• Caitlin McAninch

Escape to Bodie, CA

If you drive about 12 miles southeast of Bridgeport, CA – and don’t hesitate when you hit a dirt road – you will find yourself in the small ghost town of Bodie. What once was a booming mining town, now remains approximately 110 empty buildings, including a church (top left), a gym (top right), a saloon, and a school (bottom).

I have heard Dylan mention the town before, but this year I finally convinced him to drive me out to the ghost town so I could look around. So early Saturday morning a group of us drove out to see it. Once you take the turn off the main route, you hit a dirt road that’s about 5 miles long. Then, there is a tollgate that charges $8 for adults and $5 for kids to get in.

We arrived perfectly on time to catch the historical talk in front of the church. There I learned that back in its hayday, Bodie had about 2,000 buildings, and now there remain about 110. The town began to fall when two separate fires burned down much of the north side of town. Then, when WWII struck, all unnecessary mining was called to a halt, so most of the town left to find new work elsewhere.

Now, the town is very well preserved since it is a National Historic Landmark. Chicken wire lines the windows and doors of buildings, but you can still peek in. In the bar, you can see empty bottles and glasses now filled with dust. In the school, we saw desks and cracked globes. And even in houses, you can see the mattresses and peeling wallpaper, all preserved and untouched.

The whole town has an eerie feel to it. Even when it’s full of tourists, it’s silent and empty. No one mentioned haunted, but the desertion feels creepy. Check out the gallery to see more pictures I took of the town.

Have you ever been to Bodie or other ghost towns in the west? Comment with your thoughts below!

Bodie, CA

Distance: 137 miles Driving Time: 2 hours and 55 minutes

#Activities #California