Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Spirit(s) live on in Bodie, CA State Historic Park

August is a time for almost everyone to be able to take a few days and enjoy the astounding riches of the U.S. Park System. The most famous of them, Yosemite, Yellowstone, etc. are known for their natural grandeur and the incredible power of nature to awe us. Recently, though, I stumbled upon a small park in the California Gold Country that has a different power to awe...the little "ghost" town of Bodie.



Like many of the California Gold Rush towns, there's not much left to Bodie, except a few buildings with remnants of the inhabitants that once lived and thrived there, but the texture and tooth of the buildings is captivating...



This was the largest of the homes in the town, owned by the local judge. I love the delicacy of the grayed wood fence still standing in front...

And of course, the town had a main "Hotel", which rented rooms out above the local saloon....I love the texture of this door!



Inside another wooden structure was the other saloon, with the bar and the rough floor still intact...

Yet another building's rooms were still covered with many layers of paper, some decorative, and some purely to help keep out the wind and cold of the winters in the Sierras. The textures they create are just fantastic!



I couldn't quite read the date on this edition, but apparently Bodie was inhabited from it's founding sometime in the 1860's through to the 1940's, when, like many Sierra towns, it was abandoned.


The texture of these two buildings together is magical, and I love the accent of the bucket and nail, (which, incidentally weren't used much, most joinery was done without the use of nails, as you can see below...)


Naturally, the Park historians have posted a little local lore (tales of gun battles and expected bawdiness) in what was left of the barber shop...

 
Bodie is a fascinating glimpse into a little gem of a park, and I find it wonderful that, through the park systems, we have managed to save both the grand and the delicate...

Coming next, is my review of the best (and the worst!) of another incredible set of parks, the Grand Tetons, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming...

 

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