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.