This past summer, my husband and I took a road trip to Bombay Beach on the shores of the Salton Sea. Although it may sound like it, Bombay Beach is definitely not a beach resort. Instead, the fenced in community is full of ramshackle, abandoned homes in unlivable condition.
If there are people living in the community, they certainly have prime views of the Salton Sea, a drainage-free rift lake that’s below sea level. Sitting on the San Andreas Fault, the Salton Sea is not a good place to be if there’s a sudden earthquake. Yet, this is California’s largest lake, and its annually increasing salt content is higher than the Pacific Ocean’s.
So it’s no wonder that not many fish species can stay alive to save their lives in these waters. As we got out of the car and walked closer to the shores of the lake, we were assaulted with a pungent odor. As we walked onto the rocky sand, we found ourselves surrounded by mounds of dried salt, bird bones, and fish carcasses.
Throughout our time exploring this part of the Colorado Desert, it seemed that no matter which direction we looked, we were surrounded by death. And death literally washed up to our feet to greet us on the lake’s shores.