Sounds so mysterious almost doesn't it? Or maybe majestic? Sadly it is none of those things, just a bizarre combination of nature and human error, resulting in a salt water body over 200 feet below sea level, but not close to the actually ocean.
Our last few days were spent at an RV park in El Centro, CA; especially so we could drive and discover the Salton Sea. The sea originally encompassed just over 130 miles of shoreline, although that has shrunk to where it is today at approximately 100 miles.
The most active life in the area is birds. There is a Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge which shelters wintering waterfowl and shorebirds. The refuge also provides habitat for over 375 bird species for many as a critical wintering or migration stopover area, wintering up to 30,000 snow, Ross's, and Canada geese, and 60,000 ducks from November through February.
The photos I have attached do not really do the area justice, as how exciting can a dead sea be in a photo. There are over 1400 campsites along the shorelines, and several communities. All of the communities show the stresses of being developed in an area built on hope, some have just sustained a bit more than others. As we have discovered on this journey through southern California, people will buy and live anywhere, and the proof of wealth is always a constant.
Although it is hard for us to imagine, there is evidence in the streets without houses, and houses with out people, that dreams were once a vital part of this area, and they have had to be put to rest.