Crooked, by Don Peterson

While touring the ghost town of Bodie in California’s Eastern Sierra Mountains, I strolled up and down the dusty streets trying to capture the aura of this erstwhile boom town. Bodie is maintained in a state of “arrested decay” in an attempt to preserve its mystique. Some of buildings seem about to collapse and only well-placed supporting timber seems to keep them falling down.

Crooked, by Don Peterson

NIKON D90 | Exposure f/25 @ 1/15sec | Focal length 26mm
Crooked, by Don Peterson

Award Winner: Photo of the Day | March 31
Photo of the Day Award Category: Travel Photography
Photograph Location: Bodie, California | The United States

Photographer: Don Peterson (Rio Vista, California, USA) Registered
Don Peterson has been making photographs since he was a teenager when he was given a Rolieflex 2.8C camera by his grandfather. Then he continued to make photographs during high school and later, when he enlisted in the Air Force and spent some time in Europe, he used a Canon Canonet 35mm shooting mostly Kodachrome slides. When he returned to the “real world” in 1966 he adapted to the status quo, eventually marrying and raising two sons. He was an industrial production line mechanic for most of his working career and the camera seemed to take a back seat for most of those years. He retired at the age of 57 in 2001.
Peterson attended DuPage County Community College and received an Associate Degree in Photography in 2005. In the fall of that year he transferred to Columbia College Chicago and in 2007, at the age of 63, he graduated with a BA in Photography. Shortly afterwards he sold his house in St. Charles, Illinois and hit the road with his golden retriever Geordy in a pickup truck and 26-foot travel trailer. Now, almost six years and several thousand miles later he own a motor home and continue to travel seeking new experiences and interesting places to photograph. He maintains a blog of his travels at


10 reviews
  1. anni
    anni says:

    Don, your photo says it all for beautiful downtown Bodie. Talk about a “lean-to” — this is it. The poor old building just wants to lay down and go to sleep! life was rough there in Bodie’s heyday. You can understand the sentiments of the little girl who had no choice but to move there with her parents. When she saw the town, she said,”Good bye God, I’m going to Bodie.”


  2. Terr
    Terr says:

    This is great, Don! You really have an eye – I still think you could do postcards professionally!
    Love, Terr

  3. Cindi
    Cindi says:

    This is a ‘wow’ photo, very nice!
    You do not know me, but you know my dad.
    Two of my three grown children, and myself, are avid photographers. Northwest has a lot to offer in terms of scenic places to shoot. I take quite a few while out cycling these parts.
    Congratulations on receiving title of ‘photo of the day’, well deserved : ).
    Cindi Duran Ewert

  4. broJoe
    broJoe says:


    Still there
    Still – not a creature was stirring.
    LIfe – very much alive
    LIfe – goes on

  5. Geri Natan
    Geri Natan says:

    “Crooked” never looked so good, and the ghosts of Bodie past are probably reveling in their new-found fame–thanks to you.

  6. Dodie Gadient
    Dodie Gadient says:

    Great photo .!! It really captures the true feeling and enduring spirit of Bodie…an enchanting place I hope to visit again someday.


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