Thursday, March 6, 2014
On the way back from Salvation Mountain, we stopped at the Salton Sea.
I hadn't heard of Salton Sea before I started looking up Salvation Mountain, and even then I didn't know any details about it. I'm still not quite sure how I feel about it. The shore is made of dead fish, which is disturbing enough to look at, but standing on it was such an unpleasant sensation I can't even completely describe how unsettling it was. In some places it was squishy and my feet were almost sinking into the dead fish mulch; I had to backtrack on to a firmer patch because I couldn't handle stepping on the squishy bits. The water looked horrible close-up, almost like sludge.
But then from a few steps back the lake looks gorgeous and peaceful.
It was a very, very strange place, and I kept thinking about it days after our trip. I read about how the sea was created by accident and how at one point they tried to make it into a Palm Springs-esque tourist destination but it never panned out. Now the sea is fed by agricultural run-off and the rising saline levels in the lake (it's currently saltier than the ocean) caused the massive fish die offs that give the sea it's eerie atmosphere. I found a movie on Netflix called "Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea" which goes much more in depth on the environmental crisis that is the Sea, and on the communities that live in Niland/Bombay Beach. I definitely recommend checking it out if you're interested.
Top photo taken by Isabel