As long as I could remember, the Salton Sea and the surrounding area has always been somewhat apocalyptic. I went out there years ago and found it amazing and something out of a horror film. The sea is full of dead fish, bad stench, and algae from the abundance of salt in the sea. They say you can still do water activities but only for the brave. The great thing about the area is that it’s full of abandoned buildings due to the fall of a town that was supposed to keep blossoming into the next “big thing” still after the 60’s. There are abandoned pools everywhere, weird/ fucked up spots, and crazy crackheads everywhere. Did I mention that it’s a photographers dream spot too? The area around the Salton Sea makes for great photos due to its ruins. Drew and posse made their way out there and made the best of the area and came back with some shots on a few spots I’ve never seen before. Check out the interview and some amazing photos from J.Cobbs.
I know you guys have been wanting to hit up Salton Sea for awhile, what makes that place so inviting for riders you think?
These days there really isn’t much left there, and we kind of knew that going into it. For us it was just the whole adventure side of it, nothing like rooting around in the desert looking for something to ride. It had been on the bucket list for a while but it was never high on the list of priorities, but I am glad we got to see what was left.
Do you know the history there?
The Salton Sea is basically a huge inland sea in California that was created by a massive accident. Back in the [day] a handful of resort towns popped up but then the lake started drying up. Agricultural runoff and salt build-up killed off most of the fish and stunk up the whole place. The resorts went belly-up and were abandoned leaving a ton of pools and cool stuff to ride, as well as some pretty apocalyptic scenes. Slowly but surely its all been getting torn out, these days there isn’t much left.
It is weirdly an amazing place and makes for great photos, did you guys get any video footage too?
No the whole trip was really an excuse to go on a little get-away with my friends. We didn’t even bring any cameras with us and just snapped off a few photos when we met up with Joey Cobbs.
“Even if something is just a few hours from your place to you, it’s still the great unknown. Get on the road with your friends and rummage through some shit.”
Everyone that goes out there has some sort of sketchy story on what they encountered or saw, you see anything weird or crazy?
Aside from a few creepy scenes we didn’t really see much around the sea, but shit got a little weird once we reached Slab City. The residents were all pretty friendly towards us but once the sun started to go down they started to get a little real with each other. A couple of neighbors got into an argument and started to threaten to burn down each other’s dwellings over a dispute, and judging by the charred remnants of the camper next to that they weren’t kidding. Slab justice.
They say you can swim in there if you can bear the odor, dead fish and mass amounts of algae. You guys go for a swim in the water? If not, why not?
The water was so nasty I wouldn’t have even touched it. Depending on where you are in the lake its a different color, and each color looks equally putrid. The smell alone was enough to keep me pretty far away from the shoreline.
Last time I went out there, we hit nothing but pools near the water. Looks like you guys found some other cool stuff I’ve never seen before, what part were you guys at?
That would have been Slab City near the far end of the lake. Its some sort of abandoned Air Force base or something like that where a bunch of squatters live. Some have nice RV’s, others live in houses made of pallets. They have a “skatepark” which is a big empty pool with some quickcrete obstacles, which was actually really fun.
What was up with those plaster sculpture things you guys found?
Google Earth was our pool searching guide and it produced nothing but duds. While investigating one of said duds we came across that thing. It was pretty crazy, just a huge empty fountain in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by some pretty perfect transitions. Though I am sure someone has found it before, it really didn’t look like it had ever been ridden, which would be pretty cool.
Would you guys want to go back out there to scout out more spots, or you think you found most of the stuff to ride? I wanna say there’s still some untapped stuff out there.
Before going out there I spent hours trolling Google Earth looking for possible pools and came up pretty empty handed. I wouldn’t really recommend anyone make a special trip, it’s a lot of driving for not much action. I would go back to Slab City again without a doubt, but once was enough for the lake.
Anything else you want to add or I might have missed that you want to touch on?
It’s all about the journey. We spent way more time in the car and looking for stuff then we got to spend on our bikes but it was worth every mile. Even if something is just a few hours from your place to you, it’s still the great unknown. Get on the road with your friends and rummage through some shit.