Mono Lake, the Westin Monarche, and Bodie

Alright, so we left the hot desert and headed up to Mammoth Lakes. We checked into the best Westin ever. Everyone was super helpful and courteous. The staff was excellent. The valet  went out of their way to recommend things to do and provided a personal touch to every day there. I had laundry done, room service everyday for breakfast, and called with numerous questions which were all quickly answered.

Mammoth Lakes is a picturesque town a half hour from Mono Lake. So that is where we went after checking in. Except the Mono Lake visitor center is not near the lake but does not provide an access point to the tufa rocks. No you must drive to the South Tufa exit to be able to walk around the most amazing rock structures in the lake. So an hour wasted, we finally found our way to where we wanted to be. After taking these pics, we decided it was worth it.

We spent two hours walking around Mono Lake at the South Tufa. It was gorgeous and there were these great smelling plants growing there:

After sunset, we headed back to our hotel for the night. Our room had a kitchenette and was a suite (see pics above). We had a fireplace too. Such comfort and luxury after a hard day of driving and sightseeing is delightful.

So the next AM we awaken determined to drive to the ghost town of Bodie. Sure it’s 1.5 hours away with 6 miles of dirt road, but I’m up for it. We wanted to see a real ghost town, not the commercialized rebuilt Calico or the nearly extinct Rhyolite. Again, this was a success for us. We LOVED Bodie. Tons to see, a reasonable fee to enter, and easy to navigate. A vacationer’s dream. And yes there were restrooms.

The cool thing abotu Bodie is that the town is in a state of arrested decay, which means the park services has not rebuilt it or restored it but tried to maintain it as it was in 1964 when they make it a park.

This is a “gym” where miners could relax after a hard day

This was the one church still standing in town

This was a shot of the inside of the general store

This was the inside of a house

All in all the Westin Monarche Resort, Mono Lakes and Bodie were awesome experiences and ones I would love to repeat again…

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you why Yosemite wasn’t included in that list.

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