Friday, June 4, 2010

Twain Harte Road Trip - Day 08 - Twain Harte to Bishop via Bodie

As Linda would say, today's adventure was "BODIELICIOUS"!

The 2 old buzzards got loaded up and departed their hideaway at Gables Cedar Creek Inn by about 8:45 am. The target was 9:00, so we did well. Stopped at Alicia's Sugar Shack in Sugar Pine (on 108) for coffee. Linda also got a huge ginger molasses cookie to nibble on later while going over the windey roads that John has been warning her about. Ginger is supposed to help with motion sickness. She also is experimenting with some wrist thingys that each have a magic button that you place in just the right spot.

So the buzzards were armed and ready to attempt making the trek over Sonora Pass. It is snowed in during much of the winter and spring. They try to get it open by Memorial Day but didn't make it this year. However, within the last few days it had been reported to be completely open, no restrictions. Wilma (our GPS voice) had other ideas. She wanted to take us about 150 miles out of the way on another pass and kept telling us to "Make a u-turn if possible". John had other ideas and finally Wilma gave up and recalculated the route to take us over Sonora Pass. So you can't always trust your GPS completely, especially if it's a lady GPS.

The weather was beautiful going over the pass, just a few sprinkles of moisture periodically. And the scenery and clouds were both spectacular. We are headed for Las Vegas and if Sonora Pass had been closed our alternate route would have been much less scenic (Tulare and Barstow).

After going through Sonora Pass the scenery changed dramatically. This side of the mountains has much less moisture than the other side and is classified as a high desert, even though it does have water flowing through it from melting snow. We stopped for lunch in Bridgeport. Linda had a fish taco and John had a cheeseburger. It was a cute place where we could eat outside at a table with an umbrella. And they had a really nice large map of Bridgeport and the surrounding areas.

Since so much melting of snow has been going on during the last few weeks, the streams are really wide and fast. You will see both still photos and some videos of our trip over the pass. We took tons of video. Now it will take tons of time to edit and assemble. One highlight, especially for Linda, was a side trip to Bodie State Historic Park. It's not on the way to anywhere. There's one really rough road in (13 miles of bad road, 3 of which is unpaved) and the same really rough road out. Gold was discovered there in 1859 as gold deposits were starting to dwindle in other parts of the gold country. By 1879 Bodie had a population of 10,000. It had wickedness, badmen and really, really hard winters. One little girl, whose family was taking her to the remote and infamous town, wrote in her diary: "Goodbye God, I'm going to Bodie". The phrase came to be known throught the West. Some have interpreted her statement to mean, "Good! By God, I'm going to Bodie"!

The philosophy of the park is to maintain Bodie in a state of "arrested decay". Instructions in the guide say "Don't touch anything. Leave every rock and rusty can in place for our grandchildren to see. Watch out. This is a real ghost town; splinters, nails and broken glass are everywhere. Linda had a grand time wandering around Bodie and seeing a wide variety of buildings that housed everything from churches to hotels to funeral parlors to barbers to saloons. And, of course, lots of residences. It is truly a fascinating place and we hope that you will get a chance to go there sometime if you have not been. We heard from Del Foster that his family went there a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. John and Maggie Mae had gone there about 5 years ago so John wanted Linda to get to see it. Now she can mark it off her bucket list but would like to go again some day. There were a lot of the buildings that she didn't make it to in the time available. If you are interested in learning more about Bodie you can go to by clicking here. And, there's a great unofficial website you can get to by clicking here.

After leaving Bodie we headed for Bishop where we are staying overnight. John and Linda were both craving a chef's salad and found a family restaurant called Jack's that filled the bill. You can see a few photos of it in the gallery for today.

Our room at a Comfort Inn is quite nice and yeah! they have 5 bar WIFI! The temperature is a dramatic change from Bodie and Twain Harte, which were in the 50s and 60s usually. As we neared Bishop Wilma reported that the outside temperature was up to 90 degrees. Thank goodness for ice and air conditioners.

Linda is thankful for wildflowers and ginger cookies and anti-nausea wrist bands (they worked!). John is thankful not roaming Bodie at over 8,000 ft., for 51 degree temperatures rather than 90 (Bishop) and for air conditioning.

Over 90 pictures in today's photo gallery. Hope you enjoy some or all of them. We think the sky and clouds in a few are just spectacular. You can view the photo gallery by clicking here.

Today's video is about 42 minutes. Lots of reparte and commentary. You won't hurt our feelings if you fast forward (as long as we don't find out!). You can view the video by clicking here.

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