After putting the Mustang through its paces (that car has POWER) and spending the night in a hotel with a lady who seemed to be permanently high...
...we made it to the end of the road. However Bodie was still about 6 miles away. Separating us from the goal was possibly the worlds bumpiest dirt track. I can only assume it was kept in the same state of arrested decay as the town. Every really slow vehicle we had sped past on the way now caught up and over took us. Note to travellers: Sports cars are not the cars to travel to Bodie in.
After a short while of bone shaking, we finally saw what we had come for...a town described by all the tourist guides as "in a state of arrested decay"...basically no one has lived there since the forties and all the buildings are still the same, with most of them dating to the 1880's.
And it's true! In the old saloon there are still chips on the table from the last game of poker played there. It's like everyone just got up and left. In the morning before I started sketching I waited by the church for the ranger to give his daily speech about the history of Bodie. Turns out that the man whom the town is named after is W.S Bodey...which is an alternate spelling of my surname (Boddy) and both derive from the same, although the former is pronounced Boe-dee not Body, which is why they changed the spelling of the town so that people didn't mis-pronounce it...much like many do with my last name. Unfortunately for him, he was never able to see the town that bears his namesake. Legend has it (actually this is pretty accurate...it just sounds better starting "Legend has it") that he decided to brave the winter on his claim but upon returning from collecting supplies in the nearby town of Mono, one days walk that way, Bodey and his partner found themselves lost on the way back to the cabin. A storm set in and conditions became blinding. The pair wandered aimlessly (in a kind of "Hmmm. I recognise this tree...WE'RE GOING IN CIRCLES" way) for hours until Bodey, his energy sapped, fell to the snow. His partner wrapped him in a blanket and vowed to come back for him once he found the cabin. After more fruitless searching (it's the same bloody tree!) he decided to go back to Mono. Bodey was claimed by the storm. They found his body in the spring after the snow had melted...300 yards from the cabin. Then they began digging and found millions of dollars of gold.
But that's not all they found. Nope. They also found...
...an awesome place for sketching.
I spent a good few hours wandering around. A particular highlight was the stroll down Maiden Lane and Virgin Alley in the old wild end of town. Except it all burned down in a fire so, essentially, I was wandering through a field of grass where many people once had sex.Mr. Jones. He made some enjoyable observations of the other history tourists.
Right before we started the drive back to San Francisco, a lightning storm kicked off. It was at this point in the day that we witnessed an event...nay...a miracle. I call it "THE MOSES MOMENT"
And I'd also prefer to never be stuck in a car with 17 miles to go until the next Carl's Jr...only to miss it and have to drive another 6 miles. I didn't know what Carl's Jr was. It was the person in the passenger seat doing the "I can't believe you missed it! Your GPS is crap. I'm using my iPhone to find it...go left here". I didn't miss the next one and was rewarded with the biggest cup (bucket) of Coca-Cola ever.
Anyway, I'm starting to natter on a bit so I'll wrap in up. In conclusion - Bodie = cool, Trees = fire, Mountain Lions = Danger and Carl's Jr = Heart attack in five years.