Salvation by Way of East Jesus

Jake Reinig travel photographer

Location: Salton Sea, Bombay Beach, East Jesus, Slab City

(Editor’s note: Jake has been having trouble sleeping, so he took a sleeping pill before he started writing this. Please forgive its somewhat incoherent structure.)

(Author’s note: I don’t actually have an editor.)

My brother and I felt like taking a road trip adventure to the Salton Sea area, so we headed out to this little part of crazy this past weekend.  Our first stop was an abandoned city with an abandoned prison somewhere not anywhere close to the Salton Sea; unfortunately, while it’s no longer inhabited, it is decidedly unabandoned. Razor wire and security were onhand, but apparently, my social engineering skills were not.  Undeterred, I’m now trying to find a route via the owners. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Because of the distance, it was late in the day by the time we made it to the lake, so we opted to shoot sunset at Bombay Beach, home to a large number of destroyed buildings from the lake’s sordid past.  Unfortunately, in the few years since I was last there, most of the structures have been totally wrecked. This is one of the last ones still standing.

Building ruin, Bombay Beach

Salton Sea sunset

Sunday we made our way to East Jesus, an artistic community in the midst of the crazy lost settlement called Slab City. East Jesus has some pretty rad installations, this tower being one of them.

East Jesus tower, Salton Sea

Mirror doll,, East Jesus, Salton Sea

Salvation Mountain at Slab City.

Salvation Mountain, Slab City, Salton Sea

Walter the bus, East Jesus, Salton Sea

The “trophy room” at Salvation Mountain.

Salvation mountain detail, Slab City, Salton Sea

The room was full of trinkets; “laser cats” was my favorite.

Salvation mountain detail, Slab City, Salton Sea

Another sunset shot at Bombay Beach.

A bird hunting at sunset, Salton Sea

Interior of Salvation Mountain.

Salvation mountain, Slab City, Salton Sea

Salvation Mountain, Slab City, Salton Sea

A random sand dune that unexpectedly swallowed a road we were driving on. Guess we didn’t want to go to that wrecked neighborhood anyway.

Sand dunes, Salton Sea

Salvation Mountain truck, Slab City, Salton Sea

We had high hopes to do some star photography, but the moon was too full and waaay too bright. Long exposures made the ground look like day. Sort of bored, we decided to try our hand at making our own burning bushes. We’re making plans to go back to East Jesus on an upcoming new moon and do some night work with the installations. With any luck we’ll have more interesting results from that.

Long exposure, box canyon near the Salton Sea

Apparently, this station has been closed for a few years.

Gas station of years past

Terrible psychiatric advice, East Jesus, Salton Sea

Hopefully this mannequin doesn’t get anyone in trouble at work. I mean, she does have geese bodies for arms.

Goose girl, East Jesus, Salton Sea

The difference between me and my brother: he climbs my truck to get a better view of cows, while I try to shoot the abandoned factory. Obviously, I’m way cooler, and I’m pretty sure my grandmother would agree.

Nate with cows at the abandoned factory near Salton Sea

East Jesus, now with 25% more goose parts.

First floor of the tower, East Jesus, Salton Sea

Dear sleeping pill: please don’t let me dream about this guy tonight, especially since I know you’re not going to let me wake up when I need to.

Chimpanzee boy,, East Jesus, Salton Sea

To wrap up, here’s two variations on sunset from the shores at Bombay Beach. With a returned trip planned for the near future, I’ll hopefully have better stuff for you guys next time.  As always, thanks for stopping by.

Salton Sea sunset long exposure

Salton Sea sunset long exposure

3 Responses to Salvation by Way of East Jesus

  1. keith January 22, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    Awesome job Jake! Keep up the good work

  2. Luis January 22, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Cool pics, dude! Looks like a fun trip. What did Slab City smell like?

  3. susan lambert February 10, 2013 at 6:04 am #

    Great photos!!

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