Monday, July 02, 2007

Salton Sea (west shore)

Our visit to the Salton Sea area this past weekend was so endlessly fascinating that it's going to take five or six blog posts to capture it all. Click on top of any photo to make it larger and click on bolded words to go to Wikipedia or wherever and learn more.
We began on the west shore in Salton City, which, coincidentally, was the subject of a fascinating story in today's L.A. Times, headlined "Salton City: A land of dreams and dead fish."
The most important thing you need to know is that it was 113 degrees there Saturday. Yes, we endured 113 degrees to blog for you. The next thing you need to know is that this is what the sheriff's department looks like. It gives you context. Finally, you do need to know there are indeed dead fish.
A lot of dead fish. Zillions of dead fish. Tilapia, to be precise, which has been the only fish of size able to survive in the sea in recent years.
If the California Department of Parks and Recreation can be believed, the dreadful dead-fish problem is not caused by pollution or the super-salty water. Instead, algae blooms create bacteria which depletes oxygen, and the cute little fishies suffocate. Sadness. When we visit the east shore of the sea in an upcoming blog post, you'll see more dead fish than at Pike Place Fish Market.
Look, here we have the Cajun taking pictures of dead fish.
I was wearing flip-flops. Flip-flops did not go well with the "beach" at this particular spot. It was composed of trillions of tiny barnacle shells.
We got really, really hot and sweaty and sticky and stinky and drippy -- all to blog for you.
I was, however, momentarily distracted from my misery by Lorenzo's sense of style. No, really. His gas station is almost artistic. And you can send money to Mexico, too.
In the end, we drove to the town of Indio, checked into a Travelodge, took off all our clothes and jumped into the pool faster than you can say dead tilapia. Most coastal Californians, of course, visit the desert in the winter, early spring or late fall, not in the summer.
We, however, subscribe to the "Why be normal?" philosophy of life.
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