The Salton Sea was accidentally created when in 1905 the Colorado River swelled, breached its levees and flooded into the Salton Sink desert valley for two years. The artificial lake eventually became a popular tourist resort in the 50s with celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis and Rock Hudson hanging out there. Back then it was called the ‘miracle in the desert’. Today, it is described as an ‘ecological nightmare and disaster’ – a ghost town in the making. The lake had a series of problems: there was no way for it to drain, runoff water contaminated with pesticides from nearby farms flowed into and salt levels increased making it saltier than the Pacific Ocean. Thousands of fish died annually and washed onto the shore where they shriveled up and decayed in the extreme heat. The smell of the lake, combined with the stench of the decaying fish, also contributed to the decline of the tourist industry around the Salton Sea. Plus, it is shrinking – the retreating shoreline has left about 20,000 acres of dry lakebed exposed – which is a growing surface that spews toxic dust into communities that’s causing health problems. All in all. this is pretty much how a post-apocalyptic America would look like. Shooting locations: North Shore, Bombay Beach, Slab City and Salvation Mountain.
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