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2nd Place (tie) in the Mary Austin Prize for Writing contest
Lyndsey Rowan
Bishop High School

More often than not, people have to travel great distances to be one with nature. However, sometimes a community is blessed with nature being right out their front door. Bishop is one of those communities. Around this time of year, the weather gets nippy, the days get shorter, the trees change color. Fall is a special time, especially here in the Eastern Sierras. My family and I decided to go on a short hike to Grass Lake, so we could admire the fall colors.
I could tell it would be an amazing hike before we even got out of the truck. The parking lot is about a 25 minute drive from our house; I enjoyed every second of it. As we went up, the sagebrush transitioned into evergreens, which then included aspen trees. Aspen trees are a very special kind of tree. What appears to be an entire forest of aspens could just be a few dozen individual trees. The vast majority of the forest would be made up of each individual’s clones. The more we progressed up the hill, the more yellow, red, and orange we began to see.

Immediately after we stepped out of our truck, we were almost blown over. Jackets were put on and hoods went up. However, the scenery definitely made up for the wind. All around us were valleys of yellow trees and cliffs of gray and red rock. Thin, wispy clouds drifted over us in a bright blue sky. Once we finished admiring the beauty of our surroundings, we made a new friend. Right outside of the parking lot was a marmot, making his way down a heap of reddish-white rocks. He paused towards the bottom, on a flat rock. He stared at us, not showing the slightest hint of fear. Then, he turned to his left, just a little bit, moving into the perfect position for a picture. Mom said he was showing us his good side. The notion of the marmot doing that was pretty funny.

We walked about half of a mile on a dusty dirt road before we even stepped onto the trailhead. Upon entering the trail, I instantaneously felt a sense of wonder. There was a blanket of yellow leaves on the trail, guiding the way. Aspen trees gently encompassed our path, and the faint sound of a trickling stream was audible. In a single file line, we started our trek to the lake.

As I made my way up, I was in awe. I had never been anywhere so serene. I had this thought that was consistent throughout the hike “If fairies are real, they would probably live here.” Aspen trees weaved in and out of one another, making nooks and crannies that small creatures could live in. Small brooks and streams flowed from a larger creek into some of these crannies, providing water to drink from. The golden leaves fluttering across the trail could be made into fairy clothes. It was a lovely idea. Slowly, dry pine needles began to integrate themselves into the leaves on the ground as we progressed. The switchbacks began and continued on, leaving me short of breath on some occasions.

Finally, after climbing for a mile or so, we reached Grass Lake. It was accurately named, for it was surrounded by grass, whispering in the wind. Directly across the lake from us was a patch of trees that stood out to me. The very top of each tree was red, then as you went down the leaves turned orange, then yellow. The wind was still cold, but it was gusty, and in between the gusts you could feel the sweet warmth of the sun on your back. We stayed there, watching waves in the water and eating our snacks for about an hour. Then we headed back, happy with our experience.

(Lyndsey Rowan is a freshman at Bishop Union High School. She moved to Bishop with her mom, dad and younger brother a little over four years ago. Lyndsey has a cat named Willow and a dog named Apollo. The two sports she likes to play are volleyball and softball. Her favorite subjects in school are English, science and math. Her favorite places to be are Bishop and the Pacific Ocean.)

Photo by @joannepederson on Instagram

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6 days ago

Sunrise or sunset??? We sure love seeing our beautiful backyard in such incredible light.
Thank you, @verticalvibrations for capturing this shot!
#KeepInyoOpen #KeepBishopOpen
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Sunrise or sunset??? We sure love seeing our beautiful backyard in such incredible light. 
Thank you, @verticalvibrations for capturing this shot!
#KeepInyoOpen #KeepBishopOpen

Comment on Facebook Sunrise or sunset???...

Wow beautiful picture. Love the High Sierras ❤❤❤

Gorgeous 😍 spent 4th of July weekend there and I have to say I am in love with Bishop. I can't wait to go back and explore more 😃

California From Palm Springs to Lee Vining and beyond, east of the Sierra Nevada, has perhaps the most stunning visual landscapes in the whole U.S. I am sorry I can never go back there. The people there ruined the experience for me. I was born there, and people from New York, Chicago, Boston, Florida, Arkansas, etc, were all telling me how it was going to be. Between them, the asskicking rednecks, and the thieving hippies, we had to go. Haven't been back except to visit and for funerals since. Going on 51 years.

Sunset

Sunset

Beautifil peaceful land.

Ye goode sunrise shot of Long Lake with Mount Goode?

Beautiful picture 😊😊❤❤

Sunrise

Sunrise

Awesome!

Beautiful 👍

I can’t wait to move there in about a year. 😎

Miss this our normally 3 trips has not happened,due to the virus.

just got home from there.😊

Perfect picture. <3

Cant wait til I'm home 😍😍

So beautiful 😍

I never got tired of the magnificent views

Just gorgeous!

Love it!

Sunrise

Sunrise

Sunrise

Rise! 🙂

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7 days ago

The view from near Bishop Pass... endless amounts of lakes, mountains, blue sky and smiles. Is this on your bucket list??
Thanks, @janarenee27 for sharing this photo!
#visitbishop
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The view from near Bishop Pass... endless amounts of lakes, mountains, blue sky and smiles. Is this on your bucket list??
Thanks, @janarenee27 for sharing this photo!
#visitbishop

Comment on Facebook The view from near ...

Beautiful, always loved being in the Bishop area, and always stop in at Schats Bakery

One of my favorite backpack routes. From there like to go on to chocolate lakes. Miss those adventures.

We go every year in October when the fall colors are spectacular! 😎😎❤️❤️

What a jaw drop picture. Thank you for sharing this picture !

Ted Mowatt, I have to take you here.....so much more to see. We would need to be there for a entire month! Or we could just move there and take our time ;-)

Oh, I love the view. I've been there and loved the view then, too!!

Not this time of year A great place any other time of the year

Been there did North Lake to South Lake loop it was awesome.

What lakes are those actually a this part of ansel Adams wilderness area

Always stop at the Schats Bakery when in Bishop area.Beautiful country ❣️❣️

Great loop ... South Lake to North Lake via the John Muir trail.

What a gorgeous view!

My favorite place be soon there

Awesome picture.. Thank you for sharing!

I think I may need to go there!

The people & the bakery!

Beautiful countryside

Breath taking and wonderous.

Been there love it

Beautiful Picture

Can We travel there yet? I'm in Sonoma County

BREATHTAKING BEAUTY

Beautiful Bishop🧡

How amazing!

I’d like to hike up here sometime. 😎

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1 week ago

Sending a little sunshine to all of our friends near and far.
We sure do appreciate all of the support and love you are sending our way. What an amazing community of caring individuals we have!! #KeepBishopOpen #KeepInyoOpen
Photo by @aanottingham
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Sending a little sunshine to all of our friends near and far. 
We  sure do appreciate all of the support and love you are sending our way. What an amazing community of caring individuals we have!! #KeepBishopOpen #KeepInyoOpen 
Photo by @aanottingham

Comment on Facebook Sending a little ...

This picture ❤ makes me Happy Thank you

Hope all is going well in Bishop. We’ve been holding off visiting with these spikes in the virus. Hope this ends sooner than later. I hope your visitors are taking appropriate safety precautions to keep your community safe. 👍🏻👏🏻🙏🏻❤️🎣🐟😎🇺🇸

How lovely!

Can’t wait to get back!

It's so HOT here in Sonoma County

Marique Corsius en Merle Corsius...precies 52 weken geleden waren we op weg naar dit mooie dorpje...ons leven als camperaars begon 😍

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1 week ago

Do you love going into the backcountry? Here is a great video by Inyo Search and Rescue (SAR) reminding folks to please be smart about it.

From InyoSAR:
"With the start of what is sure to be a busy summer after months of Coronavirus lockdown, the STOP campaign was created to partner with visitors by supporting them to be prepared for their time in the mountains of Inyo County. The campaign's letters, STOP, stand for four key principles that, in the team's experience, will help people get back down the mountain safely.
The principles are:

S - Stay Together
T - Turn Around
O - Ownership
P - Prepare and Train

Although backcountry helicopter rescues capture headlines, in reality, helicopter rescues are extremely limited and risky. Inyo County Search and Rescue works with several excellent and capable helicopter agencies, but has no control of availability or other limiting factors such as high winds, heat, altitude, or
darkness.

Most people don’t know that many who call for rescues or use their emergency beacons to call SOS
actually aren’t in a life-threatening situation. Rather, many of these callers are not prepared for their mountain objective and are looking for an easy way out of an unexpected, but non-emergency predicament."

Let's do our part to stay safe!!
youtu.be/2o1vsgBdtH0
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Video image

Comment on Facebook The Inyo SAR team ...

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