Salton Sea

Did you know the Salton Sea is California’s largest lake and not only that but its entire existence was a complete accident? Yeah, it was a diversion of the Colorado River gone wrong.

The geological blunder was in 1905. Fast-forward 45 years and the Salton Sea was a thriving resort and yacht club for the wealthy in the 50’s and 60’s. At that time, it attracted more than half a million people annually, among those were Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack.

What happened between then and now is awful. When I pulled into this historic beach town the first thing I noticed was not a beach full of sunbathers but rather the distinct smell of putrid, rotting fish. Oh and salt….in the air, in the water, on the ground, everywhere. The entire town itself has been leached of any of its color because of it.

When I think of the Salton Sea the words bleak, desolate, and decay are the first that come to mind. So in looking at these pictures it’s difficult to imagine that it used to be such a magnetic and glamorous tourist attraction, but indeed it was.

The now post-apocalyptic Bombay Beach, where these photographs were taken, has largely been abandoned save for a few offbeat residents who traverse the grounds in electric golf carts. (The nearest gas station is 20 miles away.)

Trés bizarre but fun to check out if you happen to be in the area.