Friday, November 18, 2016

Salton Sea Stinks -- In More Ways Than One



We need to visit my brother and his family before escaping to Mexico.  This means taking the RV somewhere close to LA.  Last time we stayed in California City, in a blah area with some empty streets where subdivisions were never built as the local tourist attraction. 

This time we decided to go to the Salton Sea.  (Yes, I know it’s actually a lake.)  I’ve seen some amazing posts about this place from other RVers and decided it was my turn.

Here we are on BLM land somewhat far from the “sea”.  


The sea is between that ridge and the distant mountain range.  Our nearest neighbor is that little white thing over there on the right.  I KNOW.  So crowded. 

There are plenty of campgrounds directly on the beaches, but I heard you really don’t want to be the close.  It’s smelly.  Even this far away we’re suffering some serious allergies and noticing a funny taste in the air. 

I might chosen better than this site, however.  I researched online about where to find the ‘ruins’ and was told to go to Bombay Beach…which is 50 miles from me.  Or 19 if I could go straight across the water…and I can’t.  It’s a huge lake, 35 miles long.  We’re on the OHV side…4-wheeler area. 

Oh well, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to this area.  Tomorrow I’m visiting my brother and after that we’re leaving, so if I’m going to see the ‘ruins’ the time is now.   

I don’t think Bombay Beach is the spot I really wanted to go.   


 Where are the desiccated hot tubs?  

 
Where are the rotted out barber shop chairs?
 

 I’ve seen exciting relics like what I mentioned in other blogs, but I just couldn’t find them.  You’ll have to settle for my disappointing picture tour of Bombay Beach.




A local man on a bicycle showed me the path to get to the beach and warned me that there wasn’t much left.  “People been taking two-by-fours out of there for years.”  Of course he’s right.  





 Nothing that interesting.  If this is really the center of the Salton Sea’s majesty then it’s not worth the trip.



I really think I went to the wrong place.  I always do that.  It seems like I don’t get to see the fun stuff unless I pay for a tour, and there’s no tours here.  (Why would there be?)


 This is the abandoned home leading to the beach.  I liked the grafitti on it.






There’s a boat apparently set up for the tourists to take pictures of.



And an old hunk o’ machinery, melting in the salty air.




As you get closer to the water you start seeing pulverized fish bones, with a few larger pieces.
 




Then you see stuff like this.






Until finally…
 





Of course the smell hit me long before I got this close.  These are not 40 year old fish carcasses.  There are still fish spawning, living, and dying in this toxic lake. 





The water has receded a tremendous amount over the years.  The only thing refilling its water is the run off from the multiple farms around it.  Date farms, kale, alfalfa.  All sloping towards its waters.  


It’s a cataclysmic failure on man’s part.  Getting a beautiful lake from no where, and then destroying it.  But who am I to judge?  Did they know it would happen?  Did the farmer’s need to provide people food supercede the needs of wealthy jetsetters?  


Next to Bombay Beach is a small village filled with the very poor and the somewhat less poor.  They took over a lot of the abandoned buildings from the original beach-side village.  Trailers and RVs are on a lot of the lots.  One dwelling is a Mac Truck where a person is living out of the sleeper cabin.  I didn’t take pictures of places where people were actually living.



  After we left Bombay Beach we continued down to Mexicali, Mexico.  But as they say in The Neverending Story:  But that is another story and shall be told at another time.

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