Sunday, June 16, 2019

Mono Lake Park & Bodie State Historic Park (CA)

After three nights camping on Grant Lake, it was 02 June 2019 and time to move on. We had just a few miles to drive to see the lovely little Mono Lake Park. We walked around the park oohing and ahhing over its lushness and the creek running through it. Margaret walked Peaches around in the grass, which turned out to be the ideal rolling stuff for her (see in the video below). It was a beautiful day of about 65 degrees, with blue skies with puffy white clouds, a slight breeze, and mostly just the sounds of birds and running water to hear.

 Mono Lake Park. Photo by Virginia.

  Mono Lake Park. Photo by Virginia.

  Mono Lake Park. Photo by Margaret.

 The boardwalk takes you to Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve. Photo by Margaret.

 Tufas along the boardwalk. Photo by Virginia.

 More tufas along the boardwalk. Photo by Virginia.

 Some Canada Geese on the shore of Mono Lake. Photo by Margaret.

 A short video featuring the park, Peaches, & the reserve. 
Videos by Margaret & Virginia. 
Movie by Virginia.
[If you have trouble viewing this embedded movie, 
you may view it directly on YouTube here:]
Following a lovely picnic lunch at Mono Lake Park, we continued north on Highway 395, intent on visiting the ghost town of Bodie, which was a gold-mining town founded in 1876. Bodie State Historic Park is located ten miles east of 395 off of State Route 270. The last three miles are gravel with washboarding, potholes, and no railing. I was the nervous passenger with the view down the steep cliff, while Margaret was all "Don't worry; we're not going to go over." Hah! Of course, we made it there and back without going over any cliffs, but I was still freaked out. =:>)

Bodie is located at an elevation of almost 8,400 feet, and the June day we visited felt more like March. It was in the mid-50s upon our arrival; but while we were there, the windchill factor dropped the temperature considerably. Then there were the sporadic rain and hail showers. Brrrrr! Both Margaret and I would have loved to have stayed longer and continued walking more of the town, including the Museum & Visitor Center, but we didn't want to get any colder and wetter. (The town and mining operations are scattered in a rather large area.) We also missed out on the Stamp Mill Tour, but we did manage to watch the video, Bodie: Frozen in Time at the Red Barn. Bodie's history is colorful and interesting. There are links to its Wikipedia page and the state park site in the paragraph above. It is fascinating reading.

The entrance to Bodie State Historic Park. Photo by Virginia.

The really cool welcome sign in the parking area. Photo by Virginia.

Boomtown Bodie sign. Photo by Margaret.

Head frame and elevator cars. Photo by Virginia.

Bodie landmark plaques. Photo by Margaret.

The interior of the Methodist Church, including the organ. Photo by Margaret.

A view of the northwest area of Bodie. Photo by Virginia.

The interior of the D.V. Cain House through a window. Photo by Virginia.

The west end of Bodie, including the Methodist Church. Photo by Virginia.

The Standard Mill on the east side of Bodie. Photo by Virginia.

We were on site for nearly an hour and a half before heading back over the treacherous (slight exaggeration...maybe) road back to modern-day civilization by way of the quaint historic town of Bridgeport, CA. Once there, we went from no cell service to four out of four bars LTE, which was announced by many notification update sounds. Hallelujah! Our next camping experience was high up in a forest with stunning views of the mountains and Bridgeport Valley. Stay tuned for that entry—coming soon. Thanks for following our adventures. We truly appreciate your support!

NOTE: Clicking on the photos in the post will open them in a larger view (recommended!). If you want to see more photos of the beautiful places we've shared, we have them in this Flickr Collection: Over the Hill Sisters Photo Collection.


Cyn said...

I have wanted to visit Mono Lake for many years, and Bodie looks so fascinating! I love ghost towns; Tom and I have been to a few around here (Rhyolite being the most interesting and authentic one). Thanks for sharing with us.

Cyn said...

AND BTW...Peaches is completely adorable! Squee!

Margaret Hill said...

Awww. I agree with you, Cyn. Peaches is precious. I was so lucky to find her shortly before this trip. She’s been a great little traveler and companion. 🐕 🥰

Margaret Hill said...

Mono lake is a great stop for migrating birds and is gradually being restored to its former health by allowing more fresh water to remain. There are signs along the boardwalk pointing out how high the water level was in various past years: 1950's, 1960's, etc. Los Angeles had skimmed off so much of it, but now the water level is being allowed to slowly rise. I was amazed at how many large pieces of land the City of Los Angeles owns in the Eastern Sierra for water rights.

Bodie is fascinating, knowing that real people lived (hard and dangerous lives!) and died there over a hundred years ago. The park service has done a wonderful job of maintaining the buildings and mine equipment in a state of "arrested decay." You can easily imagine images of the town people fleeing the town when it went bust and leaving so many things behind. Life was very harsh there. As I drove each way on the long dirt road, and paved before that, I thought what a hardship, at over 8,000 feet elevation, to travel those long distances with horses or mules and wagons to fetch supplies. For example, the first paragraph of the "Boomtown Bodie" interpretive sign above says: "Four prospectors, including W. S. Bodey, stumbled upon one of the richest Eastern Sierra gold strikes in 1859. Bodey froze to death in November of that year when he returned with supplies during a blizzard. He never lived to see the town named in his honor." Harsh.