the Salton Sea
August 2016
It’s only 130 miles from the border of Orange County but it feels like, and could literally be, the middle of nowhere. All the superlatives of isolation come to mind. An abandoned land of desolation, full of solitude surrounding an empty sea. The streets in villages like Salton City, Desert Shores and Bombay Beach are a fascinating mix of trailers, decrepit shacks and ad-hoc structures, both inhabited and abandoned, well groomed and decayed, lived in and full of ghosts. You can see the hope that once drew people towards this vast sea in the desert that now lay in crumbling pieces. You can smell why many of them left. I don’t understand why it’s so fascinating and yet relaxing to be exploring this desert ocean and the surrounding headless trees and dead fish. But as I drive around with camera in hand, I feel that exciting mix of fear and fascination, and oddly at home among these broken dreams.