As we were camped in the area for a whole month, we took a break from the Boonrockers group one day and took a drive around to the east side of the Salton Sea.

The Salton Sea first piqued my curiosity when we first saw the sea in August of 2016 and I wrote about it here. A bit of research on this body of water reveals it to be very interesting – and very controversial.

Although that experience did not leave me longing to revisit, I thought we should at least explore the “scenic” east side since we were camped so close. We went to the nearly empty State Recreation Area and first stopped in at the Visitors Center.

To me the information they had on display was comical. Like this post that states fish caught here are safer to eat than many from the Pacific Ocean:

Or this one that states the sea is not polluted:

When it says “actually better than the Colorado”, I want to make sure to keep my toes out of the Colorado River too!

They even had (what I assumed were outdated) posters on the health benefits of bathing in the salty water. The cleanliness, healthiness, and safeness of the water seems to have varied over the years.

The Salton Sea is a fraction of the size it was when it was initially (and accidentally) created in 1905. It is a land-locked lake and the evaporation rate is faster than the re-fill from water-runoff which has turned the fresh water it once was into water that is now saltier than the Pacific Ocean (although still 85% less salty than the Great Salt Lake in Utah). For this and other reasons, many claim that it is totally unsafe for swimming, fishing, or even boating.

In fact, you could once rent kayaks from the visitor’s center and launch them nearby, but that channel is all dried up now and they don’t want anyone in the water.

To me, the visitor center was cryptic and unclear on their thoughts on the safety of the water today.

From a distance it’s still pretty but it’s obvious the water levels have dropped dramatically and the beaches are disgusting. Now days they mainly encourage bird watching – which we did.

Tom got some great shots while practicing with our new Nikon.

We drove further south on the east side of the sea past miles and miles of barren land that was once under water. We went all the way to Bombay Beach – and had to explore.

The town had a levy and there was evidence of flooding, but now the beach area stretches a long distance. We drove out onto the beach and observed some unusual artwork:

A drive through the neighborhoods revealed a lot of artists with senses of humor live here:

Although we saw some evidence of the town in its hey day, it was mostly a sad and rundown area.

One yard amazed us with its airplane artwork shimmering in the bright sunshine.

This amazing spaceship house was so shiny that its reflections made it near invisible. You could see into the inside through the large porthole window.

Hopefully the artists will gain ground and turn the town around someday. In the meantime, I’m glad to see they keep their sense of humor:

Then again, it’s very close to Slab City. Although we didn’t venture that far south because  we’ve been there before.

So we turned around and drove back on the wavy highway, up to LaQuinta to get some groceries before heading back to camp where we will be preparing for our Friendsgiving Dinner.

Happy Travels,

Peace & Love, Joy