October 26, 2004

At long last, we come to the end of this little trip, which brings us to these pictures from Bodie, CA. It's a ghost town I had heard of but never been to before, and, after bumping and jostling our way down three miles of dusty, unpaved, and rutted road, we paid our fee to the very nice park rangers, bought our handy one-dollar self-guided tour book and ventured into the past. I really enjoyed rambling around, camera in hand, exploring its state of "arrested decay" for a few hours.

The wind had finally shifted by the day we got there so it wasn't smoky, and the first picture shows how beautiful the sky was. The hill in the background leads up to the Standard Mine, where upwards of $15 million in gold and silver were mined during the town's heydey. Of course, that heydey was wicked, violent and filled with lawlessness so it wasn't exactly a paradise.

The second picture was taken from inside one of the abandoned houses that are open to the public -- many aren't because they're unsafe or unstable -- and to the left you can see the Standard Mill. I couldn't figure out what they milled in the mill since, as you can see, trees are not exactly what you could consider abundant in the area, but I guess there are all different kinds of mills and this one processed the ore from the mine. I suppose I should have gone on the mill tour after all.

Lastly we have a remnant of life in Bodie still hanging at the back of the McInnis House, which lies furthest east of all the structures you can poke around in. (Cynically, I figure most of the Irish were kept as far out of town as possible!) It demonstrates how well they've managed to keep the remaining artifacts out of the hands of souvenir hunters. No doubt, that task has been helped along over the years by The Curse of Bodie. The letters mentioned in the link? They actually have a whole book of them in the museum available to look at, and they provide quite the cautionary tale. That being the case, I left with nothing but photos and a day's worth of interesting memories.