All Things Good in Bishop
The Stevie Wonder, Cheer, and Calzone + Fam team all met for breakfast at the Alabama Hills Cafe. The restaurant was right across the street from my hotel in Lone Pine, CA and so after getting my laundry started, I walked over at 8:30am. It’s really hard to beat the morning view this town has…
This was a favorite of the trail, probably ranked within the top ten restaurants along the way, and so we were excited to visit again (my third trip). I opted for the white chocolate and blueberry crumble pancakes special. Cheer and Calzone couldn’t resist getting the Taboose Pass Omelette simply because of the name (ok and it sounded delicious with tasty avocado included). More good times and great oldies were had amongst the group and it was a sad parting afterwards.
Calzone and her parents planned to see some sites nearby and end up in Bishop. Cheer and I had yet to make a plan, so we first went back to the hotel and did some scheming. I still had yet to book a flight home too!
It really didn’t take us long to make our itinerary and I purchased my flight for the next day, flying out of Reno, NV with a departure time around 3:30pm. That left the whole day open and so we thought, well, if we’re here in the Alabama Hills, we should probably go explore and see them!
So, after our noon checkout, that’s where we set out, the two of us in Cheer’s SUV. The Alabama Hills are such a contrast to the Sierra Nevada for many reasons, but the most easily spotted difference was the funky rounded shapes of the rock formations. There were several spots that had particularly interesting shapes along the roadside or down short hiking trails that tourists could visit. We decided we’d first find the arch that you can angle correctly to have a view of Mount Whitney in the background…
Ok, so that’s what I thought was Mount Whitney with Cheer beside, but turns out it’s actually this more jagged one in the center of the photo below…
“I’m like a bird, I’ll only fly away…”
From here, we decided to be rebels and travel off-trail with the goal of doing some free solo climbing. It was a lot more difficult than I’d imagined. I thought we’d be able to walk right up these things, and a lot we could, but the few tall spires we tried to summit defeated us being much too smooth and steep near the tops.
After getting our fill of exploration in the sunny warm air, we hopped back in the car and began our drive north to Bishop, CA. Another thing this area is known for is all the movie scenes that were shot. We didn’t end up stopping, but apparently we drove by the spots where scenes from Iron Man and Man of Steel had been filmed.
Once in Bishop, we checked into The Hostel California, where we had a pleasant stay when in town before. This time, rather than get our own room though, we were set up in the Pacific Crest Trail “dorm.” There only seemed to be two other folks there seeing as most of the hiker traffic has moved by this area now. The rest of our day was spent hanging at some of our favorite places around town.
First up, Looney Bean Coffee Shop. We even got a surprise visit from Calzone after letting her know we’d decided to stay in Bishop and were just hanging about. We ended up staying until the place closed, which was 6:00pm I believe. More plans for our secret entrepreneurial business plans were made…it’s going to be big people!
That night, after a failed attempt at finding a duffel bag for me to stuff my pack inside for the flight, we ended up visiting the brewery in town and then ending things with some very competitive bowling at the local lanes! Cheer won game 1, SW took round 2, and most spirited award went to Calzone.
Turkey! Ok, so maybe my third strike somehow magically appeared on there. I was happy with 2 back to back strikes though.
We ended up staying til close here as well… Bishop is not so much of a late night town apparently, but being early sleeping hikers, we were quite tired then anyway. We dropped Calzone off to her hotel, said our last goodbyes (for now), and then Cheer and I made our way back to the hostel.
I was happy to have given myslf a day to relax and not jump right into traveling back home. And as I said in yesterday’s post, it was so great to have the company of Cheer and Calzone. It would’ve been such a different experience finishing the trail hanging out in town by myself (although the Master Trailsman and Brother Abram did try to come “pick me up!”).
Tomorrow though, I had a full day of traveling ahead of me. I was excited now to get home and see family and friends!