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Salton Sea?

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Hartford...
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Salton Sea?

A few years ago we saw a documentary on the Salton Sea area and Sonny Bono's attempt to restore it to it's glory days. Is it worth a trip from Temecula?--it looks like it's a 2 hour drive or so.

Santa Cruz...
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1. Re: Salton Sea?

I cannot think of a single good reason to go there, unless you are a scientist studying the death of the planet, but what do I know? I was so depressed when I saw it.

Encinitas...
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2. Re: Salton Sea?

No its not worth a trip.

The towns on the edge of the sea are rundown.The sea itself smells pretty bad at times.

But,when viewed from afar from the mountains,the sea is an interesting contrast to the stark desert.

A nice drive from Temecula (Tem-eck-yoo-luh)from the question on your other post,is to drive hwy 79 to hwy 371 to hwy 74.This is the Palms to Pines Highway(or Pines to Palms depending on which way you are going)

Like the name says,the road runs thru the mountains and eventually winds down into the resort town of Palm Desert.

Just blocks off the 74 is the Living Desert.Part zoo part botanical garden.Real cool place.

Uden, The...
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3. Re: Salton Sea?

Off the beaten path. Check out Salvation Mountain. We just love places like that but not as a destination. Just a drive by.

San Francisco
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4. Re: Salton Sea?

The Salton Sea is a bizarre place. It's not a real "sea" but rather an agricultural drainage reservoir. (How do you spell "chemicals?")

However, a nice day trip from Temecula (which you now know how to pronounce), would be Borrego Springs! (Or, BS as the locals lovingly refer to it.)

A hidden gem of a small town surrounded by the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Excellent visitor center. Take a walk up Palm Canyon to the oasis.

Lunch at Carlee's or Pablito's. Not one street light in town. People drive rather slow. You'll feel your blood pressure lowering. Enjoy the quiet and the beauty of the desert colors in the far off hills.

It's about 70 miles from Temecula. Take 79S -> L on San Felipe Rd -> L On Montezuma Valley Rd to Palm Canyon Dr. L for the Visitor Center, R for the town.

The last couple of miles on Montezuma Valley Rd will bring you down to the desert floor and is rather steep. There are turn out points that have some dramatic views to the valley floor.

These are good county roads but not heavily trafficked.

San Diego...
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5. Re: Salton Sea?

Salton Sea is awful, but the Borrego Badlands are pretty in a stark way, and the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument offers mountain hiking in a quiet, remote area with great views, if you're really into hiking. The Big Morongo Canyon Preserve is also worth a visit. The Indian Canyons near Palm Springs offer some nice hiking possibilities, and Tahquitz Canyon is the best of them, with a 60-foot waterfall in the spring, though it is dry at this time of year. http://www.tahquitzcanyon.com/ The previously mentioned Palms-to-Pines highway is a nice drive from Palm Springs to Idylwild. A good place to eat in Idylwild is the Gastro Gnome. Of course the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is well worth the time too. If you're in this area on November 2 (All Souls' Day or Dia de los Muertos) go to the Santa Ysabel Asistencia, a "satellite" mission of Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala. They have a large picturesque graveyard and on November 2, they place hundreds and hundreds of candles there and light them for one night. It is quite an amazing sight to see. Maybe a 2 hour drive from Palm Springs.

Los Angeles
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6. Re: Salton Sea?

Puter, that really did make me laugh out loud.

There was a recent Andrew Bourdain show on going out to Salton Sea. He went to this one bar/restaurant (it must be the ONLY bar/restaurant out there) that has "survived" since the glory days. It was filled with middle aged men in baseball caps, none of them particularly social, watching baseball together in the middle of nowhere, with some perky middle-aged waitresses bringing beer and cocktails. Absolutely nothing to do - but some old neon to look at. If one is filled with nostalgia for old neon, and must see each old sign, then I guess it's a must.

I think it really does appeal to the inner Sonny Bono in those who actually have an inner Sonny Bono.

As a kid, we went out there a few times (in its heydey) and I was HORRIFIED by the number of dead fish (still a huge problem, not enough oxygen, the fish reproduce, grow up, then all asphyxiate and wash up on shore, which Bourdain's show featured, because you know how he likes to show creepy horrific things).

San Francisco
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7. Re: Salton Sea?

Cookie, it's *Anthony* Bourdain. And how could fish possibly live in an agricultural drainage ditch, which is what the SS is?

But, last time I wandered through the area, there was a lot of new home building. I think growth in the PS/PD/IW area is forcing home prices up in Indio and forcing the working people to move further out.

Peoria, Arizona
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8. Re: Salton Sea?

I live in the area - unless your a fanatic about off-wall stuff, there are better things to do...

Mission Viejo...
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9. Re: Salton Sea?

In the case of the Salton Sea, I don't consider it "death of a planet". The area was a dry desert basin below sea level. About 100 years ago an accident in the irrigation system caused the Colorado River to flood the basin, forming Salton. So it's returning to it's original state...unfortunately natural and human toxins flow into it. As the water evaporates the bad stuff gets concentrated. There are often mass die-offs of birds and fish as oxygen and bacteria levels suddenly change. So in a sense, Salton Sea is restoration of our planet.

Salvation Mountain is in the movie "Into the Wild". An outstanding movie (and book) in their own right, and the movie was filmed on location and included the actual proprietor.

Los Angeles
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10. Re: Salton Sea?

Mr. Bourdain did indeed show dead fish. I don't know how they were ever alive in the first place - so I can't answer that. Perhaps he filmed them elsewhere and lied about it on his show.

I don't care enough about Bourdain to memorize his first name, sorry. But some of the places he visits stick in my mind.

At any rate, here's a non-Bourdain article about Salton Sea, complete with dead fish pictures (again, you'd have to ask someone else how they came to be there in the first place - not an ichthyologist, but many people claim to have pictures of them):

…wordpress.com/2009/…