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The End of the World: Julian to the Salton Sea and Back, California, US - 1st March 2008

Continuing our drive around the desert of South-west California, we drive through the cool misty mountain-town of Julian and cross the mountains in to the Anza-Borrego State Park. As soon as the mountains are cleared, the skies clear and temperature notches up by 10°C. The roof of the Mustang convertible is duly lowered and we blast around the desert roads, heading up to Borrego Springs, for a picnic on possibly California's only roundabout, then up to the Henderson Canyon to see the desert in bloom. From there, it's through the Anza-Borrego badlands to the Salton Sea - one of the strangest places in the world. If you ever want to see what happens to society after the destruction of humanity, then it gives a clue: what must have once been a thriving waterside community is now crumbling in to the ground, but here-and-there a few residents put on a brave face and tend their gardens. It's like the aftermath of some nuclear destruction, but without the nuclear winter and fall-out. The whole thing freaks us out a bit, so we soon head off back down to rejoin Route 78 back through the badlands and into the pretty town of Julian.

next album: Rosarito and Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico - 2nd March 2008
previous album: San Diego 8: The Beaches of Torrey Pines, and Ramona, California, USA - 29th February 2008

2008 Route 78 out of Julian, in Anza-Borrego State Park

Route 78 out of Julian, in Anza-Borrego State Park

2008 Isobel ponders life by the road-side

Isobel ponders life by the road-side

2008 Isobel hangs over the convertible

Isobel hangs over the convertible

2008 A couple of desert flowers

A couple of desert flowers

2008 Isobel inspects some prickly-pear cacti

Isobel inspects some prickly-pear cacti

2008 The car waits for us in a turn-out

The car waits for us in a turn-out

2008 Isobel roams among the cacti

Isobel roams among the cacti

2008 Isobel in the hills

Isobel in the hills

2008 Spiky cacti

Spiky cacti

2008 Purple flowers

Purple flowers

2008 Isobel's off again

Isobel's off again

2008 A white desert flower, surrounded by purple

A white desert flower, surrounded by purple

2008 A view of the Anza-Borrego badlands

A view of the Anza-Borrego badlands

2008 Isobel waves her hands in the air, on the roadside on state road S3

Isobel waves her hands in the air, on the roadside on state road S3

2008 The Wells Fargo bank at Borrego Springs

The Wells Fargo bank at Borrego Springs

2008 Christmas Circle is quite popular, and even has toilets on it

Christmas Circle is quite popular, and even has toilets on it

2008 The V-8 Mustang parked by the roundabout

The V-8 Mustang parked by the roundabout

2008 We picnic on the roundabout

We picnic on the roundabout

2008 A rare cyclist on Christmas Circle

A rare cyclist on Christmas Circle

2008 30 miles to the Salton Sea

30 miles to the Salton Sea

2008 A roadside hut by Christmas Circle

A roadside hut by Christmas Circle

2008 Our first sighting of the desert in bloom

Our first sighting of the desert in bloom

2008 Pretty flowers in the desert

Pretty flowers in the desert

2008 More flowers

More flowers

2008 Pink/purple desert flowers

Pink/purple desert flowers

2008 Sightseers roam around in the flowers

Sightseers roam around in the flowers

2008 Purple flowers under blue skies

Purple flowers under blue skies

2008 Carpets of flowers cover the canyon floor

Carpets of flowers cover the canyon floor

2008 More flowers

More flowers

2008 Isobel walks around amongst the purple flowers

Isobel walks around amongst the purple flowers

2008 In the middle of nowehere is a box marked 'telephone'. It wasn't ringing

In the middle of nowehere is a box marked 'telephone'. It wasn't ringing

2008 The desert flowers prove popular as loads of other tourists are about

The desert flowers prove popular as loads of other tourists are about

2008 Photographing the flowers

Photographing the flowers

2008 I Poke Badgers with Spoons

I Poke Badgers with Spoons

2008 Off-road in Henderson Canyon

Off-road in Henderson Canyon

2008 In the derelict town of Desert Shores, Salton Sea

In the derelict town of Desert Shores, Salton Sea

2008 Derelict lock-ups

Derelict lock-ups

2008 Some sort of gate post stands around

Some sort of gate post stands around

2008 Isobel roams around the post-apocalyptic town

Isobel roams around the post-apocalyptic town

2008 Everywhere, buildings are falling apart

Everywhere, buildings are falling apart

2008 Salt-encrusted sticks in the Salton Sea

Salt-encrusted sticks in the Salton Sea

2008 More derelict buildings

More derelict buildings

2008 The blast-wave from the nuclear detonation has not left much behind

The blast-wave from the nuclear detonation has not left much behind

2008 A derelict caravan

A derelict caravan

2008 Wind-swept dirt road

Wind-swept dirt road

2008 A dead bush

A dead bush

2008 A stool sits alone, with no-one to sit on it

A stool sits alone, with no-one to sit on it

2008 A caravan with no sidewalls

A caravan with no sidewalls

2008 A more-intact green caravan

A more-intact green caravan

2008 The remains of an airstream-like caravan

The remains of an airstream-like caravan

2008 Derelict homes

Derelict homes

2008 More post-nuclear wasteland

More post-nuclear wasteland

2008 Beauty and the Barber - anachronistic sign in a wasteland

Beauty and the Barber - anachronistic sign in a wasteland

2008 Smashed windows

Smashed windows

2008 Telegraph poles lead the way out of town

Telegraph poles lead the way out of town

2008 Ironic graffiti

Ironic graffiti

2008 A big pile of rubbish

A big pile of rubbish

2008 Isobel's back in the Mustang

Isobel's back in the Mustang

2008 An abandoned semi trailer and shop sign

An abandoned semi trailer and shop sign

2008 The bow of a speedboat lurches out of the ground

The bow of a speedboat lurches out of the ground

2008 Motorboat stuck in the ground

Motorboat stuck in the ground

2008 A sign hopes to tempt passers-by to the facilities

A sign hopes to tempt passers-by to the facilities

2008 Optimistic plots of land are for sale

Optimistic plots of land are for sale

2008 On Route 78 heading toward Ocotillo Wells

On Route 78 heading toward Ocotillo Wells

2008 A dust storm cross the road

A dust storm cross the road

2008 A derelict petrol station near Ocotillo Wells

A derelict petrol station near Ocotillo Wells

2008 A derelict petrol pump

A derelict petrol pump

2008 The old petrol station forecourt

The old petrol station forecourt

2008 Another abandoned pump

Another abandoned pump

2008 'Welcome to Burro Bend, California'

'Welcome to Burro Bend, California'

2008 A tyre barricade

A tyre barricade

2008 Writing in concrete since 1989 displays a poignant hope

Writing in concrete since 1989 displays a poignant hope

2008 Derelict petrol-station shop

Derelict petrol-station shop

2008 The inside of the derelict petrol station's shop

The inside of the derelict petrol station's shop

2008 The exposed workings of a petrol pump

The exposed workings of a petrol pump

2008 Round the back of the shop

Round the back of the shop

2008 Derelict petrol station at Burro Bend

Derelict petrol station at Burro Bend

2008 Isobel waits in the Mustang

Isobel waits in the Mustang

2008 Isobel at Burro Bend

Isobel at Burro Bend

2008 Ocotillo plants in the desert

Ocotillo plants in the desert

2008 Back in Julian, we find an ice machine

Back in Julian, we find an ice machine

2008 A pile of signs

A pile of signs

2008 The Old Julian Garage

The Old Julian Garage

2008 We stop for Apple pie in Apple Pie Town

We stop for Apple pie in Apple Pie Town

2008 The apple-pie café

The apple-pie café

2008 A Harley-Davidson on Main Street

A Harley-Davidson on Main Street

2008 The Rong Branch bar

The Rong Branch bar

2008 Amusing sign advertising 'weed wacking'

Amusing sign advertising 'weed wacking'

2008 A queue at 'Moms'

A queue at 'Moms'

2008 A horse-and-cart clops by on Julian's Main Street

A horse-and-cart clops by on Julian's Main Street

2008 Main Street and B

Main Street and B

2008 The Julian petrol station

The Julian petrol station

2008 Unusual combination: pistols and petticoats

Unusual combination: pistols and petticoats

2008 A yellow Julian fire hydrant

A yellow Julian fire hydrant

2008 A couple of wicker chairs outside a small house

A couple of wicker chairs outside a small house

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Route 78 out of Julian, in Anza-Borrego State Park