Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bombay Beach

The Salton Sea has a strange and storied past, the details of which are expressed in a documentary in far more and better detail than I'll try to represent here. The documentary is called Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea and came highly recommended from Gordon prior to going down to Bombay Beach. In an amusing aside, the girl featured in the Bombay Beach segment who is very enthusiastic about sports and staying off drugs is now a volunteer at the North Shore Yacht Club which serves as a sort of museum and visitor center for the sea.

Bombay Beach, it turns out, is a very unique sight to see. Laid out on a grid of 8 blocks by 4 blocks, its actual connection to the sea itself has been severed by a levee perhaps 20 feet high of piled earth. While I was told that there’s a bar there, I was unable to find it. All a saw was motorhomes and double-wide manufactured homes, the nicest of which being situated furthest from the sea. Some lots contained abandoned or burned-out structures, decaying in the salty air. Here and there someone carted along in a golf cart. The only nonresidential dwellings I could find were the Seaside Baptist Church, a defunct grocery store, a convenient store, and a small hotel. I’ll be sure to stay there at least one night should I ever return.

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