Nestled amongst the sage-covered, windswept hills of California s Eastern Sierra is the site of one of the most notorious mining towns of the Old West. In 1859, gold was discovered in the treeless hills northeast of Mono Lake. By 1879, Bodie was a metropolis of nearly 10,000 souls and was briefly the third-largest city in California. Excitement was short-lived, however, and word soon spread that the mines had reached peak production. An exodus began, but contrary to popular belief, Bodie was never totally abandoned. People continued living in this curious and beautiful place throughout the 1950s, and in 1962, the California State Parks system purchased the town site. Now stabilized against the elements, Bodie is today known as the largest unrestored ghost town in the West."