The main objective of today’s trip was to get to the ghost town of Bodie CA. However, Mono Lake is on the way. We had to stop and take a look. It is fascinating to understand how the limestone Tufa towers are made from water. The best thing about the lake is that the LADWP is now restricted from draining too much water from it. Standards are now in place to allow the lake to grow to an acceptable level that allows it to maintain certain water levels that keep its ecological and biological self in pristine condition.
Bodie CA, an authentic wild west town, is a state historical park (est. 1962). Gold was discovered there in 1859 and it became a boom town but the gold eventually ran out. The last people left town in 1943. It receives an average or 200,000 visitors a year! The town itself never had a population over 7,000. Nothing has been changed since it was abandoned. Still, we did see a couple of guys repairing a roof. By the way, it is a cold and windy place to visit. Come prepared for that…and there are no restaurants.
We had a late lunch in Hawthorne NV. It was a place known for making military ordinance. Today it is just stored there. About once a month, when ordinance gets old and stale, it is exploded just outside of town. Some of the locals claim that they can tell what is being exploded by the sound made. Of course, we visited their Ordinance Museum. Let’s just say that there was lots of it. Those large pool balls you see in the slide show below are actually water mines from WWII. A local Navy base still trains soldiers there. It was used to train soldier for deployment in Afghanistan due to the similar terrain. Some locals played the part of insurgents. Patriotism reigns high in this town.