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Old 09-16-2012, 09:19 PM   #1
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Owens Valley Ghost Town Trip Report

Just completed a 5 day trip to visit some of the ghost towns in the Owens Valley. I never get tired of traveling this area and this trip didn't dissapoint.

Day 1 - Cerro Gordo.

While officially closed you can get permission to visit by contacting the caretakers, Bob and Sharon Desmarais. They are very nice people and have a tremendous knowledge of the town and history. Contact information at this link. http://www.cerrogordo.us/. This is a really special place and I hope it stays this way for a long time. I recommend calling before you arrive. There are no tresspassing signs posted everywhere.

The road is well graded but steep. I kept it in 4wd low but any 2wd can make it up. Watch your transmission temp.


Perfectly level campsite.



A little weather rolled through at dusk. We were treated to some lightning, thunder and about an hour of rain.


Sunrise the next morning was glorious.


Bob gave us a great tour of the town. I don't know what will happen to this place if Bob and Sharon ever leave...

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Old 09-16-2012, 09:22 PM   #2
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Re: Owens Valley Ghost Town Trip Report

Day 2 - Horseshoe Meadow

We had planned to stay in the Alabama Hills but it was too hot so we headed up to Horseshoe Meadow. When I say UP I really mean up. Horseshoe Meadow is located at 10,500 feet. There are 18 walk-in campsites. They are located about 100 feet from the parking lot.

Slow and steady, another test of my transmission.


Alabama Hills and Lone Pine below
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:24 PM   #3
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Re: Owens Valley Ghost Town Trip Report

Day 3 - Chemung and Masonic

We headed up through Bridgeport via CA-182 and turned on Masonic Road. This road is well graded and friendly for 2wd.

About 7 miles from the turnoff is Chemung Mine.


Based on the number of empty beer cans and bullet holes this must be a popular spot for a-holes.


Another 8 miles is Masonic. We found a spectacular campsite.



There are a number of interesting log cabins and a few open mines in the area. I want to come back and explore some more.

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Old 09-16-2012, 09:25 PM   #4
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Re: Owens Valley Ghost Town Trip Report

Day 4 - Bodie

It's about a 14 mile drive from Masonic to Bodie. The road is well graded and 2wd friendly. Lots of great views along the way.


Wildlife Showdown...


View of Bodie from Bodie-Masonic road.


Get to Bodie early, it's more enjoyable when there aren't too many European tourists...

Original Sportsmobile


This one's for you Zeta


Bodie is a photographers paradise.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:54 PM   #5
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Re: Owens Valley Ghost Town Trip Report

Great pictures and trip report...

Bodie really is cool...

Thanks for sharing...


...Jamie
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:36 AM   #6
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Re: Owens Valley Ghost Town Trip Report

Great shots Ron...wish I could have joined you guys.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:58 AM   #7
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Re: Owens Valley Ghost Town Trip Report

On the list! Thanks for the cool report!
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:51 AM   #8
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Re: Owens Valley Ghost Town Trip Report

Also on my list. Twogone, we need to do this trip together.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:15 AM   #9
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Owens Valley Ghost Town Trip Report

Great places. Thanks for the B&W! It was artsy.

Z


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Old 09-17-2012, 04:22 PM   #10
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Re: Owens Valley Ghost Town Trip Report

Been visiting Cerro Gordo for about 20 years. I knew the longtime owner, Jodie, who married Mike a little while before she died. I got to be friends with Mike, who then owned Cerro Gordo and the town of Swansea nearby, basically a ranch and some outbuildings that Mike lived in sometimes when he wasn't living on top of the mountain. Mike has an framed image of mine in the CG house. I rented the entire town of CG for my 50th birthday weekend, inviting 18 friends up there and two hired cooks. We took over most of the buildings and did 4x4 runs to the Salt Tram. Had all our meals served in the American Hotel, before Mike put that fantastic bar in there. Sadly, he died of a heart attack 2-3 years ago, leaving the future of Cerro Gordo on shaky ground. Fortunately, the caretakers really protect the place. It is the finest original and furnished ghost town in the USA. I've photographed the place extensively including buildings most can't get in to. I could talk about my times there for a long time.




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