Sunday, July 11, 2010

Yosemite National Park,the Sierras & the ghost town of Bodie by Peter Bruce photo
















I was well over due for a trip and what a better time to head for the mountains and up through Yosmite and the sierra's

Yosemite National Park, which boasts nearly 95 percent designated Wilderness, is a 195-mile escape from urban San Francisco or a 315-mile journey from Los Angeles. The expansive park’s 747,956 acres or 1,169 square miles are home to hundreds of wildlife species and thousands of Yosemite plants. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is known for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves and biological diversity. Two Wild & Scenic Rivers, the Tuolumne and Merced rivers, begin in the park and flow west to the Central Valley. Visitors experience the park's 800 miles of hiking trails and 282 miles of road.

I also got to see one of the oldest and largest ghost town in Bodie. An original ghost town from the late 1800's. Bodie stands today in a state of "arrested decay". So coined by the State of California when they took over the town in 1962 to make it a State Historic Park.

In 1859 William (a.k.a. Waterman) S. Body discovered gold near what is now called Bodie Bluff. A mill was established in 1861 and the town began to grow. It started with about 25 miners and grew to an estimated 10,000 plus people by 1880! By that time, the town of Bodie bustled with families, robbers, miners, store owners, gunfighters and prostitutes of all kinds. At one time there was reported to be 65 saloons in town. Amongst the saloons were numerous brothels and 'houses of ill repute', gambling halls and opium dens. Needless to say that there was entertainment for every taste.

After a long day working the claims, the miners would head for the bars and the red light district to spend their earnings. The mixture of money, gold and alcohol would often prove fatal. It is said that there was a man killed every day in Bodie. Presumably, the undertaker never had a slow day.

There are records that say that Wm. Body took a ship from New York, around the horn to end up in San Francisco. The name of the town was changed at some point in time, before the majority of the people made their way to Bodie. There are different stories as to why - one says it was to keep the correct pronunciation of town's namesake. Another says that the sign painter didn't have the room for the tail of the lower-case "y". Today, even though Bodie is lost down a dusty 13 mile long road, off of state highway 395, it is amazing just how many people are aware of this once glorious town.

Hope you enjoy the photos. As always please let me know
Cheers Peter Bruce












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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Indian Valley/Walker Ridge Recreation Area Ukiah by Peter bruce Photo

What the hell happened

Ye mon
Beer time

It was not really "Look out central" it was just another street
What the GS does best







Always walk the road before you ride

Fire Avatar


When you go there,you are on 24 hour surveillance cameras

Here is where we went GPS Coordinates:
Decimal: 39.183756, -123.209643
Degrees: 39° 11' 1", -123° 12' 34"

Indian Valley area offers an abundance of recreational possibilities for a BMW and lots of dust. Large rolling chaparral covered hills cover with oak & pine(black and burnt from fire) make an ideal setting for hunting, camping, bicycling, hiking, & equestrian use but most of all GS use . Popular game animals include blacktail deer, black bear, quail, dove, & wild turkey,this is why we saw so many shot gun casings(can you hunters not litter and pick up your casings). For wildflower enthusiasts, pockets of the rare Indian Valley brodiaea & adobe lily can be found within the area. Boating is permitted,when there is water at the Indian Valley Reservoir . Largemouth bass, crappie, rainbow trout, bluegill, & catfish fishing in the reservoir is open all year. Cache Creek below the reservoir is planted with brown trout & is open during trout season. Kowalski Camp: Boat-in primitive campground has three sites with fire grills & picnic tables. It is a good choice for individuals or groups seeking solitude. Kowalski Camp is on the west shore of Indian Valley Reservoir & provides primitive camping accessible only via boat-in access. Blue Oak Camp: six sites for tents or RVs in a developed campground nestled in rolling, oak-studded hills. The campsites, picnic tables, & restrooms are all wheelchair-accessible. Wintun Camp has one primitive campsite 0.5 mile off of Walker Ridge Road. No restrooms or water. Location: Located about 30 miles west of Williams or 15.25 miles east of Clearlake Oaks on the 20. Turn north on Walker Ridge Road, a graded gravel road, to Indian Valley Reservoir. Season: year round Fee: no Biking Fishing Picnicking Boating (Motorized) Hiking/Backpacking Scenic Driving Boating (Non-motorized) Horseback Riding Hunting Camping Camping Wildlife Viewing Off Highway Vehicles RV Sites Restrooms . But the most important thing is you are always being watched at Indian Valley by the video camera on top of the hill.Check it out when you are there.
Hope you enjoy
Cheers Peter Bruce Photo