Tales From The Camping House

Tales From The Camping House

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Town That Time Forgot

When we were at Mono Lake last week, we spoke to a couple who told us if we came back this way to consider seeing Bodie. We did some research and decided to make the 80 mile drive today. We had to go through Yosemite to get to the other side and then take a dirt road the last ten miles taking us two hours and forty minutes. As we were driving the last few miles on the dirt road, we were hoping the trip would be worthwhile.

Bodie was a gold rush town with as many as 10,000 people during its heyday in the 1880's and today only about 5 percent of the buildings it contained remain. It was made a state historic park in 1962 and is now maintained in a state of "arrested decay." Most people had left the town by the 1930s leaving behind things they couldn't take with them.

As we walked from the parking lot, you felt like you had been transported back in time and were getting a glimpse of the way things were.

Large machinery is strewn in the field.

This house belonged to the man who owned the Standard Mine. This was a bay like window with a large display of bottles and glass insulators.

You can't go inside the buildings, you can only look through the glass. I found out if I put my camera lens right on the glass I could get a pretty good picture of the inside.

It just looks like the people were just whisked away.

This was the firehouse. One recurring theme in the life of western towns is how often fire destroys them. There was a big fire in July, 1892 that wiped out all but a few buildings in the business district and then again in 1932, a small boy playing with matches started another fire. Each time there was plenty of water available, and the fires could have been stopped, but the screens at the reservoirs had not been replaced after cleaning, and the pipes were clogged with rocks and mud.

Inside were this neat wagon and pump.

This was the barber shop and one of 65 saloons in the town.

Here is the general store complete with old gas pumps and a 1927 truck.

The window displays are still there.

We spent a lot of time looking inside, reading the signs and identifying items in the store.

The siding on the side of the store was made from 5 gallon kerosene and gasoline cans that had been brought in from Carson City and Hawthorne.

Here's the schoolhouse built in 1879.

It was interesting looking inside. On the bottom left appears to be a toy or model to demonstrate mining.

Here is the Standard Mine. You can only go in it on a guided tour.

This is a room in one of the hotels complete with a billiard table.

This was the vault from the bank. The bank building burned down in 1932 and this vault was all that was left.

Here's the jail. It doesn't look like much now, but it was pretty sturdy. Only one prisoner is known to have escaped. Bail for "guests" was $5.

As we were leaving we saw this blue bird on the sign where the one room cabins belonging to the "ladies of the night" were once located.

We spent three hours in Bodie and could have spent even more time, but we were hot and hungry. We were glad we had brought a picnic lunch with us as there are no food facilities at the park.

We took another road back to the highway, but this time we only had to drive 3 miles on a dirt road.

We stopped at the

where we saw this reflection in the water.

The visitor center was wonderful. We watched two movies there, one about the lake and another about mining. We found out about sand tufas in the area. We had seen the calcium tufas the other day, but once we heard about the sand tufas, we had to find them.

They look like sand castles.

Before we began our journey home, we stopped at the Whoa Nellie Deli. It's inside the Mobil Station, but that certainly doesn't take away from the food. We shared a delicious piece of double chocolate cake.

We both agreed the sights we saw today were definitely worth the journey!

1 comment:

  1. A long trip out but it sounds like it was well worth it too.