Photo Essay: The beauty of decay – The Salton Sea.

By Posted in - Photography Posts & Photos & U.S.A. on April 26th, 2009



A couple weeks ago we took off to the Salton Sea for a day. What used to be the playground of the rich & famous (think Frank Sinatra & the Rat Pack) is now a crumbing, decaying, beautiful mess in the hot California desert. The popular spot was (is, if that counts)without a doubt the Bombay Beach area.

The Salton Sea is a man made salt lake, the “beach” is white sand (i use that term loosely) and small rocks. Life in Bombay Beach is basically dead. Among the pebbles are the numerous bodies of dead and decaying wildlife. It’s mainly skeletons of fish and birds but I spied a few unidentifiable corpses and one which I think was a rabbit, which made me quite sad. This isn’t the type of place any animal should die. It’s smelly, hot and terribly lonely. There are also rusted machines, farm equipment and random odds & ends all over the place. The smell is raw and only gets worse as the summer heat progresses. You can imagine the stench – decaying animals, fish skeletons and the small lapping waves of a man made salt lake sitting in the hot desert sun. As lonely as it appears, there is a steady stream of traffic and people do live here. They’re a hardy bunch. The kids seem happy, the teenagers bored, the adults hardened. We hit up the Bombay Beach bar where the owner tried to sell us the place. Just a reminder to myself that I need a major life change (when does the trip start??!!)because for about a 1/2 second I actually contemplated this idea. Among the greasy grill cheese and cheap beer it was possible to forget that you were in a modern day hellhole – until of course you walk outside into the sweltering, stinking heat.

All that aside, this place is beautiful. It’s strange, repulsive and beautiful at the same time. Walking around the crumbing buildings and abandoned yacht clubs you can almost see the 1950’s socialites sunning themselves at the pool, sipping pina coladas. I’ve never been to a place so alive and so dead at the same time. It interesting. There is a bit of wildlife, mainly in the form of pelicans and some other random birds. There were quite a few people taking in the sights- some taking photos and others skateboarding the abandoned pool. I took most of my photos with a technique  I was dying to test out called TTV. It was a lot of fun

Most people would drive by this place and never bother to stop. I’ve always been good at seeing the beauty in the decay. Hence my pathetic dating record. hahaha… anyway, here are the pictures – Memories of the Salton Sea.












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*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website, Nariko’ s Nest Weddings & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!

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