Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Bombay Beach

Bombay Beach isn't really much of a beach anymore. Or a beach community. But for someone who collects beaches, it was well worth a couple of hours exploring before heading up to Joshua Tree.


In the first half of the 20th century, the Salton Sea was a pretty popular spot. Speed boat racers and water skiers flocked to its shores. Celebrities showed up. Developers saw opportunities. In the 1950s, several waterfront communities were thriving. I guess it offered all the benefits of Palm Springs, but it also had beaches, a big lake, and place for your boat.

There's a nice history at:
San Diego Union-Tribune (2015)

I've also posted more photos on the Tumblr blogs listed on the top right of this page.

But the water that flows into the lake was salty and toxic (besides a lot of desert, the watershed consists primarily of abundantly irrigated and chemically treated farmland) and the water started smelling and the fish and the birds started dying. To make matters worse, lake levels varied and some communities, like this one, were threatened by flooding so dikes had to be built. Living here just stopped making much sense -- although some people still do.

The 20th-century archeology of the Salton Sea's shoreline has become a bit of a draw in itself - it's the subject of documentaries, post-apocalyptic film shoots, and "disaster tourism."

This is a pretty bleak beach on which to end 2018!

2019 will see some big changes in my life, but I don't expect the beach collecting to stop.

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