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Photographer's Note

I had a hard time deciding which of three photos I should post of Bodie. With a massive thunderhead moving in from the Northeast, the sky was an ever-changing light show. Since I couldn't really decide I posted the two following alternates in the WS. Let me know what you think of my selection. The sky was much brighter when facing the Southwest. Just before the scant rain arrived the sky grew much darker.

Bodie is a State Park between Bridgeport and Lee Vining along Highway 395. The town has a long history of bad luck. It's named after William Bodey, who died in an 1859 snowstorm shortly after discovering gold in the area. The town reached its peak of 10,00 residents in 1879, the same year a powder magazine exploded, vaporizing several of those residents. A fire hydrant system was completed in 1888 but in 1892 a fire destroyed much of the town. In 1910, Bodie became the first area to transport electicity over a long distance, In 1911, an avalanche destroyed the power plant.
Dan Heller says, "The town had about 2,000 structures at one time, but a fire in 1932 destroyed the gold mine and a good portion of the housing nearby. Worse, in 1937, a young child "Bodie bill", upset that he got Jello instead of cake at his birthday party, set fire to the kitchen table and pretty much leveled the town. There are now only 150 buildings left, as people left as quickly as they arrived, leaving behind most everything. The town's high elevation (8375 feet), rugged terrain and difficult weather made it virtually impossible to transport things in or out." He places the mine's very brief boom from the late 1870s to 1882. Estimates of mine output vary from $35 to $100 million.

Shortly after we visited Bodie, it was listed as the coldest place in the nation while near-by Death Valley was listed as the hottest.

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Additional Photos by Pat Lim (plimrn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3999 W: 226 N: 6734] (21344)
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