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As much as we had enjoyed our time in Bishop, California, we were ready to move on. We packed up our campsite at “The Pit” Campground and headed into town for one more loaf of bread from Erick Schat’s Bakery to take with us.
Our destination was the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest and we had decided to take Silver Canyon Road to get there. Silver Canyon Road runs through the Inyo National Forest and is the subject of numerous YouTube videos as it gets pretty rough in spots. Francis loves a challenge and prefers to avoid the highway as much as possible so he opted to give it a try.
It was definitely not the easiest road to traverse and there were quite a few large puddles of water to drive through, but the scenery along the road was lovely. About 30 minutes into the drive we noticed the engine was getting too hot so we pulled over to take a break for a bit and let it cool down. Shortly after getting back on the road, we noticed steam coming from the engine. When we lifted the hood, hot water was spraying from a hole in the radiator. Not good!
Fortunately, we had not gotten far from Bishop, so we turned around and headed back toward town, driving slowly and carefully. We had gained some elevation while driving into the canyon, so we let the car glide most of the way down. We had no phone signal while in the canyon but as soon as we got out of the canyon, we pulled over and both got on our phones to start looking for a mechanic. We found the number for Bishop Radiator and were surprised that the owner, Jose, answered the phone on a Sunday. He told us to bring the Jeep in and he would take a look at it for us.
A few minutes later, we found ourselves back in Bishop and headed to the repair shop. Jose took a quick look and told us we needed a new radiator which he could put in the next day. He recommended a free spot close by where we could camp for the night. He topped up our radiator with antifreeze and we headed off. After a quick stop at the local KMart for a Little Caesar’s Pizza, we went to set up camp. We found the spot Jose had recommended and although it had absolutely no amenities, it was free, and the views were beautiful. We relaxed and enjoyed our pizza.
The next day we headed back to town early to drop the Jeep off with Jose. While the car was being repaired, we walked over to the nearby Starbucks to work while we waited. It was late afternoon by the time the Jeep was fixed so we decided to spend one more night at the free spot where we had stayed the night before.
If you ever find yourself in need of a car repair and are near Bishop, we definitely recommend Jose at Bishop Radiator. The price was fair, the customer service was excellent, and he got our Jeep and us back on the road quickly.