California http://urbexobsession.com/region_US_California en Salton Sea http://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Salton_Sea <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Salton Sea</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 04/23/2018 - 16:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify">I arrived in my nice, clean, white, rented Equinox.  The windows were up, and the cool air was coming from the air conditioner.  The sun was shining, and I was loving being away from the cold and snow of Canada.  When I arrived, first at Salton City, I drove close to the beach and stopped.  I looked out over the shimmering water, turned off the engine and got out...  THE STENCH!  Nothing had prepared me for the smell.  Like seaweed and rotting fish, yet somehow much, much worse.  I looked around, noticed that some of the houses were actually occupied and thought, "how do they live with the stench?".</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Salton Sea began as an accident, and it's potential as a vacation resort ended as an accident.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><img alt="One of many abandoned buildings" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="e36f613d-afaa-468c-bf87-e7b4c0676a0d" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_0154.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1905, the California Development Company attempted to increase the water to the area for farming.  Canals were dug from the Colorado River into the Imperial Valley.  These canals began to fill with silt, restricting the water flow, so the engineers made a cut in bank of the river to divert even more water.  It was too much.  The canal was overwhelmed, and the river flowed freely into a basin for two years before repairs were completed.  This was the birth of the Salton Sea.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As I wandered the deserted streets of Salton City, and then Salton Sea Beach, it was surreal.  The streets were all there although they had few stop signs, or other types of traffic control.  You could tell that this area was much more built up than it is now, but it was hard to imagine.  Between the heat, the desert sand, and the smell, it was almost impossible to imagine this as it once was; a busy, thriving vacation spot.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><img alt="Sign for a golf course that was never built." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="dff9f6f6-b220-442a-b70b-c0804a600cca" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_0175.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">The area began development during the late 1950's, early 1960's.  The streets, power grid, and other infrastructure were planned for a population of over 40,000.  With rising water, salinity, and pollution from farm run-off, most properties were abandoned by the 1980's.  It wasn't the end of a dream, because the dream simply never materialized.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">i noticed that Salton Sea Beach seemed to be more about trailers and what most would consider cottages than what I saw in Salton City.  A number of fires appear to have destroyed some of the remaining structures, and graffiti and vandalism are everywhere.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><img alt="Tires inside an abandoned garage." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ccd75efb-c1c1-49a7-a301-fa525ff286ee" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_0198.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">With property costs so high in California at the moment, the lure of lots priced from $4,000 each is clearly attractive as the number of permanent residents appears to be on the climb again.  Much will depend, of course, on the nearby employment opportunities, beyond the casino located across the highway.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As the sun disappeared behind the mountains, I was keenly aware that my time was up.  It was time to head back to San Diego after enjoying my opportunity to check a place off my bucket list.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=37115&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="Tv95u33WoTVUqkfWXgbvzobUhe9l7NcUXL5u5aG6AH0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 23 Apr 2018 20:00:00 +0000 Mike 37115 at http://urbexobsession.com Abandoned Metra Cars http://urbexobsession.com/gallery_Metra_Cars <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Abandoned Metra Cars</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 04/17/2018 - 16:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify">Once again, I am reminded of my own rule...  "Nothing is ever as easy as it appears on Google Maps."</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Blindly following the directions of my GPS, I found myself at a strange little intersection with a gas station.  The GPS indicating that I should go straight onto a dirt road and so I complied.  I could tell from the mounded earth on the sides of the road that it was periodically maintained by graders.  I suspect some time had passed since the last grader, as my organs vibrated in time with the washboard ridges punching a staccato beat against the tires.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The road evened out after a short distance and after circling under the highway, I found that the road ended at a small parking lot, but continued as a private road with clear "No Trespassing" signs displayed.  I parked the rented Equinox and jumped out, preparing myself for a longer walk than I had anticipated.  The map indicated I would be able to drive within a few hundred yards of my goal, but clearly this was not to be the case.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><img alt="View down the tracks." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="1aae11c1-6366-4418-9f52-4256742920b4" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_0128.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">I went down over the shallow embankment and began following the long disused railway.  I was one of many who had come this way as evidenced by the well-worn path that had been etched into the ground.  I watched as small lizards skittered across in front of me, and marveled in the dry warmth of the day.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The tracks themselves had been built by the San Diego &amp; Arizona Railway Company formed in 1906.  Leased to several organizations over time, it had been used by the Carrizo Gorge Railway Company to move sand for making concrete up until October, 2008, when the condition of the track, trestles and tunnels began to make it unsafe.  In 2012, the owner signed a 50-year lease with the Pacific Imperial Railroad Company, but in 2016, it was then sub-leased to the <a href="http://www.bajarr.com/en/desert-line/" target="_blank">Baja California Railroad</a> who were to begin repairs immediately, and resume operations by this year.  In 2017, Pacific Imperial went bankrupt, so it is uncertain where this leaves the future of the line.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><img alt="End of the cars." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="19fb6207-bbfe-4c6a-9d6f-3495fd7a5397" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_0092_0.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Coming to a poorly maintained trestle, I began walking gingerly across.  I was careful not to step on rotted ties, and to keep over the support beams running length-ways along the sketchy bridge.  In little time, despite my disagreement with heights, I was back on solid ground and on my way.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">It wasn't much longer before I spotted the object of my current desire.  The end of a rail car which I knew would be connected to five more.  Looking down the track toward them, you'll notice almost instantly that something isn't right.  As you get closer, you'll realize what it is...  The first of the commuter cars is derailed.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><img alt="Graffiti on the outside." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="34447883-d22b-49d5-96aa-43d23af3e9a9" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_0096.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">The line of six cars was stored on a spur off the main line.  An article in the <a href="https://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2015/feb/26/ticker-desert-line-derailment-carrizo-gorge/#" target="_blank">San Diego Reader</a> from early 2015 suggests that an act of "sabotage" was responsible for the brakes being released, and the cars sliding downhill to derail on the switch.  Other sources more calmly suggest vandals as the likely cause the incident.  In either event, there's been no traffic on the main line since 2008, so no one has bothered to move the cars.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I walked the outside length of the five commuter cars, examining the graffiti murals adorning the aluminum until I found the last car somewhat out of place.  Once a flat-bed, it had been converted for use in tunnel maintenance.  I hopped up onto the steps and began working my way through the interior which was in better shape than I would have dared imagine.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><img alt="Interior of one of the cars." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="7f8f81e5-1333-4a6f-9829-23d58d137961" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_0106.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Stickers on the inside indicated that the cars had been owned by <a href="https://metrarail.com/" target="_blank">Metra</a>, a commuter rail organization operating in Chicago, Illinois.  At the moment, I was uncertain how these cars would have made their way all that distance to find themselves on a siding here.  My best research suggests that they were destined to be used for commuter traffic near Tijuana, Mexico, but the venture fell through before the cars actually arrived.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">After I had completed my look around, I began making my way back to my parked vehicle to resume the day's adventures.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=37112&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="rBMGHNKRpYMJDe4eQCiA2KCDgbvIFWK8Vju46LXw4dY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 17 Apr 2018 20:00:00 +0000 Mike 37112 at http://urbexobsession.com