Back to Cali! No cross-country roadtrip this year, but lots of fun on the horizon nonetheless :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bodie State Historic Park

I don't remember where I first heard of the Bodie State Historic Park, probably some time last year when I was doing research for my cross-country road-trip. But the idea of a deserted town struck me as quite appealing.

Bodie is a town from the Gold Rush era. Once thriving, it was the home of up to 10,000 people, with its own chinatown, red light district, and mining complex. Then it was deserted little by little and the last inhabitants left around 50-60 years ago.

Now a State Park, it is maintained in a state of "arrested decay" in the same conditions as back then. It's a really eerie place, with dead houses creaking in the wind, half buried car wrecks and rusty equipment scattered in the prairie.

Getting to Bodie is rough on the car, I was quite stressed. There's an unpaved road taken straight out of Le Salaire de la Peur, complete with washboard. Lucky for me, I didn't have any nitroglycerine in the car!

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Arriving at Bodie
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The last remaining church, on Green St., erected in 1882
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D.V. Cain's house
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Wandering among ghosts
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An old car
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Inside Miller house
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Expecting to see Clint Eastwood somewhere... It's funny because the whole town kind of reminds me of Lago, the godforsaken town from High Plains Drifter, and Eastwood had the set built really close, on the shores of Mono Lake. Visiting Bodie feels a bit like that.

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Eerie I told you
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Wrecks
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It's a really strange feeling to visit this town. People lived there, but eventually they didn't die, they moved. The town died. You half-expect to hear a faint voice in the wind go all Roy Batty on you, "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe..."

(Heh, third movie ref in a single post, I think that's a new record...)

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Park Street shops and Fire station
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One of Bodie's current residents
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The Mill
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More ruins
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"Houston, we lost connection"
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Continuing the tour
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Another resident
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The cemetery
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View of the town from the cemetery
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Back
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On the way back to June Lake, beautiful Mono Lake
Mono Lake

And I took the June Lake loop instead of following US395 to have some more of these gorgeous mountains-and-lake views
June Lake loop

June Lake loop

June Lake loop

And now it's over. I have to pack my stuff and go, Real Life is calling...

Tomorrow, back to San Francisco.