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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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1 day ago

Who loves a little winter fishing???? We've got it year-round here!!Out side enjoying the lower Owens River. Snow storms are rare in the Owens Valley. Snow only lasts a few days at the most. Photo by @leviaguilera_photography ... See MoreSee Less

Who loves a little winter fishing???? Weve got it year-round here!!

Comment on Facebook

Glad to see L A didn’t get all the Owens valley water!

Beautiful background !

Looks cold, but what a great place.

always did ice fishing onway to bridgport

plenty of brown trout,large trout at bridgport res

He should wear one of those wrist bands or forehead bands which shows his temperature so he can regulate. Risky sports have science to make them safer.

Love to go fishing in this stream ! Look at the great snow.😁

Refreshing, stunning, incredibly beautiful and the bestest fishing ever ! I love Bishop !😲👍🇺🇸🦅🇺🇸🎅☃️🎄💥

Oh yea!! He’s gettin them native Browns right there!!

Benton crossing?

That looks so amazing

Jo Nathan we need to go asap!

Do you know where your legs are?

Is that you Josh Beck?

Fred Powers


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2 days ago

When it’s Monday and it’s hard to tell which way is up!
Beautiful shot Sean B Plunkett!!
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
... See MoreSee Less

When it’s Monday and it’s hard to tell which way is up! 
Beautiful shot Sean B Plunkett!!
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard

Comment on Facebook

Beautiful shot, Betsy 💛

There are no "#Mondays" in Bishop! or at least there are no bad Mondays!

Did someone say puzzle, it would be beautiful and fun to do.

Is this MillPond? Beautiful reflections.

Amazing photo!

Truly lovely

Awesome picture

beautiful winter scene


Gorgeous photo!

So beautiful.


Flip the picture upside down and it looks exactly the same!


Gorgeous ❤


Beautiful picture



So pretty!

Very nice!!!!

Nice picture.

This is STUNNING AND SURPRISING! It's like having two lakes and two skies! 😊😀❤💜


Magnificent picture! Such beauty!

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5 days ago

Current views: Looking to the north with ominous dark clouds, and to the east to see beautiful blue sky and the snowy White Mountains. This place is wild.
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
... See MoreSee Less

Current views: Looking to the north with ominous dark clouds, and to the east to see beautiful blue sky and the snowy White Mountains. This place is wild. 
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard

Comment on Facebook

Makes for a great diverse back yard.

Love the pics! Thanks so much for sharing, makes those of us not there feel warm and makes me smile!

Wish I could spend more time up there. I just got back and miss the wild weather we had last week already. Every season brings new beauty.

Beautiful views

LG Cavyell Look at those Happy cows!! Wish I was there instead of here.....


Wow, there is so much of BISHOP I would love to see! SOMEDAY....😕😀😊

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6 days ago

Who’s coming???That feeling when you get Mule Days tickets for Christmas! 🎄 ... See MoreSee Less

Who’s coming???

Comment on Facebook

I love Mule Days

Love to come.

Daniel Young

Nick Chudilowsky

When is it? Always wanted to go there.



Love Mule Days

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7 days ago

Snowshoeing through a winter wonderland!! Our backyard is AMAZING, right??
Thanks @sierraimpressions for this beautiful shot.
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
... See MoreSee Less

Snowshoeing through a winter wonderland!! Our backyard is AMAZING, right??
Thanks @sierraimpressions for this beautiful shot.
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard

Comment on Facebook

Love the idea, but would not be snowshoeing alone. The fact that the weather changes so quickly in the Sierra's is my caution card.

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