After Fresno, I wanted to make my way to Yosemite to see if I could get away with my first real dose of back country style camping. Unfortunately, most of the roads through the park were closed and there were only very limited places to camp. My brother suggested an alternative…the ghost town of Bodie…just on the otherside of Yosemite from Fresno. He had taken his son there a couple of years ago on a road trip. Its an actual ghost town…booming during the goldrush days but then abandoned sometime in the early 1900’s. Like…spooky abandoned. The state park system maintains about 100 or so surviving buildings…allowing some to collapse and keeping others up with just enough support to keep them standing. At one time, the town had it all…homes, a bank, schools, post office, telegraph and morgue. A church, a restaurant and hotels. Much of the Mill still stands. But inside many of these are the dusty reminders of former lives and community. The high desert here, about 7000 feet, waits patiently to reclaim all of it…someday.
I very much got my first real dose of lonely-traveler style camping. All the land around the park is under the Bureau of Land Management…that is to say…its public land and totally legit to camp there, as long as you adhere to some basic rules about where you are in relation to things like roads or other public use land. So just outside of Bodie…which is 10 miles from any modern town or service, down a veeeeery long dirt road….are thousands of acres of untouched desert. Nothing but scrub grass and gently rolling hills for as far as the eye could see. I spent a chilly night under the perfect night sky with only the sound of the wind for company. I of course took the opportunity to take my Onewheel out. Sooooo great.
The next morning, I packed up my camp and entered Bodie just before it opened at 8am. There were only 2 or 3 other early birds there and I had the town mostly to myself. I spent almost 3 hours walking around and taking photographs.
My brother was right. It was totally worth the drive, the chilly nose…the bumpy ride..all of it. Thanks Bro.
Onto Death Valley next.
Photos of the camp spot.
The Ghost Town of Bodie.