Why Bishop Is the Best Small Town

 Bishop was good to us yet again. We stayed four weeks at Brown’s campground, lighting a fire every night weather permitted.  When we sold the Sprinter, returned from South America, and bought the Bounder, this was the kind of American living I had in mind: small towns, sticky marshmallows, the smell of burnt Juniper in my hair. 

Tree and I both love that town so much we sometimes say crazy things like “I could live there.”  I doubt that’s true. We go stir crazy when we stay anywhere more than three months, but Bishop certainly has a special charm. 

KODAK Digital Still CameraKODAK Digital Still CameraI finally figured out what makes Bishop so rad aside from its beauty and proximity to great climbing. After all, there’s tons of beautiful climbing areas. 

For me, the difference is diversity. Bishop has it, whereas most small towns don’t.  

Bishop has four different populations–Native Americans, Mexicans, cowboys, and climbers–and each one brings a distinct flavor while coexisting peacefully with the others. 

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When we came home to the States, I worried I’d be offended by our country’s extreme nationalism, intolerance, and violence. And with Trump surging in the primaries, can you fault my concern? But Bishop reminds me of what truly makes America great. Our whole is greater than our parts. 

Bishop also has a surprisingly interesting history starting from the nomadic tribes that sustainably populated the Owens river valley to the water scandals that led to the development of Los Angeles to California’s everlasting drought today. I wrote a post on it last year, read here. 
1We went back to our old haunts–the Law’s Museum, Burger Barn, Paiute Center, Keough’s hot springs. . KODAK Digital Still Camera
KODAK Digital Still Camera

Soleil and her pet oruga. 

Last year I was still recovering from a pinched nerve in my neck, so Tree bouldered while I went to physical therapy. I’m not sure who was more miserable, he or I. This year, however, we sport climbed three times a week at the Owens river valley gorge. The approach was long and steep, but so were the routes. We were loving it. 

Unfortunately we have no climbing photos. We were having too much fun to document the fun. 

But we do have pics of Soleil, and let’s face it, she’s way cuter than we are.    

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Soleil spent every day outside playing in the dirt. In a dress. These days she has to wear dress, even over her pajamas at night. 


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KODAK Digital Still Camera

Abuelita and the Lorenzos came to visit one weekend. When Elijah left, Soleil burst into tears. “No quiero que el se vaya!” The first goodbye is always the hardest. I’m glad we got that out of the way at age 3. 


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Soleil and Ari. Her mejor amiga. KODAK Digital Still Camera

With Europe on the horizon, I’m already starting to miss the Bounder. It’s going to be a little tough giving up my hot shower and toilet. We’re really going to have to toughen back up for van life.  

KODAK Digital Still CameraKODAK Digital Still CameraWe just arrived to Zion, Utah. We’ll be posted up here for a few days before moving on to Colorado. 
KODAK Digital Still CameraMost photo credits in this post belong to Ariana Lopez Salvador. A.K.A. Ari <3

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  1. Claudia Acosta says:

    I went through a dress and cowboy boots phase when I was her age. I wonder how long her dress phase will last, hopefully for very long because it makes for cute pictures. I miss your little family. Safe travels!

  2. Gorgeous picture of you both!

  3. It’s cuz you got a cowgirl living in you big city girl 🙂

  4. Amazing shot

  5. I just applied for a job there!

  6. You have an excelent site.
    I do find really inspiring all your adventures!
    You give hope for traveling myself.
    Thank you for sharing your life.

  7. Nonituyas says:

    See ya in South Dakota!

  8. Troy Pino…..your town cousin! xo

  9. Love my town, slowly making my way back there!!

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