I know Halloween is over and so should be the ghost stories, however I wanted to share with you a great off-roading spot that – well – trail leads you right to an old ghost town – Bodie. “Bodie, located off State Highway 395, is one of the best preserved ghost towns in the West. Its more than 170 remaining buildings are kept in “arrested decay” in the Bodie California State Historic Park.
All kinds of off-roaders – skiers, snowmobilers, and 4-wheel drive enthusiasts enjoy the challenge to reach the ghost town (located at 8,000 feet elevation) during winter months when the roads are not assessable to pass by typical travel. The main road from Bridgeport is paved, except for the last mile. Most of the roads leading out of Bodie are best left to 4X4 travel, including the road across the Gieger Grade into Masonic.
The ghost town of Bodie itself has no permanent residence except park employees and the surviving structures are only representative of 10% of the original live town. The buildings remaining have been left un-restored giving it a real ghostly feel. State employees only make structural repairs the roofs, foundations, windows, and interior framing but keep the exterior appearance of the structures original.
At one time, Bodie was home to 10,000 residence and more than 60 saloons and dance halls. Its reputation was one of lawlessness, wild, and violent with claims of at least two fatal gun shootouts a day. Stories have it that if you go to Bodie and remove ANYTHING from the town, even as small as a rusty nail from the dirt streets you will be cursed with illness, bad, luck, and unexplainable accidents!
There are a lot of really cool pictures of Bodie here > http://www.flickr.com/photos/bodie-bailey/sets/72157594553315808/
More history on Bodie and pictures are here > http://www.bodie.com/
Bodie is located off State Highway 270. Drive 10 miles until the paved road ends, then continue on for the last 3 miles of an unpaved dirt road. More directions here > http://www.bodie.com/dir.asp