Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ghost town USA ~ Bodie, California

I am in the mood to start this 3-part blog with the last part! 
Growing up with my French family across several anglo-saxon countries before moving to California, 
we were caught up in watching Spaghetti Westerns on television; we would hear about the folklore of the enigmatic Wild West, the major Gold Rushes across California, and I would imagine warm howling winds across the wide open expanses of vast American landscapes. 

It was just last month that I headed to the Eastern Sierras to the most well preserved historic Gold Rush ghost town of Bodie, just a bit east of another grand Dame of American beauty - Yosemite National Park. With the discovery of gold in the hills north of Mono Lake, Bodie, at an elevation of 8370ft, is now a State Historic Park and a National Historic Landmark. What began as a mining camp in 1859, quickly flourished to a Wild West boom town in 1870 with over 2000 buildings.

The opium bars, the 65 saloons, the thriving mines are now closed; the thousands of migrants, laborers, young families, and the prospectors have all left - the streets are now deserted - only about 100 buildings remain on the gently sloped hillside, yet the authenticity of those far gone days is ever so present, preserved in an eerie state of arrested decay and stillness.

Camera in hand, I wandered around ~ childhood dreams under my arm.

Bodie is not far. Do venture there. In one long weekend, I was back home in Marin County. Working backwards to part two for the next blog, will be a visit south to Mono Lake with its very own eerie edge - the unusual rock formations known as Tufa Towers.

It won't be long until I post again.
For now, enjoy that ghostly sensation… it's good for the soul, remember…

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