I really like Bishop, California, probably because if I’m in Bishop it means I’m doing something in the mountains. In this case, I stopped by on the way back from Los Angeles from a business meeting. It isn’t really on the way, but close enough, and I really enjoy flying the east side of the Sierra Nevada – if the wind isn’t too bad.
I’ve also had the very worse turbulence episode here just to the leeward side of Mammoth mountain. My wife, Betsy, and I were flying to Sedona and I flew east through Mammoth pass just above Mammoth Mountain. I wasn’t paying enough attention to winds because it was perfectly smooth, but when I turned south to show her the ski runs, we ran into a “rotor” which slammed our heads into the ceiling and put the plane temporarily out of control. Not really a cool thing to do to your wife. I’ve since apologized. I’m pretty used to turbulence, but in this case I was terrified and Betsy was beyond that. I use my plane a lot for business, so she is only in the plane for about 5-10% of the trips I do. But of course she’s in the plane for that one moment.
Anyway, the winds were smooth for this trip so I landed in Bishop, got out my road bike and rode straight down airport road, across 395 (the main highway) and up towards Lake Sabrina on Highway 168. It was an awesome bike ride with great views, very little traffic, super road surface, and a very challenging climb. In fact, I didn’t do the entire climb. I started at 4,100 feet at the airport and turned around at 8,000 feet when it became evident I was going to freeze when I turned around.