Exploring Bodie, California

I just got back from a trip to the USA with a week road tripping with my two good mates. We managed to get out to the abandoned ghost town of Bodie.

Bodie is a former gold-mining town and State Historic Park in California’s Bodie Hills, near the Nevada border. This 19th-century ghost town encompasses numerous original buildings in varying states of decay, plus artifacts and the Masonic Cemetery. Miners Union Hall houses a museum with mining tools. Northeast is the Standard Gold Mill, with machinery and information about the process of gold extraction.

We found the town to be pretty empty except the many, many parks officers guarding the place. They where all super nice and well armed. Strange to see so many guns. The message is. Don’t fk with Bodie.

The town is being looked after well. Buildings that are structurally sound are being sealed and some have been turned into living quarters for the parks people who look after the place.

Bodie was an old gold mining town. It had a reputation of being a tough town with regular murders, shoot outs and whoring. Sounds pretty cool.

Wikipedia has a good round of up of it’s history here.

One of the stand-out structures is the old church. Looking inside you can see a slight tilt to the building. You can also see that work has been done around the town to arrest further decay of this historic site.

If you ever get to Bodie the first thing you’ll see is an area full of old machinery. This is the left overs taken from a mine and dumped on the hill. This machinery is the elevator system used to cart miners and ore up and down from the mine.

Bodie sits at a high altitude. While I was exploring this place I was constantly fighting to breathe thanks to my sea-level up bringing. 🙂

It was cold, quiet and breath taking place.

Walking around the town you can visit many buildings full of artifacts from the history of the town. Most are closed up to protect the items from thievery but some allow you to go in and experience them first hand.

There are also some interesting wrecks of old vehicles littering the site.

One of the most interesting sites is this tomb like structure.

This is actually all that is left of the bank. Looking through the grate on this door allows you to see the old safe used to hold gold and cash.

Not far from this is the old jail.

The most prominent structure of Bodie is the old mine. Unfortunately it was closed up and guarded so I could not get in. That was a bit of a bummer, but there was still so much to see around the town it wasn’t too bad. Tours can also be arranged with the Parks people if you plan ahead.

Below are random shots from around the town. Enjoy.