“Some people call it Beasore, some people call it “Bayshore”. Whatever it is, drive up that road and just keep driving.” This was how I found out about the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway, in a conversation with a local hiker and now friend Alison Card. It was early July 2020, and over the next few weeks I did just that. I drove up Beasore and kept driving. I went there morning, evening, and night.
I explored pristine waterfalls near Mammoth Pool.
I discovered lush meadows.
I saw the Milky Way rise over pitch-black skies.
I spent nights parked at Mile High Vista, waiting for the first light of day.
And felt the gentle summer breeze upon the lupines.
I didn’t know at that time how important this trip would be: the opportunity to know a place with one face…
Before that face changed to something different.
The Creek Fire began on September 4th, 2020 and was declared 100% contained on December 24, 2020. The landscape of much of the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway has changed such that we may never see it in the same way within our lifetimes. I visited the Scenic Byway for the first time after the Creek Fire in early March 2021.
I told someone the other day to visit Mile High Vista. He replied, “It used to be nice but not anymore. It’s like the surface of the moon.”
To me, the Scenic Byway is still a place of stunning beauty.
Its face has changed—it has scars and blemishes that were not there before—but it is still, for me, a place that holds endless wonder.
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