I got up early and took the Astro to the dealership and dropped it off before they opened, then walked back to the hotel at the other end of town.
I lived in Bishop for two years: from August 1979 to October 1981, while my father was stationed with the US Forest Service here. I had forgotten how incredible the view of the mountains is from here.
This picture taken from just north of our hotel looking across the Tri-County Fairgrounds as the sun was rising behind me over the White Mountains doesn't really do justice to the view.
I made a mistake about the time of the Day Jobbe conference call, so Lisa and I had several hours to kill. We walked to Jack's Restaurant on Main Street, where we had a good breakfast. As we were leaving, the dealership called to break the bad news that the part they ordered hadn't arrived and that they don't expect it until Wednesday morning. That's not a disaster as we'll still be here tomorrow, but it is annoying. Once they have the part, it should take very little time for them to install it.
We walked from Jake's back to the dealership, with a detour up Academy Street to Bishop Union High School. (The street is named for the Bishop Academy, the first institute of higher (i.e. post-grammar-school) learning in the Owens Valley.)
The main building replaced the original Bishop Academy building sometime in the early twentieth century, and there are other buildings around it mostly hidden by the trees. I spent my first two years of high school and the first two months of my third here before moving to Sutter in 1981 and finishing my junior and senior years at Sutter Union High School, graduating in 1983.
We retrieved the Astro from the dealership and set off to explore some parts of the city that were more than a convenient walking distance away; in particular, we drove several miles northwest of town to the Highland Mobile Home Park so I could see if a particular unit was still there.
It was. This was where I lived in Bishop for the two years I was here. My father bought this double-wide mobile home and had it installed on this new lot. He planted this lawn and I mowed it when it grew high enough. The trees on this lawn were saplings when I lived here. The house on the other side of the fence is a bit of a surprise, as the land on the far side of the fence was a swamp when I lived here. I'm not joking when I say that: I once climbed under the fence, took a few steps, and found myself up to my waist in a muddy morass. It was a struggle to extricate myself and almost as much so to get home and cleaned up. That was the one and only time I ever tried cutting across the field to the houses to the west.
We circled around on streets I once drove on my bicycle back over to Line Street (CA-168), which forms the center point of Bishop where it crosses Main Street (US-395). Then we went back to the hotel, where Lisa hung out in the hotel lobby while I dealt with yet another Day Jobbe conference call and work that chased me through my vacation. Around Noon, we set off for the place we'd actually come here to Bishop to see.
Bishop is the western terminus of US-6. Until 1964, US-6 continued south co-signed with US-395, then headed southwest along the current route of CA-14 and other highways before eventually ending at Long Beach, California. Today, US-6 is also named the Grand Army of the Republic Highway and has a signpost just east of its current origin giving the distance to the other end.
According to Wikipedia, US-6 is the longest continuous US highway. US-20 has more route-miles, but is discontinuous with a gap through Yellowstone National Park. The other end of the road is at the junction with MA-6A at the tip of Cape Cod. Lisa recommends that we have the engine serviced before we try that road trip.
Then it was off to the Laws Railroad Museum, about which I will write in a different entry.