Another beautiful sunny day here at the Lake. We took the June Lake Loop Road (CA 158) past some stunning lakes and through neon fall colors. I'll post those in a few days, watch for them. Our destination today was Bodie State Historic Park, an honest to goodness ghost town, maintained in a state of "arrested decay".
We'd heard about a cool restaurant in a small town on the way, Lee Vining. It was lunch time, so we stopped and had a knockout lunch outside in the sun overlooking Mono Lake. The Whoa Nellie Deli is in a Mobil Gas Station....yes it is. Too cool.
|view from our gas station lunch spot|
|Dave's Lobster Tacquito's|
But I digress....Bodie, or the remnants of Bodie. Only about 5 % of the buildings that originally made up the city are contained in the state park. By l879 10,000 people lived there, and from what I gather, most of them were miners, gamblers, prostitutes and the necessary suppliers. It had quite a reputation.
We took route 395 north from Mono Lake and turned off into the mountains on CA 270. After 10 miles or so, the pavement stopped and the road turned to a bumpy, rocky, rutted trail. On our way up we passed signs proclaiming the elevation to be 8000 ft. We didn't really get the feeling of ascending like we did on the way to Virginia City. Just a slow, constant climb, very slow....
|Dave peeks through a window in this private house|
|he sees it as it was left, peeling wallpaper and all|
|I wonder how much longer this old house will stand|
|the siding on many of the buildings was made of cut up kerosene and gasoline cans that were originally used to haul those supplies up from Carson City, NV. California recycling even then...|
|a look at one of the only surviving bar rooms through the front window. at one time there were 65 "liquor palaces" in Bodie.|
|a world globe sits decaying in the school window. the vicious sun turns shades and curtains to tatters.|
We spent probably 2 or 3 hours wandering the dusty streets of Bodie. No cars allowed in, no doors or windows open, no services whatsoever. It was hot and quiet and quite eerie, the whole experience so far from the baudy, touristy, loud Virginia City.
A big drink of water in the car and we set off back down the terrible road. You never know what will be around the next corner though...We had just gotten back on the pavement, rounded a bend and.....sheep in the road! Hundreds of sheep, kept tightly packed together by a herdsman and his three dogs. Two sheepdogs and one large white dog that looked to me like a Great Pyrenees. They came hesitantly through the pasture gate and when the three dogs "gave them direction" they moved as one huge mass crawling over one another to get to the other side and the pasture. Something to see!
|you can see one of the sheepdogs standing in the road, giving orders|
|and the big guy in the front of the picture keeping things moving|
Back on CA 158 (June Lake Loop Road) heading home, we continued to marvel at the unexpected shocks of fall color dripping down the brown hillsides. Fall is beautiful here too!