Trails to Trudge: From Salton Sea to Salvation Mountain to Tyrannosaurus Teeth

Processed with VSCO with a1 presetAfter Tyler and I conquered Ladder Canyon (see last post), our plan was to head to Salton Sea and Bombay beach as a nice reprieve after the tough hike.  Ladder Canyon is on the Northern end of the Salton Sea and Bombay Beach is less than an hour away (about 30 miles) right in the middle of the eastern shoreline.  Before I dive into my actual experience at Salton Sea I want to tell you what I had heard about it… I’d heard the stench was unbelievable and I’d heard that it was a barren wasteland of fish bones and rotting shoreline.  I’d also heard you can find and see all manner of weird and strange things along its shores…

Bombay Beach, Salton Sea

  • length: undetermined; walk at your leisure
  • terrain: salty beach with tough, hard earth that cracks beneath your feet as you walk
  • payoff: unlike anything you’ve ever seen…

Processed with VSCO with a1 presetI parked underneath a disco ball made in the likeness of a lighthouse.  As we drove through Bombay Beach, I was surprised to see that there was in fact life to be found out in Salton.  A small beach town still survives and lives on the edge of the shoreline of Bombay Beach.  Bombay was made as an escape for local celebrities from the hectic city life of Los Angeles.  A place where they could go and hang out in relative privacy.  You can still see the remains of it as you drive through as the city clings on to its former glory. However, it’s pretty rough around the edges these days.  After driving through the town, you come to the beach where you can find all manner of strange and interesting things…

Processed with VSCO with a1 presetProcessed with VSCO with a1 presetProcessed with VSCO with a1 presetProcessed with VSCO with a1 presetThe art installations set up all over Bombay are a site unto themselves.  You could spend all day just staring at some of these things.  Mostly bizarre and abstract, the art adds to the beach in a way that makes the whole place seem like it’s straight out of a movie or a painting…

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Salvation Mountain

  • length: undetermined; walk at your leisure
  • terrain: painted rocks, desert landscape
  • payoff: religious fanaticism at it’s finest

Processed with VSCO with a1 presetI got a weird feeling walking around Salvation Mountain.  I just felt like I was being watched. Salvation Mountain is a triumph of art and ingenuity and a wonderful tribute to God but I couldn’t help but think of the fanaticism involved in order to make something like this.  Smack dab in the middle of the desert; Salvation Mountain rises full of color, symbols and praise to God above.  It’s truly astonishing the amount of work that was put into this…

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After checking out Salvation Mountain, we drove back down the coast of Salton Sea looking for somewhere to camp…

Salton Sea State Recreation Area

  • Campsite review: Alright so let’s get real: it stinks at Salton Sea.  It smells so bad that you might want to get back in your car and drive away.  Despite this, it really is a nice place to camp.  Going in the summertime (like Tyler and I did) is not advisable as it stays hot all through the night (upper 80s).  That being said, the campsite was large and had all the amenities you would ever need: picnic table, trees to provide some shade and bathrooms close by.  It was beautiful watching the sun go down and eventually you forget about the smell and you just start to enjoy the campgrounds.  I would definitely come back here but I would probably wait for it to cool down a bit.

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Bonus

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One thought on “Trails to Trudge: From Salton Sea to Salvation Mountain to Tyrannosaurus Teeth

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