Monday, May 19, 2014

Ghosts in Bodie, CA and the Second Deepest Lake in the USA

Our next stop as we continued meandering north on spectacular, scenic Hwy 395, was Coleville, CA,   chosen  for it's closeness to the ghost town of Bodie, CA, making it an easy day trip for us.  A visit to Bodie, CA is a return to a bygone time in history, and an easy detour off Hwy 395 via CA270.        Founded in 1876, and reporting a population of 10,000 in 1879, Bodie is boasted as California's biggest, baddest and best preserved genuine wild west ghost town, at an elevation of 8379'.  Off the beaten path but well worth the last 3 miles on a bumpy, dusty dirt road, with slight possible views of Mono Lake,  your first encounter is the cemetery on your way into town.  Visitors can walk the deserted streets of a once thriving and bustling gold-mining town, and observe the approximate 110 structures still standing and  preserved in a state of arrested decay.  The interiors are said and appear to remain as they were left.  You name it, and Bodie probably had it.  Churches, Banks, School, Saloons, Red-Light District, Chinatown, Opium Dens, Hotel, Blacksmith, Mill, General Store, to name just a few. A town of extremes in many aspects, including extreme weather in Winter and in Summer.  Close your eyes, hear and feel the rustling wind and  imagine the difficult, energetic, vigorous activity and lifestyle of past days.

California designated Bodie a State historic Park in 1962, and receives approximately 200,000 visitors yearly.
Continuing northward, we decided to spend a couple days in Reno, NV, the state we initially started from in mid April,  due to possible inclement weather forecast and for another day trip to the second deepest lake in the USA, none other than the most stunning, pristine Lake Tahoe, all 22 miles long and 12 miles wide and 72 miles of shoreline, prided as one of "America's Most Beautiful Drives".   We were certainly impressed.

Our next stop will be in our beloved, OREGON.

Monday, May 5, 2014

From Desert Sand to Mountain Snow, along Spectacular, Historic and Scenic US Hwy 395

Traveling a mere 5 hours from the 90 degree F desert sands of southeastern California north on spectacular, historic and scenic US Hwy 395, which hugs California's Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains, brought us to our next location beneath the highest summit in the contiguous US, majestic snow-capped 14, 505'  Mt. Whitney, and all her glory.  We had to dig out some long pants and  coats for these cooler night temperatures.  We weren't in the desert heat anymore.
Just outside Lone Pine, CA, which proved to be a very cool, friendly little town, is Alabama Hills BLM, where we found 2 glorious new sites to enjoy and bask in  for the next 4 days, off Movie Road, which is justly named for the hundreds of movies, commercials and TV shows which have been filmed here over the years.  The Lone Pine Film Museum is a fabulously fun way to learn more information about the film industry and movie trivia  in the area.  Being the movie buffs that we are, we made sure we had some movies that had scenes filmed in the area to watch throughout our stay there.  Specifically, How The West Was Won, Gladiator, Star Trek Movies 5 and 7, and one of our favorites, The Long Long Trailer, with Lucy Ball and Dezi Arnaz.  What fun to drive on the actual road, Whitney Portal Road, as seen in the movie.  We DID NOT pull our "trailer" when we went.   Our Weather Bug app alerted us with a' High Wind Advisory', which is the reason being for our move to a second site which was much more protected.  The winds did come as forecast and we were thankful for the alert and for moving.
Our  first site

Another place that ROCKS for us

'The Long Long Trailer'  road

Our second site

Everything we had read, heard and anticipated about Hwy 395 was true and more and our drive thus far had been nothing less than truly spectacular.  When we left Lone Pine, traveling further North, we would pass by Bishop, Mammoth Lakes, June Lake, Lee Vining, and Mono Lake, with extraordinary and stunning views around every bend.  Our next stop would be Coleville with a visit to Big, Bad Bodie.