Bodie California (Ghost Town)

While working with our new friends at the National Elk Refuge, we learned from some of them about Bodie State Historical Park just north of Yosemite National Park. Listening to them describe this place convinced us it was something that we just HAD to see when we were in the area.

To give you an idea of where Bodie is located

The park is a real ghost town. When I say “real” it’s because although it is a tourist attraction, it’s not like so many other tourist “traps” that are commercialized and always pushing their trinkets, snacks, and other junk on you.

Bodie State Historical Park sits about 15 miles east of U.S. 395 on State Rt 270 and be advised that we do NOT RECOMMEND taking this road with your RV because most of the route is dirt and in pretty rough shape. You don’t need a 4 wheel drive vehicle, but you really do not want to subject your RV (and it’s contents) to the shake, rattle and roll they’d get traveling this dirt road.

Commemorative Plaque

As the plaque above explains, Bodie was a gold mining town. Here’s a couple of paragraphs from the park web site;

Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town. Visitors can walk down the deserted streets of a town that once had a population of nearly 10,000 people. The town is named for Waterman S. Body (William Bodey), who had discovered small amounts of gold in hills north of Mono Lake. In 1875, a mine cave-in revealed pay dirt, which led to purchase of the mine by the Standard Company in 1877. People flocked to Bodie and transformed it from a town of a few dozen to a boomtown.

Only a small part of the town survives, preserved in a state of “arrested decay.” Interiors remain as they were left and stocked with goods. Designated as a National Historic Site and a State Historic Park in 1962, the remains of Bodie are being preserved in a state of “arrested decay”. Today this once thriving mining camp is visited by tourists, howling winds and an occasional ghost.

It was really eerie walking the streets and seeing the many buildings that remain. We were told by park rangers that the empty spaces between buildings actually used to be occupied by buildings as well. This was a pretty large town in it’s day!

As always, clicking on any of the thumbnails below will open the larger image.

A few people continued to live in Bodie until after World War II, when the last producing, mine, the Lucky Boy was shut down.

By then only six people were left in the old settlement and five of these would soon die untimely deaths. First, one of the men shot his wife and after she died, three men killed the murdering husband. According to legend, the ghost of the murdered man would visit the three men, shaking his fist. Soon, all three would die of strange diseases.

By the end of the 1940s, Bodie was a ghost town and was visited only by tourists interested in its history.

In 1962, after years of neglect, Bodie became a State Historic Park, and two years later the ghost town of Bodie was dedicated as a California Historic Site. It has also been designated a National Historic Site.

A few of the buildings have white window shades or drapes in them and we learned that those buildings are actually residences for state park rangers and other staff. What an interesting place this would be on a moonlit night, eh?

If you know of anyone planning on visiting Yosemite National Park, be sure to tell them about Bodie Historical State Park just north of Lee Vining California.

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Glacier National Park

While Kathy and I were working (volunteering) at the USACE Fort Peck Montana Downstream Campground, we took a few days to visit Glacier National Park. Although we could have driven to the park, we decided it would be fun to take the Amtrak train.

The Amtrak Empire Builder runs daily from Chicago to Seattle and back again. The number 7 train runs westbound through Glasgow Montana at about noon daily and delivers to Whitefish (W. Glacier area) about 9pm.

The “Empire Builder” route from Glasgow to Whitefish

The return (number 8 train) runs eastbound daily and departs Whitefish at 7:30am arriving back in Glasgow around 3:30pm.

Round trip tickets are $108 each, a rental car (2019 Chevy Malibu) cost us $35/day and the room at a nice new Best Western (w/ king bed, fridge, microwave) was $94/day. Although the trip by train is more than driving in our own car, the trip was far more relaxing and enjoyable.

Riding on the train allows you the opportunity to move around at will from your car to either the lounge car, the panorama view sightseeing car, or the formal dining car. They have sleeping cars too, but we didn’t have an opportunity to see those.

Remember, you can click on any of the thumbnails below to see an enlarged image

Renting the car (with unlimited mileage) we were able to drive just under 600 miles in 2 days seeing both West Glacier and East Glacier. We were not, unfortunately able to take the “Going to The Sun Road” all the way across from west to east because 22 miles of the road were still closed due to not being cleared of snow yet (this was the end of May!). As a result (as you’ll see in the video below) we had to take Route 2 the long way around the bottom of the park from one side to the other.

Our Amtrak Trip to Glacier May 2019

Thanks for riding along with us on our adventures. Soon after our Amtrak ride to Glacier (celebrating our 45th anniversary) we packed up our coach at Fort Peck and moved on east to our next Workamping/Volunteer gig at Spearfish, SD. Post on our experiences there follows shortly.

If you’re not already subscribed to this blog, you can easily do so by scrolling up to the top of any page and entering your email address in the block on the right side.

You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel (herbnkathyrv) on You Tube.

If you’re curious (at any time) to know where we are at that moment then click the button at the top right of this page labeled “See Where We Are Now“.

We’d love to hear from you. If you scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, you can send us a note. Again, thanks for riding along. ’til next time – safe travels.

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy
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