Trip to the USA 8… Bodie, California


Reno-Bodie

Bodie California is is known as a ghost town which is 214km south of Reno, Nevada.

In late 19th century, the small town in the middle of nowhere boomed up with gold mining and suddenly the population grew up to 10,000.

But in early 20th century, there was no more gold and that was the time people started leaving the town.

After the big fire in 1932, more and more people left and in the middle of 20th century, it became a ghost town.

I took I395 to go down to south… but it was so windy. In that day, I was not sure if I was going to Bodie or I was also thinking of going to South Lake Tahoe which is only 80km from Reno.

I395 Nevada_Panorama1

I was thinking of deciding depends on the condition… but the wind was getting harder and harder. Then, speed came down to 70km/h… I felt danger and had to stop at the road side.

Then, a police officer came by and told me that it was going to be dangerous to ride sport bike in this area. He also said they always get that kind of wind there and it was safer to take Old I395.

It was so windy and it was not easy just to stand straight. It was as bad as Typhoon…

But Harley Davidson are just going without any problem! That was the time I noticed that the weight of Harley is a part of performance to run in the USA…

Old I395 Nevada_Panorama2

On old I395, it was much easier although it was still quite windy and I decided to go all the way to Bodie.

By the time I got to Carson City, Nevada, there was no more wind.

Nevada_Panorama3

After that, all I did was ran beside the dynamic Sierra Nevada Range… Further I go, less and less traffic we got. By the time, there was no divider in the middle.

Nevada_Panorama5

Bridgeport_CANearest Town Bridge Port is still 30km away…


Last 16km was windy mountain road. There were few cars and I just could not believe there was something over the mountains…

mountain road to Bodie

Last 3 miles were rough road… I really wanted to give up when I first saw it. Fully loaded sport bike on rough road… it was a kind of the worst situation…

The rough road is going all the way over the mountains… it would be hard to imagine going that windy mountain road on bike.

Bodie California

Finally, I could see Bodie California…

Over 100 years ago, people came all the way to this place…. What made people do that?

Gold…and desire… Desire made people come to this place and made them to build a town.

Then. when they had no more gold, they just left.

You will see the energy of desire when you visit this place…

 

Trip to the USA 7… Reno, Nevada


Reno NevadaReno, Nevada is the first City after you cross the border of California and Nevada.

It is known as a Casino city like Las Vegas… but today, more and more place has casinos and that is how Reno is not as popular as it used to be…

I first passed by Reno when I was on Amtrak in 2005. All after the Sierra Nevada, desert and small cowboy towns, Reno was looking totally different… but at the same time, my honest impression was… “Ran down amusement park”.

Reno, Nevada 2005View of Reno From Amtrak in 2005… you can’t see this view from trains anymore…


It was my first time to stop by here and first thing I did was look for the train track. But, I did not find them anywhere.. so, I looked for Amtrak station and found out the train tracks which were running in the middle of city was now underground.

Amtrak in Reno

People think Amtrak is not doing anything… but at least they are trying to improve. At the same time, there is no view of Downtown Reno from trains anymore…

It is a funny city… all they have in town is Casino, Casino and Casino…other things are a bit away from central city.

Casino

Even Supermarket near downtown had slot machines in its building!

I would say Reno is “Las Vegas for working Class.”.

In Las Vegas, everything is fancy and so many milliners are around… at least I don’t feel comfortable there… but here, I felt it was welcome to everyone.

To me, I am not interested in gambling at all and did not play anything.

Reno, Street Vibrations 2014

When I was there, they had motorcycle event “Street Vibrations 2014” in the middle of city.

No wonder there was so many motorcycle riders on the way here. In downtown, there were Harley Davidson everywhere. In North America, when they say Motorcycle event, it means Harley event.

Street VibrationsAlthough there are so many Harley, I did not see any classic Harley… why was it?

I guess that is because or the change of freeway max-speed. It used to be 55 to 60 mph on freeway and that was the perfect speed for those vintages… but 70 mph is a bit too fast for them to enjoy the “sweet spot” of its engine.

That is how, I don’t see any classic Harley in the USA and actually there are more in Tokyo.

Reno, Nevada

Also Reno is the Middle of Nowhere. It is surrounded by Sierra Nevada Range and Desert…at least it is better to be newer more reliable bikes.

Downtown Reno Panorama

This is the middle of Reno…everything looks cheap, everything is fake… that is how it looks to me… Symbol of American Dream or illusion…

Trip to the USA Truckee – Donner Lake


Reno-Truckee

In Truckee California, which is 32 miles from Reno, there is a lake called “Donner Lake” which wad named after old pioneer “Donner Party”.

Donner-lakeDonner Lake… formerly called Truckee lake

Donner LakeView of Donner Lake… there is nothing to remind the tragedy….

Donner PartyIn May 1846, Donner party left the frontier town Independence Mi. It was the last group of the year.

They merged with some other families and the party ended up with 87 people and the half was children.

But they took harder “California Trail” instead of easier but longer “Oregon Trail” and also taking “Hastings Cut-Off” was the suicidal decision…

Due to the unknown Hastings Cut-Off, They had to struggle in great salt desert.

It killed so many horses and cows and it dramatically made them slow down.

By the time they arrived to Sierra Nevada Range, it was already in rate October. There was great desert behind and mountains in front… then, they decided to go forward to mountain.

But soon they had snow and was trapped by the Donner lake to pass the winter.
They did not have much experience on this kind of survival and soon the food ran out.

It ended up with cannibalism and only 48 people survived from the camp.

Today, there is a town called Truckee near by, but there was nothing at that time.

When I passed by AMTRAK in 2005, there was an announce about this story.

Truckee

View of mail street of Truckee.

DSCF1730

$5 for Pizza and Beer… not bad at all…

California Zephyr

Amtrak California Zephyr… it is going to San Francisco

California Zepyr 2

This one is going to Chicago.
Truckee California is a small town with railway.

Downtown Truckee

Main street of Truckee… They are preserving old buildings quite well and it even look way better than 10 years ago.

View of Truckee

Truckee_Panorama1
View of Sierra Nevada on the way back to Reno. It was quite smoky due to the fire in California.