From the east side of the Salton Sea and Slab City, we moved to the west side. We needed a day to catch up on email and blogs and spend some time exploring the area a little before heading into Anza-Borrego State Park. This side of the sea is pretty strange. It has the feel of someplace time has passed by. It also has a distinctive smell. Well, more of a stink. It can smell like a bay at low tide – only ten times stronger. There was a moment when it smelled to me like the beach. Only not fresh – very pungent and stale. At another moment I swear it smelled like a baby’s full diaper. You get the picture I think.
The bird seem to like it though. On a morning walk along the beach, we saw numerous white pelicans, cormorants, gulls and egrets. I’m sure they come for the fish – of which hundreds of dead ones can be seen floating on the surface or washed ashore. I don’t know what variety they are, but they look somewhat prehistoric (as seen in the image below).
What makes this place seem like a bygone era is the deserted feel one gets while moving through the area. There are many abandoned structures and whole neighborhoods that seem only lightly peopled. Much of this is due to the changing level of the lake. When the sea rose, much was flooded and I think this had a discouraging effect of the residents. Plus it stinks around here. Everything the water touched became salt encrusted. Not a pretty sight. It’s off to Anza-Borrego now for a week or so.