By Ann Zeise
Tioga Pass, the “highway to heaven” between Yosemite and Lee Vining near Mono Lake and Bodie in California, and Highway 395 were ablaze with the autumn foliage of quaking aspen in sharp contrast with the purple sage and dark juniper and the snow covered peaks of the Inyo range. I took some liberties with PhotoShop in editing this picture to make it look like a watercolor painting.
Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town. Visitors can walk down the deserted streets of a town that once had a population of 10,000 people. The town was founded by Waterman S. Body (William Bodey), who had discovered small amounts of gold in hills north of Mono Lake. In 1877, the Standard Company struck pay dirt and a gold rush transformed Bodie from a town of 20 people to a boomtown. Note the high desert elevation: 8375′.