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.
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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