A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Look Around

I enjoy just wandering around away from the buildings just to see what there is to find 
and wonder what it once was and how did it get there.

Someone might have used this old tub to wash their dirty clothes in...or even their-self.

Enter at your own risk.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bodie Jail

By the looks of the jail cell door lying nearby in the grass it would seem that the Bodie jail was a formidable structure for housing law-breakers.

Yet the jail itself was a simple wooden building. Murders, shootouts, barroom brawls and the occasional stagecoach holdup were regular occurrences.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blacksmith Shop

This is what was left of the blacksmith's work area in Bodie.  There may have been more than just one blacksmith in the town.  Something I never considered until getting older and my hearing began to deteriorate was the damage done to the hearing of blacksmiths with that constant pounding of metal on an anvil.  They wore no hearing protection of any kind so it would be interesting to know just how affected their hearing was as they got on in years.  I imagine blacksmiths were almost completely deaf when old...like me.  Good place to work on those cold winter days of that area though.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bodie Bank

This is all that remains of the one and only bank in Bodie, just the vault

that housed the safe inside.  Think they built the vault around the safe?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Model A Wheelbarrow

I liked this old wheelbarrow. Its the all metal spoked wheel that makes it unique by today's standards.

I am just guessing this was a Ford Model A at one time.
Now it is just yard art.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


In Bodie there were no trash collectors of course.  As we saw earlier used metal cans were flattened and nailed onto buildings for added protection.  But all was not recycled and many homes had trash heaps out back.

Finding a rusty old can like this in the desert for me is like finding a treasure.  I have a nice collection here at home.  But Bodie is a State Park and everything including debris and rusty old tin cans is protected and to be left just as you found it or you face a hefty fine for removing any artifact.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Tin Weatherproofing

The residents of Bodie were really into recycling.  
Here you can see an entire home covered with tin from flattened out containers.

No doubt a surface like this allowed snow to slip off the roof 
much easier than traditional wood shingles.

Yearly rainfall is around 10 inches (254mm) while snow amounts upwards to 100 inches a year.  Elevation at Bodie is 8379' (2,554m) so even during the summer months at night the temperatures can be below freezing.  Here you can see an attempt to keep water run-off of melting snow from seeping into the joint between these too parts of this home.

Water will find its way in anywhere it can.  This flashing above the window appears much more recent but along the roof edge is original, some of it missing.  This is a good example as to what the extremely dry conditions and constant exposure of the sun can do to weather wood.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Typical Bodie Home

The foundation is giving way to the passing of years.

You wonder when looking in the windows of the buildings as to just how much was actually left behind and how much was placed or staged by the Park Service.

This interior shot looks pretty much as it was left by the owners 
although I would not leave my coat behind.

My guess as to why that first step out the door is a big one would be due to all the snow they had in the winter.  Best have the door up a ways from the piling up of snow.  
The steps down have long since disappeared. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

What and Who is Left

Whereas at its peak Bodie had 2000 buildings making up the town, 
today there are only around 100 structures left standing.

The only people who live in Bodie now are the few on site Park Rangers.  
The remainder of the residents are mostly these little guys.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Through the Windows

Taking pictures of the inside of buildings is a tricky exercise.  The best way I've found is to place your lens flush against the glass.  This eliminates most of the glare and reflections from the sun.  The windows in Bodie are all dirty from windblown dirt so dust specks are unavoidable unless you are packing around a bottle of window cleaner and a roll of paper towels.  
I've never seen anyone doing that.

The parlor of a hotel

A rooming house

One of the saloons. 
At its height there were as many as 65 places you could wet your whistle in Bodie.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Haul it in

I mentioned a couple posts ago as to how expensive everything must have been for it all had to be brought it from far away over rough roads.  There are two roads into where Bodie lies, the main one being 13 miles long coming off of California Highway 395.  Another off of Highway 120 than runs along Mono Lake is longer.  Back in the day, the late 1870's, these roads were all rough-cut dirt and gravel made for horse or mule drawn wagons.  In time automobiles came on to the scene and the roads were improved...some.  Today that 13-mile road is paved except for the last few miles.

Rest assured, the improved road back then never looked this good.

By 1879, 5000 to 7000 people lived in Bodie just as the gold boom began to die.
So imagine hauling in food, supplies, building and mining materials, and of course fuel.
 Keep in mind Sacramento and San Francisco was a couple hundred miles to the west
 on the other side of the High Sierra mountains.

By 1910, 698 residents stayed on in Bodie rather than to move on to other mining opportunities.
Ten years later the population dwindled down to 120 hearty souls.
I wonder how much per gallon gasoline must have cost back then over normal prices.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day America

Since I'm currently re-visiting photos from Bodie Ghost Town, this picture of the entrance had the old Stars and Stripes blowing in the high mountain wind of the area.  
That's the best I could do for my 4th of July recognition this year.

Friday, July 3, 2015

As They Should Be

Really, pictures of Bodie probably ought to be as they were in that time period.

Sepia was the most prevalent tone for photos back then,

yet I prefer black & white over sepia.

Some would rather see the colors though so here you are.

The letters on the taller building in all three photos are I.O.O.F.
This was the Odd Fellows hall.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The General Store

I imagine items were very expensive having had to be hauled in from great distances.

Notice what looks like new sled runners.

Imagine being a woman and admiring the fancy dress in the display window
 knowing you could never afford to buy it.  But still, everyday you walk by the store just to dream.

You cannot go inside most of the buildings in Bodie, including the store.
Just look through the windows.