The Trash Blog

Campground…or Deathcamp?

Margaret and I have camped at quite a few different campgrounds on our journey so far. There is one, however that is distinct from all the rest. I am referring to the unparallelled Corvina Beach, in Imperial Valley.

Corvina Beach’s description on the Salton Sea Authority’s website reads: “A more primitive campsite, Corvina Beach campers will enjoy the breathtaking view of Mt. San Jacinto and the snow-covered Santa Rosa Mountains as they camp along the shores of the Salton Sea.”

The people in charge of creating the atmosphere at Corvina Beach must have been members of a sun worshiping cult and truly the sun-god would be pleased with the campground: the largest patch of shade was found beneath our car. In keeping with their desire to offer the utmost to their god, the sun worshipers seemed to have exterminated all plant life from the Corvina Beach campground, although there may have been a one or two dessicated blades of grass hiding behind the restrooms.

In addition to pleasing the sun cult people, the campsite also revealed the touch of some architect who was fascinated by the stone age. The campground was a long stretch of gravel with picnic benches dotted along it every hundred feet or so. The gravel was unremarkable: gray, small, sharp rocks.

nobody around

Margaret and I did have the beach (perhaps also the entire lake) to ourselves. Everything I read online seemed to indicate that lots of people enjoy the recreational pleasures of the Salton Sea, so I have to assume that the desolation we encountered was a freak chance…kind of like the freak chance that a lake will kill everything that lives in it.

Okay, so no trees, no shade, and no campsites as such…there weren’t any people, either. The constant stream of trains heading south on the other side of Highway 111 was about the only social interaction one could expect at Corvina Beach.

The campground was close to the water. Before setting up our tent, Margaret and I decided to talk a little walk down to the water to see if we might camp on the beach.


Yes, those are barnacles and they are sharp. Piles and piles of these barnacles have accumulated on the shores of the Sea, deceiving the unwitting visitor into thinking they have finally found the white sandy beaches of Southern California.

While some beaches are made of sand and others are rocky, Corvina Beach seemed to have a new take on the traditional white sandy beach: barnacles. The shores of the Salton Sea, at least around Corvina Beach, are piles and dune of very sharp barnacles. Walking across this barnacle death trap in sandals is a surefire way to eviscerate your feet.

Dead fish

These dead fish carcasses covered the beach. They look like they have been dead for a good few years, but their bones aren’t going anywhere. Perhaps it’s the saltiness of the beach that keeps other creatures from disposing of them.

Relief from the barnacles was provided by the many fish carcases that littered the shores. Some lakes have the occasional dead fish wash up on the shore, but at Corvina Beach, they seem to have been a bit exuberant about their dead fish decor.

I am putting up this picture to see if the marine biologists of the world can solve the mystery of these stinky golden pustules.

I am putting up this picture to see if the marine biologists of the world can solve the mystery of these stinky golden pustules.You can see them on the other side of the fish spine and dotting the beach into the distance. Are they birds eggs preserved in the salt? Coagulated toxins? Or the turds of the giant mollusk gornaxis?

Amidst the dead fish we found what looked like golden pustules of some goopy decaying matter about the size of a golfball. After the first one I picked up exploded in my face, perfuming the air with an indelicate scent, we didn’t pursue further investigations about the golden pustules, so I don’t have much more information to reveal there. The water was a brownish green with multicolored foam wafting about on top.

No welcome sign, but they had a goodbye sign.

There was no welcome sign at Corvina Beach, but they had seen fit to plant this sign on both sides of the exit.

This entry was written by Philip and published on June 13, 2013 at 1:58 pm. It’s filed under Camping, Trashblogging and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Campground…or Deathcamp?

  1. Uncle Chris on said:

    Two posts on the same location . . . the Salton Sea must have impressed you. Further, this is a new perspective on the disposal of living matter.

    The advertising you read regarding the virtues of Corvina Beach remind me, somehow, of the fact that there was nothing wrong with my roof, so long as it didn’t rain; nothing wrong with my motorcycle, as long as you didn’t try to start it; nothing wrong with Death Valley, as long as the government didn’t force you to live there; and nothing wrong with Owens Lake after LA diverted all the water from it, as long as you didn’t go there.

  2. Diana on said:

    Well the positive side??? The whole thing for the both of you! mmmm actually, scary or peaceful?

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