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Trip out to Salton Sea and Mud Pots

thez_yo

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I was just out in Florida for a scuba diving trip, but since it's not CP time of the year on the East Coast yet, I still had some wandering through the field left in me that I didn't get a chance to get out there. Luckily, a buddy and I here in San Diego decided to get out of town and head out to Salton Sea yesterday, to get out of the rain in San Diego. Maybe we should have known something was up when we reached the edge of the mountains separating SD County with the desert and the wind was so strong it nearly knocked us off of our feet:

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There was a shop here on the mountain, with the strange sorts of odds and ends you'd expect to find on a remote mountain on the edge of a desert..
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The owner chats with everyone who walks through the doors, and mentioning that we were headed out to Salton Sea, he listed off a couple of things to check out in the area including a location called Mud Pots that has some geothermal mud upwellings. Since geothermal anything is really freaking awesome, so we added that to the itinerary.

Here's where that wind comes into the story. Once we get over the mountains, we're driving along and see a big sand storm or something going on in the distance. Little do we know that it's actually at the Salton Sea so driving in turns into some sort of post-apocalyptic industrial wasteland scene where I wouldn't be surprised to find zombies and people wearing serious-business gas-masks:

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And then by accident, because another car had pulled over (it's not very apparent what it is), we found Mud Pots!

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by another factory, of course.

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thez_yo

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There's a salt-crust on everything out here, I'm assuming because the Salton Sea is salty and it permeates everywhere.
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Mud from the pots and the white is a salt crust
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Crystalline salt
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Fresh Mud
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thez_yo

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So we finished our tour around the bubbly mud and hit the car again to drive up to the Sea. From all the agriculture in the area (Saw lots of cows, field of cabbage and probably corn) there are a bunch of water channels lining all of the roads and some marshes along the way too:

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I spent the rest of the time near the water realizing that I scare the ducks like it's my job. Poor duckies.

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More ducks I scared
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This is why they're so skittish
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This used to be some sort of bird hunting club building back in the day
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So we finally get to an edge of the Sea, because going in through the Sonny Bono park was impossible (sandstorm), and I scare more ducks:
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Here's who hangs out in the mud:
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some naughty little hands (racoon or similar)
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thez_yo

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Some bugs that got friendly with me and the bushes they were living on in bloom
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And the Sea and birds of Course:
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..more duckies fleeing
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(it was windy here too)
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So, enough of birds we decided it was time to head out, and took a turn that ended up pointing to an old docking point for Caravans. Ermagerd I have never seen such a post-apocalyptic dystopian Mars-like scene ever before in my life:
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Enough scary for one day, so we decided to head back for real.
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(still frightening)

We chose to go through Anza Borrego desert park to look if there were blooms out yet, because I keep hearing reports that Death Valley is in full bloom right now..
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Little did we know that Anza Borrego actually appeared to be the worst of the sand storm!
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We ended up driving home in the dark because it takes a little bit more than a couple hours to get out there, and got a small sliver of a break in the clouds to see some stars (if your monitor's colours are right, you can see the pine trees):
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It was a pretty great day trip!
 
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Such a unique landscape with the mud volcanoes, salty sea, factories and desert. If a movie has not been filmed out there, it needs to happen!
One would think the place was barren, but it's nice to see some of the life that exists out there.
 

bluemax

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'Cool stuff. The mudpots are very Yellowstone-like and the landscape looks like it would host a convoy of Road Warrior vehicles. There is something awe-inspiring about the open desert.

My grandparents used to talk about how they went on a tour bus to the Salton Sea to be sold on real estate out there, back when there was a bit of a boom. I don't think they would've done well if they had bought.
 

curtisconners

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'Cool stuff. The mudpots are very Yellowstone-like and the landscape looks like it would host a convoy of Road Warrior vehicles. There is something awe-inspiring about the open desert.

My grandparents used to talk about how they went on a tour bus to the Salton Sea to be sold on real estate out there, back when there was a bit of a boom. I don't think they would've done well if they had bought.

Yeah, as cool as that is. It's a big desert with piles of mud, not good real estate. Not to put down that area, it's awesome!
 
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oh my totally amazing pics and trip!!!

I want to see it in person :-O

oh and knowing you and seeing these pics reminded me of a cult classic movie :hug:
(I know your secret identity TG :awesome:)

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Y3iEgKjh3Nk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

very cool zu, another excellent adventure
 

thez_yo

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Thanks guys!


oh my totally amazing pics and trip!!!

I want to see it in person :-O

oh and knowing you and seeing these pics reminded me of a cult classic movie :hug:
(I know your secret identity TG :awesome:)

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Y3iEgKjh3Nk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

very cool zu, another excellent adventure

How have I not seen that before? It's like a righteous mix of Dune x Spaceballs!

LTNS Butchypoo :hug:
 
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Looks like you could kill someone out there -- and no one would know; but, then again, you already know that . . .
 

Not a Number

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Too bad it was so windy and you cannot hear the spluttering glops of the mud pots :(

Such a unique landscape with the mud volcanoes, salty sea, factories and desert. If a movie has not been filmed out there, it needs to happen!
One would think the place was barren, but it's nice to see some of the life that exists out there.

Quite a few actually:
IMDb: Most Popular Titles With Location Matching "Salton Sea, California, USA"

The one I remember was "The Monster that Challenged the World" starring a barely recognizable Tim Holt (Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Magnificent Ambersons). You can catch this on broadcast TV ever so often and it was on disc.

The Monster That Challenged the World (1957) - IMDb

'Cool stuff. The mudpots are very Yellowstone-like and the landscape looks like it would host a convoy of Road Warrior vehicles. There is something awe-inspiring about the open desert.

My grandparents used to talk about how they went on a tour bus to the Salton Sea to be sold on real estate out there, back when there was a bit of a boom. I don't think they would've done well if they had bought.

I wouldn't be surprised if one of the many Mad Max / Road Warrior imitations was filmed in the area.

I vaguely recall going with my parents to look at property when it was a real estate boom - touted as another Riviera Coast in Southern California. Boom turned to bust as the salination increased and smell from dead algae and fish began to overwhelm

Yeah, as cool as that is. It's a big desert with piles of mud, not good real estate. Not to put down that area, it's awesome!

You can read about the sad story of Boom to Bust as well as the ecological "bust" in the following blogs. The second has a more in depth history. The first has more photos of the state of the area and the "boom" town Bombay Beach.

I Went to California's Post-Apocalyptic Beach Town | VICE | United States
The Incredible Saga of the Salton Sea « Ted Landphair?s America
 
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