Sunday, August 19, 2012

Good-bye God, We're Going to Bodie

If you've never heard of it, Bodie was a boom gold mining town in the east side of the Sierras.  It's now a California state park, and since it is close to Bridgeport where my brother and I camped in May, we decided to go there on our last day.  I'd been there before (1990), but I do not remember being as entranced with the place as I was this time.

Bodie is remote, even by today's standards- it is at least twenty miles off Highway 395, and seventeen of those are dirt road.  The first thing that struck me was the intensity of the blue sky.  This is the church, one of the few buildings that visitors are allowed to enter.

Here's the inside of the church--

Paul and I wandered the streets for hours, peering into the interiors which have been kept in a state of "arrested decay."  Some of the buildings house park employees- obviously, we weren't peering into those.  But it was fascinating looking at the relics of years long gone, even through glass.  Those are my favorite pictures from the trip.

The general store looked like I could walk in and place an order- although it would be extremely dusty!  Many of the windows have been replaced with modern glass, but some of the buildings had the original.  

 This is a photo looking into the pool hall/casino- I think this one is through original glass.  We figured out we could get good photos by placing the camera lens flat against the windows, which is how most of these were taken.

The three photos above were taken in the only residence that allowed visitors inside.

My favorite photos, however, were surprises.  Look closely at these next ones.

 In the first, you can see my shadow, peering into the bar.  In the second, you can see me and Paul, looking into the pool hall.  But the best one has no people at all in it.


I love how the interior and exterior are juxtaposed on this one.  It has some quality that I am having a hard time finding at word for, but I find it mesmerizing.


Renate said...

These are wonderful photos. The last ones posted are very special because they are the kind I call "third look" photos. You know...the kind that make you stop and take a look, a second look, and even a third look.

Vicki said...

wow, what a wonderful place to visit! I'm sure you will get lots of inspiration from your photos

Libby Fife said...

A dual vision and very ghostly or ethereal. Nice photos really. It always amazes me when I see pictures like this, of old towns, what life must have been like before all of our modern conveniences. It must have been hot, cold, hard, uncomfortable, and very, very uncertain. A good road trip report so thanks:)

Del said...

Bev - "pentimento" perhaps?

Rian said...

We have been to Bodie. It's a very interesting (and very photographable) place.

JB said...

I have heard about Bodie many times but have never been there. Such evocative photos. Thanks.