Out of all of the smallish town’s I’ve been too, Bishop is really something special. It has almost everything you need. I say almost because you will always miss “this” or “that” no matter where you go, aka that perfect place does not exist. ‘ (enter whatever cliche you want here’) The climbing is superb and there is so much of it, that even if you do get bored, not sure that you ever will, there are still things to do and people to see.
Jeremy and I booked a little house to stay in, right in downtown Bishop, and to our pleasant surprise our hosts turned out to be way fucking rad! Their dog Reese, instantly stole my heart and I snuggled with him any chance I got, despite Jeremy’s allergies. Sorry my love! This dog is just too much for me to handle. Alice and Andrew, the owners of the house were so welcoming right off the bat, that it felt as if we were just coming for a visit and staying with old friends. We ended up being late to things often, as we were chatting with them and trying to learn as much as we could about their lives. It was almost like when teenagers fall in love and can’t seem to get off the phone; “You hang up”, No you hang up”, “No you”, “No! you!, “Let’s do it on the count of three…..” Ridiculous!
To get to Bishop we flew into Las Vegas, picked up our upgraded-for-free Toyota 4Runner and blasted through Death Valley. It was beautiful and this time around, we didn’t break down in the middle of it. It was a mellow drive and when we finally reached Bishop, it was just as cute as I remembered it three years ago. Our first day out climbing we spent in the Buttermilks. The road was super fucked after the aggressive snow and then rain storms. Many parts of the road had huge drenches in it, and unless you were a professional driver or had a car with large clearance, it wasn’t advised to drive on it. Instead you had an option of parking and hiking to the boulders, or an option of blowing your shit, and ditching it, because county made it pretty clear that they were not going to come out and rescue your dumbass. Our fancy ride gave zero fucks and took us to the boulders in a boat-on-wheels kind of style. Mad swag. ( I don’t know what that means, but it seemed appropriate)
My first climb of the day included a tall V1 on a Sunshine Slab. I was NOT happy about that encounter. Despite the fact that I can absolutely do a V1, and that I’ve been rope climbing prior to the trip (it is a knows fact that sport climbing is a perfectly legit way to train for a bouldering trip..NOT), so pump was no issue, I was not interested in broken legs first day out. Maybe second, perhaps by the end of the trip, I have bad health insurance, so really I was not interested in getting broken at all. After a minor epic inside my brain on the top of the boulder, I got my shit together and topped out. Rough warm up, I tell ya! My body was not warmed up but my “head” was definitely on fire and I was slightly annoyed with my boyfriend. It wasn’t his fault, but he was the closest to me and I really needed to channel my fear in a form of anger at someone. Sorry Beans… We trolled the milks, ran into friends, tried our projects from previous years, sent some new stuff and went home to pass out at 9pm. It was great! Day ONE was glorious.
Throughout the trip we spent some days in the Happies, one day in the Sads and the rest at the Milks, or at the chiropractor’s office, because Jeremy tweaked his back and needed some roughing up. Working new climbs is always fun, sending new things is definitely fun, but I was very motivated on sending Soul Slinger, but after many close attempts I, yet again, went home empty-handed. I had a rage day, too, which I felt pretty embarrassed about.
After days of climbing in Bishop, my skin was solid, I had a rest day and I was feeling like I could climb anything! Perfect day for my project. Unfortunately my body had a different plan and slammed me with Flow (aka my period). I ain’t got beef with Flow, but this bitch didn’t grant me any wishes. Rested body, perfect skin, terrible attitude, I figured I can climb pretty well. Too bad my fucking uterus was shedding and all of my energy was directed there. I had no power. Zero. Zilch. So I got furious. I didn’t throw a tantrum, but I was a nasty thing to be around. It took hours for me to snap out of it. When I finally did, I just felt embarrassed. I love being a woman, but having my period actually held me back from winning at pebble wrestling. I will get over it. I suppose that almost counts as throwing a tantrum.
Being in Bishop reminded me of how much I love being outdoors. It reminded me how important it is for me to slow down and get away from people. NYC is my home but the proportion of assholes and oblivious morons to kind and respectful humans is very much disproportionate. If one spends too much time in that environment, soon enough you become one of the assholes. No thank you. I’d rather go to Bishop and stare at snowy Sierras every morning, while eating cookies from Great Basin Bakery. Both Jeremy and I, despite punting off our respectful projects, felt at peace in Bishop. I even enjoyed being at a bar! We had many of our friends out there this time, which definitely added to the euphoric experience. I don’t know what it is about Bishop, but it feels like a place I can spend a long time in, without growing weary or bored. I’m rarely bored, but hailing from NYC, places often appear too sleepy or slow.
I hope to come back soon, perhaps in a few months, but I am not taking another three years to return!