Bridgeport, California

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I was definitely ready to stretch my legs, when I arrived in quaint little Bridgeport, California, the seat of Mono County.  The main street through town is wide, but worth a short walk.

I don’t think there’s a single chain motel in Bridgeport, but there are several old-fashioned mom-and-pop inns, all of which look to be in great condition.  I had almost wished it was time to settle down for the night.

The Mono County Courthouse was built in 1880, and is still in use.

Ken’s Sporting Goods has a cool neon sign, that serves as a reminder of the importance of fishing in the area.

Next door to Ken’s, be sure to stop in at the Bridgeport General Store, for whatever supplies you ran out of, while driving through the mountains.  It’s also your best bet for souvenirs in Bridgeport.

On the edge of town, I couldn’t resist stopping for one more picture of the Sierra Nevada mountains in the distance.

There are several natural hot springs near Bridgeport.  Be sure to check out Travertine Hot Springs, which is widely regarded as the best of the bunch, thanks to its views of the Sierra Nevada.  Turn on Jack Sawyer Road, just south of town, or click here for more information.

South of Bridgeport, US 395 gets wider (at least, at times), and is easier to drive.  You’ll also feel like you’re near the top of the mountains, as you pass by Twin Peaks and Matterhorn Peak, and a half-dozen others.

If you’re visiting the Bridgeport area in summer, when the back roads are clear of snow, be sure to spend some time in nearby Bodie, California.  The raucous wild-west town was abandoned decades ago.  Now, it’s a state park, preserved in a state of “arrested decay” — in other words, the park doesn’t restore anything, but rather, attempts to freeze time.  You can check out my visit to Bodie in 2004, and again in 2015.

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