December 21,2015 the day fall ends and winter begins also known as the Winter Solstice,… A time for change.
I had a desire to go on an adventure!
Every time I’m in a so called transition in my life, I love to take a solo road trip. I’m lucky to live in California where there are so many beautiful places to explore by car.
I really didn’t know much about the Salton Sea.
“Don’t go there it smells bad and there are lot’s if dead fish and flies!”a local neighbor told me.
“There’s not much to see except for a few shanty towns and some meth labs!” She added.
All I really knew was that Val Kilmer once stared in a movie called ‘The Salton Sea’ I think in the late 90’s which had something to do with meth labs… Its been awhile since ive seen the movie , and I could be wrong.
My curiosity was killing me so I filled my tank with free gas and set out on the highway to route 86.
After about 45 minutes on the freeway from Palm Springs I ended up on what looked like to be the bad part of the Salton Sea with several chanty towns, a foul smell and lots of dead fish!
But I did a bit of research and drove another 40 miles and found the state park side of the Salton Sea which is also a beautiful bird sanctuary.
Dead fish bones and sea shells covered the sea shore along with a putrid odor of dead fish, sulfur, and sea salt lingered in the air.
Many questions ran through my head: why are there so many dead fish? Why does it stink? And what’s up with all the pelicans?
At the visitors center I did the tourist thing and watched a movie about the Salton Sea and this is what I learned:
1. In the 1930’s a couple of brothers from Australia were commissioned to build a canal to irrigate the desert.
2. They did some illegal shit in Mexico
3. They stopped the Colorado River from flowing for 16 months.
4. The Salton Sea was born
5. It has no outlet
6. It’s salt concentration is 50% higher than the ocean
7. Several fish species have died and only tilapia can exist in it.
8. It was once a popular vacation destination.
9. It’s a bird sanctuary
10. If you can handle the smell… It’s a great kayak spot!
The next stop on my adventure was Salvation Mountain.
A man made mountain dedicated to love and God made out of adobe mud.
The Wizard of Oz has been a constant theme in my life lately, so when I saw the yellow brick road… I knew I had to follow it!
As I reached the top of the mountain and the end if the yellow brick road, I didn’t see a wizard but I did find a group of youth pastors.
They asked if they could pray for me, laid their hands on me, gave me blessings, and sang some songs. They said they drove all they way out from Torrance just to climb the top of the mountain . It was interesting and I was expecting lighting coming down from the heavens or a green witch flying overhead with a bunch of monkeys, but that didn’t happen!
As I said good bye to the youth pastors, I hiked down the back side of the mountain and decided not to go down the yellow brick road… Like Elton John says : I think my future lies beyond the yellow brick road!
A few miles down there’s an interesting place called Slab City.
Squatters and artists seem to inhabit the area and create art…it smells like human feces, and there were several hippie folk hitch hiking along the way, they may have been zombies… None of them attacked me!
I did encounter an interesting bedazzled truck!
I know what your thinking! What’s that girl smoking cuz I want some! Well, I wasn’t smoking anything, I was just open to have an experience, create a story, and clear up my past to make way for a better 2016!
The Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, and slab city made for quite an interesting journey. All incredibly whimsical which made me feel like Dorothy or even Alice in Wonderland.
In the end like both characters I returned home with a different perspective and some great stories!