Monday, March 25, 2013

salty salton sea

Dane's spring break is this week, so we decided to take a little day trip on one of our coinciding days off. Rather than choosing San Diego, Malibu, or some other typical tropical location, Dane wanted to go to the Salton Sea, a lake in the middle of the Colorado Desert (named for the river, not the state--the desert is in south central California). Like Death Valley, the Salton Sea is below sea level-- 226 ft. to be exact. The draw of the lake in the middle of the desert turned the area into a popular resort town in the 1950's, but the lake is rapidly drying up and the salinity increases about 1% every year, making it now the home to some trailer parks, campgrounds, and sea birds.

Yes, I did end up getting a v-neck sunburn from this trip.

Speaking of reddening, the increasing salinity and area runoff creates large algae blooms in standing water near the shore. Not that I'm comparing my skin to this next photo.

We even had dinner and a drink at the local (only) bar, the Ski Inn. The bar was specked with visitors and a few regulars. I love these kinds of bars-- the ones where a tall frothy glass of PBR is $2.50 (unheard of in LA), an old jukebox plays country and southern rock, and everyone there wants to meet each other. We ended up talking with Steve and Gene, two buddies staying at Slab City; Stewart, a business major turned photo journalist; and Colleen and Rich, two members of the biker gang from Palm Springs that showed up. Those who had passed through the Ski Inn decorated its walls with a taped up dollar commemorating their visit, and we added our own mark:

This day vacation ended up being even better than I expected-- not that I had high expectations traveling to a dying lake in the middle of the desert (but kudos to Dane for choosing the destination). Our trip also included a hike to an oasis and a gorgeous sunset that I will be posting about this week, since I ended up taking way too many photos for one post.

(Note: I didn't get mauled by a wild animal--I was going to try to edit out the benchmarks on my legs in that photo, but I like to keep it real for you guys--when I sit on benches in shorts, I get marks on the back of my legs. C'est la vie.)

My guy sure knows how to find a good adventure.

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