Sunday, August 29, 2021
A Tour of Rhyolite, Death Valley and Bodie California
My riding friends. A group of active "Senior Citizens"! Most of these guys only rode to Death Valley with us. From there Brian, John, and myself continued on for two weeks of adventure and fun.
Barely riding two hours and had to make a "relief" stop. Occupational hazard of riding with senior citizens.. ;)
Best to have a good reliable motorcycle. You do not want to break down out here.. it is a LONG walk to anywhere.
Our first meal stop of the trip.
The end of the first day. Eight hours on the road it was nice to check in at the Dow Villa in Lone Pine, CA.
IF you ever get to Lone Pine stay here and ask for the old section. It has so much history to it. From the early 1900s up to today most western TV shows and movies had at least some scene filmed in the near by Alabama Hills. If you stay here you can sleep in the same room as John Wayne.
Another fun stop in Lone Pine is the Western Movie Museum. Lots of western movie history here.
My friends John and Brian gazing over the entrance to Death Valley. One barren place. Almost looks like the surface of Mars or the Moon.
One of my favorite stops in Death Valley is Rhyolite. An old abandon mining town. At one time it was a very prosperous place.
The Grand Hotel of Rhyolite.. Long abandoned.
What is left of a majestic building built in the desert
If you look at the top left you will see a small pile of bricks. All that is left of the original facade. Amazing how that little bit survives.
This was part of an abandoned jewelry store. The room in the middle used to be a safe where the jewels were stored. If you wanted a woman to move here with you, you had to buy lots of jewels for her!
The road out of Rhyolite. As you can see if you lived there neighbors were not a problem....
I didn't step one foot off the road!
What is left of the rail road coming to Rhyolite.
Out next stop was the Alabama Hills. A short ride before we leave Lone Pine. Just looking at these pictures you can imagine your favorite Hollywood cowboy riding here.
Dramatic geology everywhere you look.
Behind the Alabama Hills are the High Sierra mountain range. Still snow on the tops but not nearly enough.
The sexiest rock in the area.
Proof I rode here.
A quick road side stop. Nice to find some shade.
The only proof I was here.
After Lone Pine we headed north on Hwy 395. Surprisingly cold and damp.
Bodie is an abandon mining town. Silver and gold were discovered there in the mid 1800s and was actively mined up to the 1940s
Billions of dollars worth of silver and gold were brought out of there. Sadly Mr. Brodie who discovered the location never saw a penny. He froze to death his second year there.
At one point it was a fairly large city with lots of amenities. Imagine in the 1800s hauling all the supplies up this mountain my horse and buggy. It is located so high EVERYTHING had to be brought in. There were no trees for lumber and it was to high to grow much food and hunting was scarce. Slightly easier when the automobile was invented.
It is amazingly well preserved.
A few of the homes are still lived in by park rangers and occasional guests.
Some of the stores still have some inventory in them!
When the people left, they just left. Most buildings have lots of belongings in them.
The first and only gas station in Bodie.
If I had lived by then this would have been my shop, the only auto repair shop in town.
Hope you enjoyed this brief tour of California History.
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