Gigi de Jong

Gigi de Jong

Gigi is the travel writer for the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau. Other works have been published in California Outdoor, the official publication of the California Department of Fish & Wildlife and SierraWave.net, local news in the Eastern Sierra. She publishes a travel blog of her stories about Bishop and beyond. Her skills also include graphic and web design. She is a member of the OWAC Board of Directors.

Recent Posts

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Gigi de Jong

Guide to your new OWAC membership account

OWAC Membership has always offered great benefits and opportunities. Now, our new website has made these even better and easier. We know that change can be frustrating so here’s a handy guide to help you setup your new account and make the most of what our new website has to offer.

Our Excellence in Craft Awards opens for entries today. It’s open to paid-up members only, so make sure your membership is active and will remain so for the duration of the awards. Please renew your membership if it expires before entering the contest. If you’re not a member, or a previous membership has lapsed, be sure to renew or sign-up before entering. Renewals must be completed for memberships expiring prior to the contest end date of June 1, 2021.

Thinking about joining? Take a look at our Join Us page to see what our membership has to offer. If you are an outdoor media professional, a student aspiring to work in this field, or belong to an organization that has a focus on the outdoors, consider applying for membership.

Hello members! Welcome again to our new OWAC website. If you haven’t already browsed the site or logged into your membership account, we invite you to do so now. Read on to find out how to make the most of your membership account on our new website.

We have created new accounts on our new website for all our current, paid-up members. Your name and email address has been transferred to our new site, but your old password will not work. To get started go to the login page here and click on ‘Forgot Password’ just below the login button. Enter your email address – the one at which you receive our emails – and follow the instructions to reset your password.

Now you can log in and review your member center page.

Here’s an overview of what you’ll find and what you can do in My Member Center.

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Mobius Arch. Natural rock arch. Eastern Sierra.
Blog
Gigi de Jong

Natural (Virtual) History tour of the Eastern Sierra

Our world is a world of wonder. Our big backyard is especially wonderful.
There are few places in the world where evidence of the natural history of a region is more obvious and interesting than in the Eastern Sierra. The forces that have shaped our world have produced an astonishing assortment of observable characteristics that give us insight into the creation of this part of our planet. These distinctive features present an opportunity to view, firsthand, the results of these forces. Aspects of nature that seem improbable and unexpected are wonderous and beautiful. Elements of geography and topography that appear inconsistent and disrupted have logical explanations. Everything here has happened for a reason and we are witness to the wonder of nature.

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Blog
Gigi de Jong

Cycling the Eastern Sierra

We believe there is no other place on earth that offers as much opportunity to cycle year-round in one of the most topographically diverse and beautiful regions in our country. Our paved roads are lightly trafficked and a road cyclist can ride for many, many miles without encountering a traffic light or a stop sign. The abundance of dirt trails and tracks is almost endless with access to mountain biking rides ranging from super easy and leisurely, to highly technical and challenging — and everything in between.

Here’s why!

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Blog
Gigi de Jong

Cycling in the Eastern Sierra

Are you a cyclist?

Do you have family and friends who love cycling? You probably arrived at this blog because you are and you do. Welcome!

We believe there is no other place on earth that offers as much opportunity to cycle year-round in one of the most topographically diverse and beautiful regions in our country. Our paved roads are lightly trafficked and a road cyclist can ride for many, many miles without encountering a traffic light or a stop sign. The abundance of dirt trails and tracks is almost endless with access to mountain biking rides ranging from super easy and leisurely, to highly technical and challenging — and everything in between.

Read More »
Blog
Gigi de Jong

Bishop by the Water

Payahǖǖnadǖ. “Place of flowing water.” (Numic)

The place of flowing water is the Owens Valley, as it is now more commonly known. It was once a wet, flood plain where water flowed into a large lake at the southern end of the valley. The Owens River still weaves its way through this beautiful valley and water, once again, flows all the way to the lakebed and into large ponds that are home to a remarkable variety of resident and migratory birds.

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Train at Laws Railroad Museum. Bishop. CA.
Blog
Gigi de Jong

The Slim Princess

The railroad in the Owens Valley was more than just a stretch of the imagination. It was a vision inspired by tales of rich strikes in the mines of California, when a lull in mining activity was settling on the Comstock and in Virginia City, Nevada.

“Let us have a railroad from Carson City to Colorado,” wrote a journalist in a Nevada newspaper in 1871.

Several surveys were made by the Virginia & Truckee (V&T) Railway Company by the late 1870s to run a line south from Carson City. By 1880 a line was laid as far as Bodie and on May 10, 1880 the Carson & Colorado (C&C) Railroad Company was incorporated.

Much speculation was made about an intended final destination in southern California, but nothing was made official until March 25, 1882 when the company announced it would build over Montgomery Pass, into the Owens Valley and toward Mojave.

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Blog
Gigi de Jong

4 Fabulous Photography Features near Bishop, CA.

Photography is a passion for many in the Eastern Sierra.
For those who live here or visit regularly photography is often a daily activity. Sometimes it’s just a momentary opportunity to snap a quick image. Other times it’s a commitment to time and place to capture a specific scene.
First time visitors are, almost without fail, thoroughly awestruck by the grandeur of this landscape. Cameras and smartphones are ubiquitous in the hands of tourists and frequently pointed toward the peaks of the Sierra Nevada. It stands to reason then that this beautiful region is one of the most photographed in California.

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Opens for entries
Monday March 1

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