We had THE best time on our Bodie trip Saturday!
We met Wirecutter (click the link to check out his blog-your daily dash of humor!) in Bridgeport about 10:30-he thinks he was late but we really didn't notice. Gave us a chance to people watch and read for a minute-then started the trek to Bodie. It's about 15 miles from Bridgeport, CA-the last 3 are on a very bumpy dirt/gravel road. I had already been doing my happy/excited dance all morning-but once the town came into view I could barely contain myself!
That is a view of the town from the cemetery-it's the best overall view. You can see that it was actually a good sized town.
There are quite a few homes and businesses you can peek into and get a really good feeling of how people lived back then. I don't remember the exact dates, but the town started as a booming mining town around 1860 and remained occupied until the early 1930's. The state of California eventually stepped in and made it a state park in the early 1970's I believe.
I took close to 200 pictures, so I'm just going to post the ones that really touched me-otherwise this would be the longest blog post EVER.
Looking into the homes, you can imagine what life must have been like. Can you imagine being a wife and mother in 1870? Wearing those big heavy dresses, having to gather wood for your cooking, water from down at the river, all the while trying to keep your children safe from the debauchery while praying to God your husband made it home from the mine? It gives me chills, it really does.
And check this out-they used burlap to insulate their houses, poor things. It can snow up to 6 feet in Bodie-I can't even imagine what it must have been like trying to stay warm.
Hubbs and Wirecutter-look at that glassed in front porch-
No matter where we go, Hubbs can ALWAYS find an interesting car to look at-
And yes, that includes wagons-look at the axle, I'm pretty sure it's a tree branch.
The houses of prostitution and most of the bars burned in one of the fires, but the street where the ladies were located was called Maiden Lane, or Virgin Alley. So I thought I'd get a picture of my sweet innocent self next to the sign-
A shot of a gambling hall-
And check out the legs on this billiards table-thanks to Wirecutter for pointing out it was a billiards table, not a pool table. I didn't even notice!
Hubbs and I-Wirecutter knows a good spot for a photo! I love the ivy growing over the railing-
Wirecutter and I-by the way, I decided that this was the first annual Bloggers to Bodie run-it needs to be a tradition. I'm thinking next time we get a camp space for the night.
He's a really great guy-low key, no bullshit-we got along great. And his knowledge of Bodie is impressive.
It's very easy to get overwhelmed with not just the information, but the feeling of how hard life was back then. We took a cruise through the museum (which was packed with people-I actually took one step in, was about to turn around and go back out, when I realized that the guys were right behind me. I almost lost it there for a sec, but I was saved from myself at the last minute!), and saw some very interesting things-jewelry and hair combs, shoes and old maps-it was really cool.
I'd be very interested to learn more about the attitude toward death back then, and the mourning practices. Not that there was a lot of time to mourn-you couldn't take a day off from fetching water and firewood- but check this out-
That struck me as incredibly romantic.
And the hearse-why did it become uncivilized to drive through down with the casket in plain view?
We visited the cemetery last, and it got to be a bit much for me. The majority of the graves were for children-that and the fact that there were so many unmarked, I started to get quite overwhelmed.
This first picture is of a monument to Rosa May, one of the prostitutes in Bodie. I love this picture-you can really sense Wirecutters feelings for the history and hardship these people faced. And I love Hubbs' look of curiosity. The second picture is of her actual grave, several feet away. She wasn't allowed to be buried in the cemetery-God forbid she should lay next to "respectable" folks.
All in all, we had one of the best days we've had in a long time. Good friends, good food, and a day of learning, exploring and hanging out. Not only did we picnic (well, tailgate) but I splurged and had SAMMICHES! Gotta toss the diet out the window every now and again. Though I'm sure hiking around town for 4 hours burned off a ton of calories.
Thanks again to Wirecutter-he really helped bring the town alive for us. We could not ask for a better tour guide.