Monday, June 7, 2010

Bodie Ghost Town, Beautiful Decay Pt. 2

There is something special about Bodie. "Enchanting" and "Haunting" don't really do it justice.

Plopped among the bush speckled hills, a wee bit outside the eastern end of Yosemite, Bodie rests - a graveyard of chipping paint and stained floral wallpaper and splinters. Unlike other ghost towns I have visited in the past (like Calico), this is not really touristy despite being a tourist attraction. It has all the good ingredients for a good ghost town: Large, ominous factory perched atop a hill, soil so dry it crunches every time you take a step, layers of colorful curling wallpaper singed from multiple fires that ripped through the town, chinese brothels and cowboy saloons, an intact mortuary with child sized coffins laid out waiting to be occupied, school rooms with sun bleached plastic pumpkins sitting in the windows for halloween.

The beautiful thing about Bodie, is that it is mostly untouchable. 

To preserve it, almost all of the buildings are sealed off the way they were left when the city was abandoned between the Great Depression and WWII. To get a look, we had to wander around peering into fogged windows on our tippy toes, barely making out the labels of Best Foods mayo jars and old trojan condoms on counters...the banality of the items making it that much more tangible than any ghost town that clutters its buildings with stock creepy ghost town items like old dolls and gas lamps. Oh trust me, the dolls and the lamps were there... but it's those everyday items you wouldn't think to mention that made it more haunting.


  1. amazing amazing amazing! These are the most gorgeous photos I have seen in a LONG time! ! :)

    so jealous of your adventure!

  2. Damn Ness! Those photos are fantastic!

  3. wow. This is crazy interesting. Stunning photographs.

  4. I stumbled on your site and was stunned by these pictures. Egyptian pyramids hold pieces of the past...but only in a funerary way. This house holds an entire way of life in a time capsule.

    Who up and leaves everything behind? It just makes the mind race with "What happened here"

    Each picture feels like it might hold some key to the answer. You just can't stop looking. Beautiful, simply beautiful