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Author Topic: CA 270/Bodie Road and Bodie  (Read 1007 times)

Max Rockatansky

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CA 270/Bodie Road and Bodie
« on: July 06, 2017, 10:56:30 PM »

The second stop of the day was up at Bodie for another run through the ghost town with a little bit of greenery.  That being the case I did drive the entirety of CA 270/Bodie Road and the 3 mile dirt segment to the state park.  Much like the Tioga Pass thread I'll do the whole map/history deal this weekend:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskYGJwsj

-  CA 270 itself was in really good shape, no issues to report with the road itself up to the dirt segment.

-  Someone jacked the first westbound CA 270 reassurance shield.  It was present last year but is gone with only the "west" placard remaining in place.  The CA 270 "End' is still present but is the only shield on the route itself.

-  The dirt segment of Bodie Road from the end of CA 270 to Bodie is in extra bad shape this year.  The wash boarding is very heavy and doesn't really clear up until the gate of the park.  Really I found myself driving about 10-13 MPH just to avoid the annoying chatter of things bouncing in my trunk.

-  Lots of bugs and actually living plants in Bodie today, there was even purple flowers I've never seen before.  Totally clear views of the snowy peaks of the Eastern Sierras, Mono Lake, and even Minerat Summit in the distance.

Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 270/Bodie Road and Bodie
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2017, 10:53:00 AM »

The tale of CA 270 being adopted into the state highway system along Bodie Road is a fairly modern one.  According to cahighways a 13 mile segment of Bodie Road from US 395 was adopted to Bodie/Bodie State Park in 1970.  All of Bodie Road shows as county maintained to NV3C at the state line on the 1970 Map with the planned state highway alignment shown on the 1975 State Highway Map:


1970 State Highway Map

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239509~5511840:State-Highway-Map,-California,-1970?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=17&trs=86

1975 State Highway Map

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239506~5511838:California-State-Highways,-December?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=15&trs=86

Between 1979 and 1981 CA 270 appears to have been completed for the first 10 of 13 adopted miles to Bodie.  My understanding is the final three miles was kept as dirt by the request of Bodie State Park to keep the ambiance of the ghost town.  Cahighways states that District 9 recommended the deletion of the dirt segment to Bodie from the state highway system, I would assume that was actually done given the "End" shield/placard is located where the asphalt ends.

1979 State Highway Map

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239500~5511834:California-State-Highways,-December?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=11&trs=86

1981 State Highway Map

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239497~5511832:State-Highway-Map,-1981-?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=9&trs=86

As for Bodie itself it was established as a small mining camp in 1859 after the discovery of gold in the Bodie Hills.  Large deposits were found in 1876 and 1878 which led to a population swell to at least 5,000 people in Bodie by 1879.  The Bodie and Benton Railroad was a 32 mile line built from Mono Mills north to Bodie to transport lumber.  The line followed the eastern shore of Mono Lake, crossed what is now CA 167, and ascended what is now Cottonwood Canyon Road to Bodie:

http://www.abandonedrails.com/Bodie_and_Benton_Railroad

Incidentally I have an album of Mono Mills which is also now a ghost town on CA 120:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/151828809@N08/hLyH10

The population decline in Bodie started in the 1880s and progressed through the early 20th century to 1940 when the Census on only 40 residents left in the town.  The Bodie and Benton Railroad was dismantled in 1918 when there might have been just a little over 100 people left in Bodie.  Post Office Service stopped in Bodie in 1942 and there was only three people recorded living in the town by 1943.  The town of Bodie was made into a State Park in 1962 when a little under 200 of the claimed original 2,000 buildings were left standings. 

As for as road transportation in Bodie, the best map I could find to try to explain everything is below:



I'm almost certain that the bypass route of Bodie which goes to the State Park parking lot is a modern construction given the higher grade gravel that is present on it.  To reach Aurora in Nevada it would seem that you would need to enter Bodie via Main Street and follow it out of town where Bodie Road would resume.  Bodie Road continues another 9-10 miles to NV3C which is about another 3-4 miles away from the Aurora Ghost town.  NV3C continues north to NV 208 south of Yerington which would have been NV3 prior to the state highway renumbering.  NV3C isn't part of the state highway system today and never appears to have been maintained beyond the county level.  According to what I was told last year you'll need a high clearance vehicle to get through NV3C to NV 208 given that that a bridge failed just over the Nevada State Line.

Bodie-Masonic Road traverses north out of Bodie to the ghost town called Masonic.  From Masonic CA 182 can be reached via Masonic Road by traveling southwest.  Aside from that there is a couple more mining ghost town sites in the general area around the Bodie Hills, but nothing that appears to have been much more than a collection of shacks.

Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 270/Bodie Road and Bodie
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2017, 12:14:37 PM »

CA 270 is fairly well signed from US 395 on a couple BGSs leading up to the highway:

IMG_1674 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Turning east on to 270 there is no reassurance shield, just a sign stating the next 10 miles have curves:

IMG_1675 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

And of course signage for Bodie:

IMG_1676 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_1677 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

The first couple miles of 270 are pretty tame traversing a valley with grazing sheep herds:

IMG_1679 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_1680 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_1682 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

After the small valley the 8% grades up to the eastern terminus begin with the elevation jumping over 8,000 feet:

IMG_1685 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_1687 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_1689 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_1690 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 270/Bodie Road and Bodie
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2017, 12:22:33 PM »

Approaching the eastern terminus of 270 you are greeted by a "rough road" sign:

IMG_1691 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

And "Pavement Ends."

IMG_1692 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

At the eastern terminus of CA 270 there is a new sign for Bodie and an "End" shield/placard.  The CA 270 shield for westbound was stolen but the "west" placard is still present:

IMG_1693 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_1694 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_1695 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Looking back at the western start of 270 there is a hell of a view of the Sierras:

IMG_1698 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

The final three miles of Bodie Road to the town is badly wash boarded.  There is also some sizeable rocks you'll probably want to try to avoid, but at least no ruts that will have you bottoming out:

IMG_1700 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

There is a pretty fair view of Mono Lake to the south of Bodie Road:

IMG_1705 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

The actual park gate is located one mile from Bodie and even has a cattle guard:

IMG_1706 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

There is a small descent into Bodie which is at 8,379 feet above sea level:

IMG_1708 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 270/Bodie Road and Bodie
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2017, 12:33:59 PM »

Grading machines are present approaching Bodie:

IMG_1709 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

One more gate with a cattle guard....I'm pretty vandalism despite the remote area is a big concern:

IMG_1710 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

A good look at how washboarded Bodie Road really is:

IMG_1711 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

With the final approach to Bodie, the Bodie and Benton would have come in to town to the direct right of the gate ahead:

IMG_1712 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Main Street is blocked off to vehicle access and traffic (I say that sarcastically) is forced onto the bypass around Bodie.  My understanding is that you don't have to pay the park fee if you are traveling through to NV3C:

IMG_1713 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Looking ahead Main Street is in fairly decent shape and would be likely in driving condition through Bodie for a regular passenger car:

IMG_1727 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_1748 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

On Main Street there is a nice old gas station just past the intersection with Green Street:

IMG_1785 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Leaving Bodie on Main the road narrows significantly but the grade remains in place:

IMG_1855 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_1867 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Looking back west on Main towards Bodie at the junction of the bypass road:

IMG_1872 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

And ahead is Bodie Road east to NV3C at the State Line:

IMG_1873 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 270/Bodie Road and Bodie
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2017, 12:39:42 PM »

Something I thought was cool was this view from the top of Green Street looking north towards Bodie and Bodie-Masonic Road in the distance.  I'm fairly certain that Bodie-Masonic once ran to Green Street before the State Park facility and bypass road were built:

0 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

And that's really it as far as the transportation stuff for CA 270/Bodie Road really goes.  Really the only other thing I wanted to post was this old Firestone Ad from what appears to be the 1950s really showing how little Bodie/Main Street has changed over the years:


 


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