October 29, 2013

California Road Trip: Post 2 Bodie

We were supposed to head to Yosemite after Lake Tahoe.  Wonderful, awe inspiring Yosemite.  We had intended to rent one of their tents and camp out.  Now that the government had shut down all the national parks, we had to change our plans. 

The night before we were supposed to head to Yosemite, my brother was hunting around on the internet trying to find things for us to do the next day.  "This ghost town looks cool" he said as I looked up to see what he was talking about.  "It's called Bodie" 

It just so happens that Bodie has been on my list of places to see before I die for years (these were some of the first photos I saw of Bodie, still squirreled away in my Flickr Faves) .  I had no idea it was so close to us.  I instantly put a YES vote in and off to Bodie we went the next day.

Bodie is a ghost town in the middle….of….no…..where.  Literally.  10 miles off the main road.  And then 3 more miles past that on dirt roads.  In a shallow valley at 8,000 ft.  It is stunning.  The town in kept a state of arrested decay.  In other words, they don't let it deteriorate any further than it already has.  It was known for being a place of wickedness, bad man and "the worst climate out of doors." Lots of killing, robberies and stage fights.  It's heyday was in the 1880's.  About 10,000 people lived there.  It was a gold mining town.

Do you now have about 35 stories complete with no-good town sheriffs running through your head like I do?  Kids running around with straw filled dolls and ribbon tied braids? Muddy streets and wooden heeled shoes clopping around?  Basically an episode of Young Riders.  I'm there right now.

About 5% of Bodie is still in existence and is now a CA state park.  You can wonder the streets, peek inside windows and doors, imagine the ghosts that wonder the lanes.  It is a photographer's dream. The deep, wood brown against the bright blue sky and white clouds…

Bodie was a big highlight on the trip for me.  My imagination was running a mile a minute.  If you ever end up near Yosemite, you must go.  It's worth the long drive out there.

California Road Trip Part 1

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