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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

Truth is, we are still buried in smoke here in the Owens Valley, but we're not going to let it keep us from dreaming about the fall colors that soon will dazzle our eyes and warm our souls...!!!!

Photo by @travelforpictures from October 2019
#fallcolors #keepbishopsafe
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Truth is, we are still buried in smoke here in the Owens Valley, but were not going to let it keep us from dreaming about the fall colors that soon will dazzle our eyes and warm our souls...!!!!

Photo by @travelforpictures from October 2019
#fallcolors #keepbishopsafe

Comment on Facebook

Sorry about all the smoke. Hope you can enjoy this beautiful scenery again soon.

Beautiful, I love coming up each year and seeing this in person

I look forward to visiting next year. Very disappointed that I couldn’t make it again this year.

Sorry your car show got canceled. We come every year.

Were coming 2nd week of Oct for 49th Birthday! Super excited😊

Just uproad from Bishop creek lodge.

Looks like the road to lake Lundy.

So very beautiful, love the picture 🙂🙂❤❤

Wonderful vacation destination

Pretty time of year!

I hope they open up soon!!

Thank You. Cheered me up🍁🍁🍁🐈😷

Beautiful ❤

my view from my cabin window

Was this today?

Beautiful !!!!

Very pretty

Pretty

Beautiful

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4 days ago

What's your favorite season in the Eastern Sierra?

Beautiful photo by @robert_lachman from October 12, 2019
#keepbishopsafe
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Whats your favorite season in the Eastern Sierra? 

Beautiful photo by @robert_lachman from October 12, 2019
#keepbishopsafe

Comment on Facebook

All seasons but fall especially! Been going every October for the last 9 years... Also always stop at Mahogany Smoked Meats before going home.

Fall when leaves change and late summer when tubing in cut off’s by day with jeans and flannel by the fire at night

I was raised on the Eastern side of the Sierras. When I was young it was Summers. When I got a little older it was Spring for the opening of trout season. Now at 73 it's Fall...😊

I go every year! 2nd or 3rd week of October! Beautiful scenery and weather!

I have to say mid to late fall. Although mid spring is awesome as well. ✌️

We from Bishop

Fall🍁🍂🎃

Autumn and Winter

Spring

Anything but fire season 😭

Fall is the best...but the other 3 run a close 2nd!

Yes! 😅😁

Gorgeous

Fall

Nice One!

Love the fall leave. We try to go every year in October

Fall

So pretty

Beautiful

Fall

Beautiful picture

Fall by far! I love the colors. We try to go every year in October for my husband's birthday.

Fall for sure. Before the snow shuts the roads. And early summer. When it is just a little cooler. 🐈😷

Beautiful!

In Bishop all of them. Bishop picture love this site 🙂🙂❤❤

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5 days ago

With fires, poor air quality and COVID-19 all currently going on, who needs a little something to look forward to??
How about Wynonna for Labor Day Weekend of 2021!!
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With fires, poor air quality and COVID-19 all currently going on, who needs a little something to look forward to?? 
How about Wynonna for Labor Day Weekend of 2021!!

Comment on Facebook

Lol whatever floats your boat Bishop. With way things are we might be in a middle of some other bs that will shut it down. I’m done hoping and waiting for “better” times to come.

its sept 21??!!

Can’t wait!!

oh next yr ugh

Looks like she needs an enema !

Mary Allegra Nicol

Melissa Atkins... why not me?

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1 week ago

Wishing all of the firefighters and emergency support teams a safe weekend. Thank you for all that you are doing!!!

Sending love from Bishop to all who are being affected by the fires. ❤️

This photo by Instagram user @sammyzz17 and is from February of 2018 when we had the Pleasant Valley Reservior Fire. Hoping that he and his crew are safe!
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Wishing all of the firefighters and emergency support teams a safe weekend. Thank you for all that you are doing!!! 

Sending love from Bishop to all who are being affected by the fires. ❤️

This photo by Instagram user @sammyzz17 and is from February of 2018 when we had the Pleasant Valley Reservior Fire. Hoping that he and his crew are safe!

Comment on Facebook

🙏God Bless you all. I have been praying for rain to help put all the fires out and is in the forecast for some areas yeh!

God Bless all of you amazing men and women fighting these horrible fires. Stay safe!🙏❤️👩‍🚒👩‍🚒👍

Thanks guys!! Hope you all stay safe and return home to your families soon!!! Bless you all❤️

Wonderful pic.of these brave Firefighters! Prayers for their safety! 🙏🏻💕🙏🏻

Thank you to ALL FF's and Incident Command crews, Strike Teams busting butt out there. Love & prayers for All Your Safety from Santa Rosa 💜😷🐈

🙏 to all the first responders and thank you for your hard work.

Thank you Bishop firefighters for all of your extremely hard work!

A big Thank You To All Our Firefighters God Bless You And Your Families Stay Safe

Sending love and prayers from the Florida Panhandle. Be Safe! God Bless you and yours!

Thank you for your service. and God Bless You All .

God be with you all. Thank fort doing what you do

What a commitment! Thank you! Your work can never be repaid!!!

God bless you boys! Please stay safe!

Thank you God bless and stay safe

God Bless you all🙏☮️

Thank you all for what you do for us everyday 💗

Stay safe 🚒😊👍🏼

Amen

Ty

👊👍🤙😎🙏

Thanks to all the firefighters out in California, Oregon & Washington who work tirelessly everyday ❗️❗️. You are true heroes❗️

This is a spectacular photo, a real prizewinner! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thanks never were more than a few brave people

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