October 04, 2011

Early Autumn Vacation: Bodie, Yosemite, Mono Lake

Here is a little synopsis of our mini-vacation through Yosemite, a ghost town, and a lake.

Bodie, CA
We took a little vacation to Bodie, CA--a historical, notorious ghost town bordering the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, close to the Nevada border. In its gold-mining heyday, Bodie had over 10,000 residents (this was in 1879)--complete with prostitutes, a Chinatown, and numerous saloons. Bodie became a ghost town in the 1910s, and was registered as a state historic park in 1962. Since 1962, the town has been left in a state of "arrested decay," with minimal repairs made as a form of upkeep. 

When we drove up to Bodie, the town seemed so small.  However, as we actually walked through the town, we began to feel its enormity.  The weather in Bodie was only 80 degrees Fahrenheit at most, but the altitude (over 8,000 feet) left us quite sluggish and tired--which seemed to add to the town's looming presence.  After four hours (yes, leave it to us to spend four hours in a ghost town), we were done for the day.  Yet, we still didn't explore each house or establishment, for the main part of town was so crowded with people: many, interestingly enough, had Southern accents.  We want to head back to Bodie sometime soon to see the main part of town because on this visit, we stuck to the town's peripheries.  People-avoidance, indeed!  This visit was two years in the making.

Did you know that Bodie, CA was slated for closure in both 2009 and 2010?  Glad it is still open.

                                   Top left: Jail
                                   Top right: Saloon; Hotel
                                   Bottom left: Bodie and snow-capped mountains in the background
                                   Bottom right: Schoolhouse globe

                                    Top left: View of Bodie
                                    Top right: Paper ads (newspaper or magazine) on floor of a home
                                    Bottom left: Intact wallpaper in a home
                                    Bottom right: Church

Mono Lake

We stopped by Mono Lake--the scenery seemed to glow with tranquility, riveting stillness, and glorious silence.  Beautiful.  The lake is a refuge for birds, and the tufa growths (lower right hand photo in the collage) were interesting to observe.  I wish we'd stayed a bit longer just to revel in the pristine nature; I really could have stayed here all day.

Due to California's budget deficit, Mono Lake is slated for closure, beginning next summer.  Darned sad because we may not make it back before next summer.  Click HERE for a list of California State Parks that are slated for closure, beginning next summer (included on the list is Jack London's home).  I honestly think that there must be a better way to close the budget gap.  No tax cuts for the wealthy, perhaps? 

Hetch Hetchy

The Hetch Hetchy is a reservoir in Yosemite National Park, which serves the San Francisco Bay Area.  It seemed like it took hours to finally get down to the reservoir, on a very narrow road, but it was well worth the wait.   

Earlier this afternoon, I read that elevations over 8,000 feet received 5-10 inches of snow today (i.e.: the vacation chronicled in this post!).  We made our visit just in time ( a week ago!), prior to the onset of early winter weather.

P.S.  Irrelevant to this post, but my shop received its first Facebook "Like" the other day.  Pretty neat news to me.

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