Dec 10, 2010

Bombay Beach, California in 2009

Along the eastern shore of the Salton Sea, Bombay Beach is a small community in the middle of the desert that resembles a post-apocalyptic ghost town. While several people still live here, if you drive over the flood berm you enter a wasteland of submerged trailers and buildings, left to decay since the floods several decades ago.
 

Like most of the areas surrounding the Salton Sea, there's an air of past potential that's evaporated faster than the sea itself. When the floods came, people simply didn't come back. The floods tipped the scale, but there were a lot of problems before then. A lot of problems about the ecological state of the sea that still have yet to be resolved.



The infamous airstream trailer, now just a wooden frame, is said to be one of the most photographed airstream trailers in the world. It's actually a bit of a draw for Bombay Beach. With the Salton Sea actually known for being a photographers playground, you can look back at collections of pictures from over a decade ago when there was still water surrounding the submerged trailer. These days it seems to be deteriorating quickly.
 

Despite the decay, the area is surprisingly beautiful. With mountains in the distance and the sea merging with the sky on the horizon, it's not difficult to see what initially attracted people by the thousands to vacation here in the 1950s and 1960s. Bombay Beach is still a fascinating and eye-opening place, although the reasons to visit have clearly changed.




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