Snail's Postcard Post

Ma’am Moth

Howdy! I’m back from a week in Mammoth Lakes and surrounding areas of the Sierra Nevada in Central-Eastern California. It was a fantastic Snail Family vacation, and I brought back some postcards for you!

Not only did the Snail Family get to spend some quality time together, but we met other friendly creatures too–mule deer (including two spotted fawns), stellar jays with their rockin’ mohawks, a Yosemite marmot, and adorable golden mantled ground squirrels. 

At a Schat’s Bakkerÿ (the Dutch institution of California roadtrips), I discovered seed packets of various California flora that double as postcards!

I’m going to send this one to a friend from Humboldt County in Northern California. She currently lives in Washington D.C. and misses the coastal fog and redwoods of her hometown. (See and read a postcard she sent me of her home in the ‘Beaches’ post.) I like to send her mail because of her delightful blog Lovely Handwritten Notes. It’s a simple yet rewarding project–you send her a letter/postcard/greeting card/scrawled bar napkin, and she’ll write back! She features a selection of this mail on the blog. Sadly, Lovely Handwritten Notes is on hiatus because of confusion with the post office over her P.O. box. But you can check out the wealth of correspondence previously received at  

This California State Park is the best preserved ghost town in the state–perhaps the best in the country! Twenty miners and other opportunist folk settled the town after Waterman S. Body discovered gold there in 1859. Body perished in a snowstorm the following year, but the prospectors forged ahead, establishing a mill in 1861. The town grew till it boasted sixty-five saloons, including brothels, gambling halls and opium dens, preoccupying a population of over 10,000 by 1879. According to local papers, townsfolk would say in the morning, “Have a man for breakfast?” meaning, “Did anyone get killed last night?”The town’s most famous saying, however, was coined by a girl when her family was moving there from San Francisco. She wrote in her diary, “Goodbye God, I’m going to Bodie.”  

We only drove through Death Valley briefly on this trip, but I got this postcard for a friend with whom I’ve visited the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns before. We call these 25′ tall, 30′-around preserved kilns ‘The Witch Huts’ after a scary story a teacher made up as we passed them on a trip in middle school. 

The Snail Family did, however, visit Yosemite National Park this week!

This is a vintage postcard I obtained earlier this summer of the Firefall at Yosemite’s Glacier Point. As I wrote when I first shared it in my first ‘This Just In!’ post, in 1872, to delight their guests and other park visitors, the owners of the Glacier Point Hotel poured embers down approx. 3,000′ Glacier Point, creating the illusion of a waterfall of fire. It became a summertime tradition upheld by the following generations of Glacier Point Hotel owners. In fact, all summer, they put on the show every night at 9:00 to conclude Camp Curry’s campfire gatherings.  

This postcard must be from 1967 or earlier, because in 1968, the National Forest Service ordered the end of the Firefall. The non-natural event was attracting too many visitors for the ecological health of Glacier Point and did not support the Park’s dedication to appreciation of the natural world. As if the hotel itself knew the show was over, it burned down a year later and was never rebuilt.
So although we did not witness the Firefall, we enjoyed the spectacle of Bridalveil Fall (thin in August), as well as Rainbow Falls in Devils Postpile National Monument, and numerous other waterfalls, creeks and the many bodies of water that give Mammoth Lakes its name.  





This entry was published on August 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm. It’s filed under Site Specific, U.S.A. and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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