Finding Fall in Bishop and Mammoth
Los Angeles is known for its lack of seasons. But if you just do a bit of a driving you'll get to the parts of this state that do have seasons. And boy is it beautiful! This past weekend I was in Bishop to photograph a climbing event. I hadn't been up that way in quite some time. I didn't want to leave. We explored this beautiful place with the help of our friend, Noah, who has a big orange jeep with wheels that can literally climb over boulders. The feats he can accomplish in that beast are mind-blowing. He showed us some videos of his car bouldering - I was floored. The jeep is so high off the ground that getting into the passenger seat is a climb in and of it self. Noah has seen many people forget how high up they are as they get out of the car and proceed to fall down clumsily. Which is hilarious, and terrifying, and it almost happened to me, but I managed to stay in one piece.
We camped at the Pleasant Valley Pit Campground near downtown Bishop. We soaked in the hot springs of Mammoth (where clothing is optional and I got a true experience by sharing the bath with a naked hippie-who was really nice and lives a cool life). And I got to see some amazing wildlife and farm life. Deer, horses, donkeys, cows...all on such a beautiful backdrop. I couldn't help feeling like I'd been transported into the world of my favorite animated movie -Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. If you haven't seen it, I implore you to watch it.
The only disappointment this trip, was seeing the amount of trash that people leave behind at the hot springs. Cans of beer were strewn about at the entrance to the hot springs. It’s heartbreaking and infuriating. It doesn’t take much effort to just toss the cans in your car and throw it away later...I don't care how drunk you are...So Noah picked up all the trash and put it in a bag to throw away. I snapped a picture of it. It’s one thing to accidentally drop your chapstick and go home with dry lips. It’s another to crush your beer can and drop it on the ground…At least there are people like Noah who actually give a damn. Or a spring. Get it? Dam...water dam...hot springs....hot water spring...ok ya it was a stretch.