Took a photo trip to Joshua Tree National Park this weekend with my buddies, Steve (steve.lancot), Ian (izsme123), Sam (come on, Sammy join flickr). We stayed at the Harmony Motel in Twentynine Palms -- the same place U2 stayed to compose the Joshua Tree album.
I had bright idea we could take a quick trip to the Salton Sea, by cutting through the park, and make Bombay Beach, elevation 228 feet below sea level, to shoot sunset. The 37 miles to the 10 is a lot farther than it looks on the map -- especially with a 35 mph speed limit. Sunset was 6:45pm not taking into account the mountain range, so it was really about 6:30. We left at 4, and at 6:20 we were still 8 miles away, and the sun was rapidly descending.
Bombay Beach was founded in 1929 as resort town for the affluent. Sadly, that's not the case today. Since it lies on the lowest point of the Salton Sea, it's prone to flooding, the most devastating of which happened in 1976 wiping out an entire mobile home park of over 500 residences. Most of what remains consists of decaying structures. It's almost like visiting a third world country.
We made it to Aisle of Palms and 5th Avenue, the town's lowest point, and most ravaged, grabbed our gear and scrambled to get some shots until we lost all the light -- oh yeah, and the wind was blowing at least 35 miles an hour, too, to make things more challenging.
In my haste, I forgot a couple of small things -- my cable release, and the adaptor ring for my Cokin Filter holder. No big problem on the former, I used the camera self timer. But holding the filters in front of the lens was a major pain. Fingers in shots, big spaces where the filter didn't cover the lens..., yup Mr. Prepared.
So I was pleasantly surprised to have a few salvagable shots.