Tag: high desert

Tourist Stop: Bodie, California

For what it’s worth, Josh and I went up Highway 395 to see what the Eastern Sierras has to hold. I’ve never been up there.

We decided to visit Bodie, the old silver-mining ghost town in the high desert of eastern California. It was amazing – not so much that it was a ghost town, but that at one point, it wasn’t a ghost town.  The road in is about 13 miles long, the first 10 of which have been recently blacktopped, but the last 3 of which are gravel and washboard.  We were there under a noonday sun.

Historically, about 5% of the original buildings remain, many of which had been destroyed by a fire sometime ago (1920s??).  While it is rather desolate and barren, visiting and learning a bit of its history, you are amazed to see the civilization of an age past come to life.

Click on the images below for the slideshow!

High Noon in the High Desert

High Noon in the High Desert

When we visited Bodie, it was in the middle of the day; it was hot; there was no shade; we were thirsty.  The high desert is a dry, and to many, a barren place.  I wouldn’t say that – instead, I would say it is a spare land with a spare beauty.  It isn’t lush and verdant, but it is aromatic and clean – the light is clean, the air is clean, and it shimmers and dances with subtleties.  You just have to look.

Looking Toward Spruce Tree House

Looking Toward Spruce Tree House (1 of 1)

I am still going through the pictures I took during our stay in the Four Corners area and our visit to Mesa Verde National Park.  The colors of the high desert, combined with the sudden appearance of a cliff dwelling, are breath-taking.  As you descend toward the Spruce Tree House, glimpses are caught here and there.

Can you imagine the surprise of seeing these buildings tucked underneath a sheer cliff, with no apparent access?  Trees above, canyon below, with only ropes and ladders and narrow paths to come and go.