Salton Sea

The Salton Sea: a perfectly weird getaway

The Salton Sea stinks. Literally. The moment you step out of your sterile air conditioned vehicle, you are confronted with an all-out attack on your sense of smell. Dead fish. Agricultural runoff. Stenches of questionable origin.

It’s hard to imagine this place was once a playground for the rich and famous. Here they congregated at places with names like Salton Sea Beach, Salton City and Desert Shores. You can still see the remnants of their accidental paradise.

Faded street signs identify Shore Gem Avenue, Treasure Drive, Flamingo Avenue and Yacht Club Drive. The  Salton Bay Yacht Club is nothing but eroded pilings. Its beaches are covered in a thick layer of tilapia, the result of algae blooms and subsequent fish die off.

Curbs and buildings have been reduced to rubble. Subdivisions were planned. Many of them never materialized. Denuded palm trees line once-majestic avenues.

The shores of the Salton Sea were long ago bustling with leisurely pursuits. For now, though, there is nothing but an eerie desert breeze, quietly carrying the ghosts of a thousand lost dreams dead fish.

Go to the Salton Sea. You shouldn’t even be online researching the topic. Circle the shoreline, leisurely. Take in boats buried in sand, random brush fires, trashed computers piled high. The former good life, down and out. Don’t miss it.