|We did see Lake Tahoe in the distance, but that's as close as we got....|
We did however have time to stop for a bit of vintage shopping. We crossed over the State line into Nevada just after we were redirected, and ended up stopping in a town as we passed by a huge antique mall. Well, getting out of the car at this point was the first time we felt the full effect of the heat, and boy was it hot?!! The lady in the antique mall said that it was unusually hot for the time of year and that they were having a heat wave. When we had been out towards the coast it hat been warm, but not particularly hot, and even quite chilly in the evenings. But here it was almost 30 degrees hotter, which is a very strange feeling when you've just driven for a few hours in a car, in the same country!
|Huge ANTIQUES sign. Yes please!|
We hopped back into the amazingly air- conditioned Dodge and headed to Lee Vining. What a picturesque little town greeted us! We were delighted with our digs for the night, The Yosemite Gateway Motel which overlooked Mono Lake, we even had a friendly cat that kept coming into our room and purring outside the door. We ate at the local grill and had the best night sleep after our journey!
|Skipping through Lee Vining in my Willows Hotel blouse|
The next morning after a stack of pancakes at Nicely's Restaurant, we drove back to Bodie, because we didn't want to miss it. We knew we had a long drive ahead of us again, but we would have regretted it totally if we had skipped it. We gave ourselves just over an hour to look around, but it was so worth it!!
|Breakfast. What the hell is that white stuff? Certainly isn't butter as I know it!! First I thought it was ice cream and got a nasty shock|
|View behind the hotel of lake Mono|
Hanson took photos around Bodie on his Hasselblad, and they are such beautiful images:
Bodie is was a gold prospecting town that had its heyday in around 1880 when there were up to 7,000 residents living in 2,000 properties, but by 1910 this had dropped to 698 residents. Most people had followed the boom to other prosperous mining towns. Even though people still lived there, it was first labelled as a ghost town in 1915, and by 1920 there were just 120 recorded residents. In 1932 a fire destroyed much of the downtown district, and by 1943 there were just 3 people left in Bodie, including the caretaker. Bodie is a real Wild West ghost town, and you can read about tales, of murder, gambling and prostitution. One young girl famously wrote in her diary 'Goodbye God, we are going to Bodie'
Oh yes, worth mentioning because it's funny - there is a 3 mile gravel track that leads you into Bodie, and all along the road these tiny creatures kept flinging themselves in front of the car, or scurrying across at speed forcing us to slam on the brakes! I'm still not entirely sure what they were, possibly chipmunks? But they were very cute, and obviously had some kind of death wish!
Next stop - Death Valley!