About thirty miles from here lies the Bodie State Historic Park, a 19th century gold mining boom town that was abandoned in the 1940’s, and developed into a state park in the 1960’s but left in its state of “arrested decay.”
(Don’t worry. I’ll get to the pants.)
There are no re-enactors in period costumes strolling about, and that helps add to the ghostly feel of the place. If you go — and it is well worth the drive and the price of admission — you’ll hear only the wind, the sound of footsteps on dirt streets, a few birds, maybe the buzz of a fly. You’ll also hear gasps, camera clicks, and comments in at least three languages from your fellow tourists (the park packs in about 14,000 every summer), but everyone in the comparatively small crowd there with me on this Monday morning in July was surprisingly quiet and respectful of the surroundings.
You can walk around and up to the buildings at your own pace, and peer inside the glass to see what’s been left behind. I spent about 2.5 hours doing just that. Most of my photos need no explanation. Enjoy the haunting silence.
I was pretty dusty after walking around the ghost town all morning, so I decided to head about 20 miles to Bridgeport, to dip myself into the Travertine Hot Springs. Word has it that clothing is optional here, but everyone I saw was wearing a bathing suit, including the two women coating each other with mineral mud while speaking in what I think was an eastern European language, and I figured if they weren’t naked, nobody else was gonna be either. So I ducked behind some low scrubby bushes and changed into my suit.
(Don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten about the pants.)
Here’s a video of the bubbling source of one of the pools. It’s about the size of a softball, and you really shouldn’t stick your finger in it. Guess how I know.
And now… the story of my traveling pants. A few things to keep in mind:
- Our RV park does not allow clotheslines.
- When we are in an RV park that does not allow clotheslines, I defiantly use the truck’s grille guard as a drying rack.
- Sometimes I forget that I’ve hung an item or two on the grille guard.
Lessons of the day, which I learned when I was two, but clearly needed reminding of at age 47:
- Don’t play with matches.
- Don’t stick your finger in boiling water.
- Know where your pants are at all times.