Mosquitoes run rampant here in the primordial marshlands, quickly attacking any skin left uncovered.For the past several million years, the lowlands of the Salton Sink had been repeatedly filled by floods whenever the nearby Colorado River jumped its banks.In February of 1905 several problems conspired to bring down the CDC’s empire. Political infighting and eventually, financial insolvency crippled the company’s efforts to stanch the catastrophic flow.The entire volume of the Colorado River poured into the sink, unimpeded for over 18 months.Once the isolated retreat of the rich, it now sits far too close to the water in a field of thick, shoe-sucking mud.
Finally, 3,000 railroad cars of boulders and rock stemmed the flow in 1907.
By the turn of the century, their plan was right on schedule. That year (in what would later be determined to be an El Nino weather pattern) the Southwest experienced its wettest season on record.
The valley had become a huge crop-producing region with settlers pouring in by the thousands. The flooding on the Colorado was immense, causing it to breach its dikes and flood all three canals.
Today, the few people who remain are hardy individualist types looking for isolation and a cheap place to live. Night shooting these neighborhoods twenty years later found a desolate quagmire peppered with block after block of abandoned trailers, homes and businesses.
The ground was covered with a jagged white crust glowing brightly in the moonlight.