Posted 2 months ago
After realizing all was closed Christmas and with a full tank of gas, lodging and food planned, we drove from Anza Borrego Desert East to the Salton Sea. 130 miles to drive around - starting at the West side town of Salton City. This abandoned 1950's town was planned as a vacation getaway until nature caused salt seepage and farm chemical run-off added the fast decline in the 1970's. Here's a few links if you are interested. The first 2 pictures are from Slab City near Niland, CA and the last are of another artist community Bombay Beach.
It took us 2 days because we wanted to see Slab City and hike around the Southern thermal area, but this drive can be done in a day. Hwy 111 is so gorgeous with date farms alongside. Hwy 86 shoots fast North to Indio. 30 years ago there weren't gas stations along 86 - that was the last time I had been to Salton Sea. Now there is no fear of running out of gas. Sadly, towns haven't prospered.
Hardly anything was open in Salton City, Bombay Beach or Niland (where Slab City is) and yes the beaches were smelly but SS has such a wild, strange beauty. And, traveling further South a bird wildlife refuge named after Sonny Bono that is so gorgeous! Nothing dying there. At first I was scared to go to Salton Sea because residents are reserved and off the grid, plus all the abandoned buildings, but we hung back respectfully and enjoyed the experience.