Part 6: Reno, NV to Bishop, CA


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The Trip

We had a great time at the reunion, but we needed to start heading south.  We have a concert on Thursday and it will take at least 2 days to get from Reno back to San Diego.  We decided to head east on I-80 and take a different route south.  Along the way, we stopped at the Bodie ghost town to check out what was there.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Rich and Deb were kind enough to let us park Thor right in front of their house.  Thor got plenty of attention from the party-goers and neighbors.

Heading east on I-80 out of Reno we came upon an overturned vehicle on the westbound side.  The NHP had all traffic on the highway stopped to allow rescue equipment to come opposing traffic.

Our path followed back roads and eventually hit US-395 at Bridgeport.  We traveled south to the Bodie access road and then east toward the Bodie ghost town.  Along the path, we spotted a huge herd of sheep being worked by a team of dogs.

The road to Bodie started paved and eventually switched to dirt.  The road was quite steep and was soon over 8,000 feet in elevation.  The old Bodie town site can be seen on the distant hills.  We passed an oncoming car with a fellow that was rabid to give us his entrance ticket.  It was odd when we got to the gate as the gate attendant did not recognize Thor, but the ticket was valid so he was forced to let us in for no fee.

Gold was found here in 1859 by W.S. Bodey.  During the life of the mine, an estimated $100M of gold was produced.  By the late 1930s it was all over but the crying.  The crash left plenty of old equipment lying around.  Above is a steam boiler that was used to power the hoists and pumps at the mine.

A close-up of the heat exchanger in the boiler.

A steam-powered, gear driven cable hoist.

The hoist "cables" were actually braided wire straps about an inch thick.

The main pulley from the hoist head frame.

These cages were used to hoist cargo and miners from the collar to their work stations below ground.

A different style of muck bucket with the Bodie mill in the background on the far hill.

There were plenty of old structures at the Bodie site.

No count was given, but I am sure that there were over 100 abandoned structures at Bodie.  Some were stores and shops, others were miner's residences and churches.

One of the artifacts that remained a 66" Pelton water wheel.  The wheel was used to transform high pressure water into motive power.

The Pelton cups catch the high pressure water and turn the wheel.

One of the many churches in Bodie.

A portion of a hoist assembly.  These are large cable spools.

Another boiler assembly.

An ore cart used to move muck.

A self-dumping ore cart.

Another type of self-dumping ore cart.

A surface ore cart.

An ore skip that is used to haul muck from underground to the surface.  This skip auto-dumps when it hits the upper limit of travel.

A substantial number of the buildings at Bodie were in structural jeopardy.

Old gas pumps and a 1927 Dodge Graham truck.

Another old mining truck.

Dual cable hoists with brake handles attached.

A single cylinder internal combustion engine.  The rectangular vessel on top of the cylinder is the radiator.

The Bodie mill.

The ore came into the mill via tracks on a trestle.

While walking around I spotted this USGS benchmark.  Note the elevation: 8375 feet above mean sea level.

A panorama of Mono Lake.  The level of Mono Lake has been steadily shrinking due to diversion of water to southern California for cities and farms.  Note the white beaches around the lake shore showing where the lake used to be.

Looking to the east toward the White Mountains, we saw a nice, new home.  Again, the receding waters of Mono Lake are leaving large beaches of white akali salt.

There was a landslide near Mono City and it took out both lanes of US-395.  A work-around is in place, but it disrupts the flow of traffic.

We passed some remote camp spots that looked good but at the end of the day we were more interested in Mexican food in Bishop.  So, we settled for carnitas burritos and chicken tacos and an RV park on the south end of Bishop.

Tomorrow, we do the long slog across the Mojave Desert to the L.A. basin and then south to San Diego.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2015, all rights reserved.
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