Bombay Beach and a try to sleep in Slab City

November 04, 2014 Sofia Nordlander 0 Comments

Bombay Beach
I don't remember how I found out about Bombay Beach, a small town next to Salton Sea, but since I started to look at it I have been totally fascinated, just had to go there. The town itself is known as one of the poorest in California and when Daniel picked me and my longboard up just outside town he told me that some areas down there looked like a war zone. Abandoned houses, graffiti and a general mess. He looked almost worried, I got excited instead. That was exactly what I had been searching for. That and the deserted recreation areas à la "Dirty Dancing" where the rich people spent there luxury vacations water skiing, taking dance lessons and partying. Before Salton Sea became to salt. Fish started to die, the smell turned into awful and the fancy people choosed other destinations, or simply started to spend there vacations in other ways. I think I read something about storms in the 70's that closed down what was left.


Daniel stayed by the car when I started to explore the abandoned houses and trailers. Sofas, refrigerators, childrens toys among used clothes, matresses and smashed windows. Wasn't always sure whether it was abandoned or simply in a really bad shape and watched for signs as "Beware of the dog" or "Keep Out". Thrilled with it and had a lot of imagined storys rolled up in my mind. What was the history behind each and every place?



Daniel took me to the stinky beach and I could understand why a different kind of tourists went there nowadays. We shared the place with a small family who told us that they had recently bought a house on the other side of the lake. Cheap. But they waited for the area to be more attractive. Rumors had told them that investments had been made and I had actually heard that there is a serious try to save Salton Sea and its wildlife.

The beach had a lot of reminders from the earlier and more fancy days and once again my camera had to work. Rust and salt had almost eaten up what was left and I couldn't find all the spots I had seen on the internet but it had also been a lack of rain in the area for a long time. The environment could have been different, not less interesting though.


Clock was ticking, and we went on to find a camping spot. My legs were tired after the long push on my board that day so going by car for a while was a relief. My suggestion was to go camping at Slab City, I had heard that the town's citizens where friendly and just wanted to live an alternative life. We were warned by the locals in the nearby town of Niland that it wasn't a place to go during night because of all drugs out there but didn't really listen and the car went on. When we were closer to the the town of all trailers and unusual decorated RV:s we stopped to ask another driver where we could go camping. Anywhere it seemed like. We were also invited to one of the trailers but looking at the mans eyes and the state of his mind made us say thank you but no thanks even if we were offered the most delicious chicken in Slab City and endless amounts of the best marijuana in the US. And booze. The darkness and the people around us frightened us a bit and we decided to see Slab City during daylight next day. I was surprised of my own feelings.

We found a RV park in one of the close towns and the lovely owner gave us a free spot to camp on. Gravel, but we had been in the desert long enough to not bother and the moment my headlamp was turned of my eyes was already asleep.

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