Tuesday, 28th May 2019
Left Lake Tahoe in the morning and got a tip to go and see Bodie Ghost Town near Bridgeport. It’s 6 miles of dirt road, which was interesting! We paid our fee of US$ 8.00 to the park warden and she said: ‘We don’t see many motorbikes here !’ But boy, was it worth it.
Here’s a bit of history: Over 200 buildings remaining. Named after waterman W.S. Bodey from Poughkeepsie, New York, who discovered gold here in 1859, Bodie soon boasted a population of approx. 8000. Unfortunately W.S. Bodey died in a snowstorm shortly after his discovery. From the late 1800s through to the early 1900s Bodie was a booming gold mining town. It was known for it’s wicked climate and bad men = the old Wild West. During 1877 – 1881 Bodie’s mining district included 30 different mines and nine stamp mills. Bodie is a State Historic Park (California State Parks purchased it in 1962) and is run by the Park Rangers. Only 5 % of the buildings remain from its heyday. It is now preserved in a state of ‘arrested decay’ – this means that buildings’ roofs, windows and foundations are repaired and stabilisied, but not restored.
‘And now my comrades all are gone;
Naught remains to toast.
They have left me here in my misery,
Like some poor wandering ghost.’
Joaquin Miller ‘The Days of ’49’
We spent several hours between the remains of all the buildings and then carried on to our overnight stop at Lee Vining.
Author: Liz Tompkinson