Saturday, July 21, 2012

7.20.2012–Bodie, California

Our home for the last couple days was nicer than I’d anticipated. We stayed at Paradise Shores RV Park in Bridgeport.  They had good reviews online and deserved them. Gravel pads, 30 amp, full hookup, great wireless, laundry, clean restrooms & showers, and a Good Sam discount. It seems to be primarily people who return every year for a month or more, but everyone was very friendly. Because of the manager’s recommendation, we took time this morning to visit Bodie before leaving.

Bodie was a famous gold mining town, with over 10,000 residents by 1879. The mines operated until WWII.  Less than 10% of the buildings remain. It’s now a State Historic Park where they try to maintain it in a state of arrested decay.

We were one of the first to arrive this morning, but lots of people were making the 13 mile drive (10 paved, 3 very washboardy – how’s that for a word?) to peer in the windows and walk the streets.

Some of the houses were still furnished.

Lots of the houses had outhouses, but some had rudimentary inside plumbing.

The Methodist church was still standing, but the painted (on oilcloth) Ten Commandments that used to hang behind the pulpit had been stolen – obviously, someone didn’t read the whole list!

The bank was gone except for the vault which was constructed of clay brick, three layers thick. BJ noticed that inside the vault was a safe with the artwork still intact.

Some of the houses had bay windows, and one had a glass sunroom. BJ had fun taking pictures through the sides of the bay window.

I enjoyed looking at some of the millwork and architectural detailing. The weather is taking it’s toll, but the craftsmanship is still obvious.

There was a lot of machinery, tools, and equipment – everything from ore wagons to steam engines set up to drive a large set of gears. 

I’m really glad we took the time, and would love to go back when the schedule isn’t pressing.

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