It is snowing and all roads into the ghost town of Bodie are closed. We go anyway. The Hummer and Range Rover do not seem too concerned by the snow and we arrive in Bodie to find we have the town to ourselves – no one there. It is like a ghost town.
Gold was found in Bodie in 1859. By 1879 the town had a population of 10,000 and 65 saloons. Only 5% of the buildings remain and these are maintained in a state of ‘arrested decay’. It is in the middle of nowhere; 7,000 ft up in the eastern Sierras, snowed in from December to April and baking hot the rest of the year.
The guidebook says that, “killings occurred with monotonous regularity, sometimes becoming almost daily events.” In 1881 the Reverend R.M. Warrington described Bodie as a, “sea of sin, lashed by tempests of lust and passion.” Well, that’s as may be but we wandered around a totally silent, eerie, ruin of a town and did not find anything like that.