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Thread started 15 Sep 2011 (Thursday) 10:02
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Abandonment at the Salton Sea

 
rparchen
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Sep 15, 2011 10:02 |  #1

I had the pleasure of visiting this area a few days ago while visiting family down in San Diego...and what a creepy place it is! Not to mention scorching hot and extremely smelly. None the less, it definitely presented itself for a few good photo ops of what a post-apocalyptic world may look like. Enjoy!

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i_am_hydrogen
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Sep 15, 2011 10:17 |  #2

Great shots. I visited the Salton Sea some years ago, and it's a fascinating area.


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Sep 15, 2011 10:19 |  #3

1 and 2 don't do much for me but the rest are very good.


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rparchen
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Sep 15, 2011 12:16 |  #4

Thanks for the comments guys! I can see how #2 is a bit blah but I really liked the first one for some reason. I think it's the creepy picture of kids and the fact that the house was filled with water...guess it was better in person though :)


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MikeFairbanks
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Sep 16, 2011 18:13 |  #5

I know why you liked the first one. It shows a lot. It's a great picture and tells a story. It's also a mystery. People will wonder what happened.

I watched a really good documentary about that area. It's a mess; very depressing. People drop like flies, a lot of poverty. Things just never worked out for them.

There's an old man out there who stands nude in the sun all day waving at cars that drive by. He's extremely tanned (like leather) and just stands there waving. Nobody seems to care. And then there's that guy who built his own little mountain as a shrine to God. Tire Mountain, I think it's called, but I'm not sure.

Very strange place.


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kiss-o-matic
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Sep 16, 2011 20:30 |  #6

Very nice stuff. I wonder what types of crimes have been committed there. Creepy place.




  
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rparchen
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Sep 16, 2011 22:11 |  #7

I don't think I'd want to be caught out there at dark! And I'm thankful that I didn't run into the leathery naked guy, lol. And the mountain you are thinking of is called Salvation Mountain, which I also stopped at.


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Tiger_993
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Sep 16, 2011 22:20 |  #8

Great series! I'd love to photograph that place. Is there a specific cause to the abandonment? I'm always curious as to why ghost towns form.


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Zonieart
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Sep 16, 2011 22:50 |  #9

When I was a young boy in the 1950s, the Salton Sea was a terrific weekend vacation stop for Southern California residents. There was great fishing, waterfowl hunting, waterskiing and swimming. Many local tourist towns popped up along it's shores. The sea was actually created in 1905 when the Colorado river changed it's course for a few years and filled in the area because it was below sea level. The Colorado was returned to it's original flow, and the sea was then fed by a few local small rivers and agricultural run off. Due to the high temps in the area, the sea evaporates very quickly, and refills in a haphazard manner during the winter rains. By the late 1960s, the sea was becoming more and more salty. It is now much saltier than the Pacific Ocean and less salty than the great salt lake.

As the lake became more and more salty, there were many fish die offs. Large schools of fish just washed up into the shallows and started to stink. Tourists started to avoid the area, due to the stench of the dead fish and the huge algae blooms that occured due to fertilizer washing into the sea. I think the last time I actually visited and went in the water was 1972. With fewer and fewer tourists, the little tourist boom towns started to fade away. I went back in 1980 to show my family where I played as a child. It was very depressing to see the dispair and desolation of the area.

California has been working on plans to save the sea, but due to budget problems, they really haven't been able to come up with a plan that is viable and sustainable.

One other thing to consider is the reason the area is below sea level in the first place. This is a huge rift valley caused by faulting and folding of the San Andreas fault system which is famous in California. There are mud pots, thermal pools and active earthquake faults in the area.

I love the pictures, but they remind me of a happy place that has long since departed.


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Tiger_993
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Sep 17, 2011 07:38 |  #10

Zonieart wrote in post #13116531 (external link)
When I was a young boy in the 1950s, the Salton Sea was a terrific weekend vacation stop for Southern California residents. There was great fishing, waterfowl hunting, waterskiing and swimming. Many local tourist towns popped up along it's shores. The sea was actually created in 1905 when the Colorado river changed it's course for a few years and filled in the area because it was below sea level. The Colorado was returned to it's original flow, and the sea was then fed by a few local small rivers and agricultural run off. Due to the high temps in the area, the sea evaporates very quickly, and refills in a haphazard manner during the winter rains. By the late 1960s, the sea was becoming more and more salty. It is now much saltier than the Pacific Ocean and less salty than the great salt lake.

As the lake became more and more salty, there were many fish die offs. Large schools of fish just washed up into the shallows and started to stink. Tourists started to avoid the area, due to the stench of the dead fish and the huge algae blooms that occured due to fertilizer washing into the sea. I think the last time I actually visited and went in the water was 1972. With fewer and fewer tourists, the little tourist boom towns started to fade away. I went back in 1980 to show my family where I played as a child. It was very depressing to see the dispair and desolation of the area.

California has been working on plans to save the sea, but due to budget problems, they really haven't been able to come up with a plan that is viable and sustainable.

One other thing to consider is the reason the area is below sea level in the first place. This is a huge rift valley caused by faulting and folding of the San Andreas fault system which is famous in California. There are mud pots, thermal pools and active earthquake faults in the area.

I love the pictures, but they remind me of a happy place that has long since departed.

Thanks for the background - you provide a nice 1st person account of the success and later decline of the area. Very interesting.


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sparker1
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Sep 17, 2011 12:27 |  #11

Very interesting series. I was near there a few years back and waas told the sea resulted from mistakes/accidents in the construction of the All-American Canal. Either way, it came from the Colorado and now gets its water mostly from the runoff of irrigation from the canal.


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rparchen
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Sep 17, 2011 13:57 |  #12

Zonieart wrote in post #13116531 (external link)
When I was a young boy in the 1950s, the Salton Sea was a terrific weekend vacation stop for Southern California residents. There was great fishing, waterfowl hunting, waterskiing and swimming. Many local tourist towns popped up along it's shores. The sea was actually created in 1905 when the Colorado river changed it's course for a few years and filled in the area because it was below sea level. The Colorado was returned to it's original flow, and the sea was then fed by a few local small rivers and agricultural run off. Due to the high temps in the area, the sea evaporates very quickly, and refills in a haphazard manner during the winter rains. By the late 1960s, the sea was becoming more and more salty. It is now much saltier than the Pacific Ocean and less salty than the great salt lake.

As the lake became more and more salty, there were many fish die offs. Large schools of fish just washed up into the shallows and started to stink. Tourists started to avoid the area, due to the stench of the dead fish and the huge algae blooms that occured due to fertilizer washing into the sea. I think the last time I actually visited and went in the water was 1972. With fewer and fewer tourists, the little tourist boom towns started to fade away. I went back in 1980 to show my family where I played as a child. It was very depressing to see the dispair and desolation of the area.

California has been working on plans to save the sea, but due to budget problems, they really haven't been able to come up with a plan that is viable and sustainable.

One other thing to consider is the reason the area is below sea level in the first place. This is a huge rift valley caused by faulting and folding of the San Andreas fault system which is famous in California. There are mud pots, thermal pools and active earthquake faults in the area.

I love the pictures, but they remind me of a happy place that has long since departed.

Wow, thank you for the first-hand experience with the area. Especially since you saw it when it was still a desirable place. The smell of the decaying fish was almost too much to handle so I can see why tourists started to avoid the area, I could only be on the eastern shore for about 20 minutes before I started to feel nauseous. There was something very eery about walking on "sand" that was basically ground up bones.


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DrewTheShooter
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Nov 09, 2011 16:46 |  #13

Simply amazing shots!!


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