In Bodie ghost town
This one was on my list and it became the best ghost town we’ve seen. But before visiting Bodie we quickly stop by Mono Lake. The lake is dotted with tufa towers, they are the result of calcium-rich spring water bubbling up from the bottom of the lake into its highly alkaline waters.
We drive up to Bodie. After the 1849 gold rush, mining declined on the Western slopes of the Sierra Nevada so prospectors crossed the range to search for gold on the Eastern side. W.S. Bodey discovered gold in 1859. Mining in the district progressed at a slow pace until a mine collapsed in 1875, revealing a rich body of gold ore. The town boomed to an estimate of 8000 residents. During 1877-1881, Bodie included 30 mines, 60 saloons, a lot of bad guys, no church, a red district and a Chinatown. Unsuccessful mines started closing soon after and the population dropped quickly. Mining continued until 1942, the school closed the same year. The last major landowner hired caretakers to watch and protect the town from vandals and in 1962 California State Parks purchased it. It’s now preserved in a state of “arrested decay”, nothing is restored, just repaired and stabilized. About 5% of the buildings remain from the town’s 1877-1881 heyday, time, fire and the harsh winters destroyed the others.