real West.

Miss Bishop, Lone Pine, Big Pine, Tinnamaha campground!!!!

No, that is where the theater and Joseph’s used to be. Joseph’s has been gone for some time now. Penny’s is now Dollar General. Unfortunately a lot of vacant stores. Hi Kent!❤️

Hello and good morning. I am planning to drive up to Bishop from Southern California. The main purpose is to see fall colors. May I know if the fall colors are still at peak this coming next two weeks or is it past peak? Thank you for your advice/suggestions.

We were just there.😔

We have to leave too, I almost threw up it was so bad, got to Lee Vining and blue fresh air..take care of yourselves

so sorry for the smoke crazy time for all this year.

I spent a week here and didn't get to see the beauty through the smoke 😏

When was this picture taken, Sunday at 6 am ? never seen it this quiet.

Awesome pic! I wish a Main Street business had a rooftop deck so you can eat with that exact same view!

No smoke in the photo. ??

Is this an old photo? Joseph’s market was the only market back when we lived in Bishop in 1969.

It’s still Smokey? Where is the smoke coming from ?

Beautiful town

I always love to go threw Bishop.

Went thru Bishop yesterday, it was terribly Smokey 😪💚

I wish it was still small !

Does bishop still have a jack in the box

My favorite place ❤️

Isnt that the Old JC Penney store?

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1 week ago

Wonder if this little sheep was as grateful as we were for a view of the mountains this morning??!! Happy Friday! From Bishop, with love ❤️
#keepbishopsafe #mttom
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Wonder if this little sheep was as grateful as we were for a view of the mountains this morning??!! Happy Friday! From Bishop, with love ❤️
#keepbishopsafe #mttom

Comment on Facebook

Wonderful vacation destination

And a free thinker! This is Good!

🙏praying that it stays like this 💖

I miss Bishop so much and living there too 😢😉❤️

This is one of my favorite places to take pictures when I lived in Bishop. There’s many more.

Sigh. Bishop. Love it.

See you next week little sheep

We loved our visit to Bishop

Miss bishop fun times there

Nice!!!

Oh how I love that view

It was beautiful

Love Bishop

👍

Need snow on them things!

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2 weeks ago

In case you are wondering what roads and campgrounds are open, here is the latest, as of yesterday, October 14th:
www.sierrawave.net/state-of-inyo-roads-and-campgrounds-whats-open-closed-oct-14
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In case you are wondering what roads and campgrounds are open, here is the latest, as of yesterday, October 14th:
https://www.sierrawave.net/state-of-inyo-roads-and-campgrounds-whats-open-closed-oct-14

Comment on Facebook

I've been on that same road every year at this time...

It sure was smoky today.

Still hazy there.😥

I love the West.

Beautiful picture thanks for sharing 🙂🙂❤❤

We always used to stay at Brown’s Millpond Campground just north of Bishop. Very nice private campground with a stream running through it. So many wonderful memories from Mule Days!

Up her for 4 day little smoke but really nice trees turning colors

It's the hunting and fishing Road 🏞️🎣🏕️🌌🤠🥰

Love Bishop and the surrounding mountains !!!

Hwy 168 going to Lake Sabrina, North and South lakes?

With I was there.

maybe next weekend any hotel suggestions?

Johanna Atwell

GOD HOW I WISH I WAS ON THAT ROAD... CAREFREE HIWAY...

Lots of nice smoke.....

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2 weeks ago

The Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance is hosting a virtual 5K walk and fun run this year!!! Going on NOW!! You can do it from WHEREVER you are!!!Hello Friends!☺️
💥 ESCA 20th Annual 5K Walk & Fun Run! 💥October 11-17th! Virtual Edition!
Please LIKE and SHARE this flyer with your friends and family!
Thank you for your continued support! ☺️
... See MoreSee Less

The Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance is hosting a virtual 5K walk and fun run this year!!! Going on NOW!! You can do it from WHEREVER you are!!!

2 weeks ago

Dog days of summer or fall??!!
Last weekend we had warm temps and blue skies again. Fingers crossed we get some more blue skies this weekend!

Photo by Amanda Zhang
#NorthLake #fallcolors #keepbishopsafe
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Dog days of summer or fall??!! 
Last weekend we had warm temps and blue skies again. Fingers crossed we get some more blue skies this weekend!

Photo by Amanda Zhang
#NorthLake #fallcolors #keepbishopsafe

Comment on Facebook

I heard the colors have peaked in this area. Is it still worth visiting or are there other good spots to hit up?

Beautiful picture.

Wonderful vacation destination

Beautiful

Beautiful picture! Cute dog!

North Lake?

Looking good

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