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Rob Beschizza at 7:37 pm Tue, Sep 11, 2012
I’m not sure if I’m glad it didn’t reach me in Huntington Beach or not; things like this are always fun for the novelty factor. I was excited the first time my car got covered in wildfire ash a few years ago when I first moved to CA, for example.
Oh, poor LA. We’ve been stewing in it for six weeks. The fish die-off is only a tiny part of the explanation. The Salton Sea has no natural inlets or outlets, so it’s maintained by agricultural run-off, which is a fancy way of saying poo juice. There are also natural sulfur eruptions, as in actual bright yellow sulfur crusts.
When we get monsoonal humidity (and Palm Springs has been moister than Atlanta for the last month and a half), the moist air sweeps across the Salton Sea and settles on Palm Springs in a 100° fog that smells like Dante’s Inferno.
It commonly sweeps in at three or four in the morning and the stench is strong enough to wake people up. This year, it’s been almost constant, day and night.
Oh my that sounds just awful,I hope it gets better soon.
Thanks. It’s mid-September. It really should stop. Really.
Joining those hoping it gets better, I’m also curious: have you visited the Salton Sea? I was in Palm Springs for a conference a couple of years ago, and although I never got far from the hotel a local naturalist came and gave a talk about the area one night. He really made the Salton Sea sound like a fascinating place to visit. At least when there’s not a massive number of dead fish there.
My other favorite Palm Springs experience was stepping into the open center of the airport and hearing someone in my group ask, “What do they do when it rains?” We all looked at her and she said, “Oh…yeah.”
The beaches at the Salton Sea are made of crunchy little fish bones, not sand. It’s also surrounded by tiny, little communities of extremely disenfranchised-appearing people living in half-burned out trailers. It looks like a poor part of the Appalachians, minus the trees.
Ach, could be worse! It could have been like some of the mercaptal stuff described by John D. Clark in Ignition!
What LA could use is a Mystery Odor more like the one NYC had a few years back, which ultimately turned out to be … fenugreek. From NJ, naturally.
I “liked” your post to sympathize, not because I found the content of your post appealing.
BTW, preliminary numbers are in – so far this is the most humid summer in SoCal since 1977, so let’s hope the next round of this crap waits at least another 35 years to return.
Ah yes… The (goddamned) Salton Sea.
I highly recommend a fascinating documentary called “Plagues And Pleasures On The Salton Sea”, very appropriately narrated by John Waters, as the Salton Sea is a location fit for a Waters film. The characters that inhabit that place are also nothing to sneeze at, custom-tailored for a Waters film as well.
Watching the documentary, I visualized myself living there, and a not entirely unpleasant feeling of dizzying disorientation started to creep up on me, for all the bleakness in that place, there is also a sense of splendid isolation.
There’s a massive fish die-off segment in the film as well, so there you go.
Salt Lake City/valley frequently gets something like that from, well … the salt lake. We call it lake-stink.
Interesting thought, but still pretty skeptical. Salton Sea pretty much smells all the time, in addition to being far from L.A. Thing is, it’s not unusual for things to get stinky when the weather gets the way it has been recently. The culprit is standing water in all the local storm drains, which the city tries to keep clean, but usually has a small crew in comparison to the miles of storm drains. Rather than blame a source 150 miles away, look to the gutter in your own neighborhood.
The list of reasons not to live in Cali is getting longer and longer.
The Onion would have had a better explanation