El Centro to Salton Sea

Old May 8, 16, 3:13 pm
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El Centro to Salton Sea

Hi FT,

With the caveat that I have to be back in downtown El Centro by 2:30pm, I'd like to possibly drive up to Bombay Beach in the morning, check out the trailers, grab a bite, then head back.

What's the typical Monday traffic situation on route 111/86?
Anyone interested in joining? It would be for June 6th.

Thanks,
BmB
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Old May 11, 16, 11:34 am
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It's been a while since I did that drive from San Diego, but there's not really all that much there food-wise; I remember going to a diner in Niland and not seeing much else. Brawley might have a better selection for food if you can't wait until arriving back in El Centro.

As for traffic, it shouldn't be bad if you try to take 111 for as much of the drive as possible. Even if you don't, the main problem with 86 is that there's a bunch of traffic lights in the part closer to El Centro/Imperial.
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Old May 11, 16, 2:01 pm
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Oh gosh, pack a lunch. MickeyD's would be better than most anything you'll see once you get to the vicinity of the Salton Sea.

86 appears to be a main truck route to and from Mexico but I have still never seen it really busy. Haven't been on 111 nearly as much, but I doubt it ever gets very busy although it is mostly 2 lane as opposed to 86 being 4 lane.
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Old May 11, 16, 2:09 pm
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
Oh gosh, pack a lunch. MickeyD's would be better than most anything you'll see once you get to the vicinity of the Salton Sea.

86 appears to be a main truck route to and from Mexico but I have still never seen it really busy. Haven't been on 111 nearly as much, but I doubt it ever gets very busy although it is mostly 2 lane as opposed to 86 being 4 lane.
Google Maps satellite view seems to indicate four lane for 111 from the Mexican border up to Brawley, for what it's worth.
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Old May 11, 16, 3:39 pm
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
Oh gosh, pack a lunch. MickeyD's would be better than most anything you'll see once you get to the vicinity of the Salton Sea.

86 appears to be a main truck route to and from Mexico but I have still never seen it really busy. Haven't been on 111 nearly as much, but I doubt it ever gets very busy although it is mostly 2 lane as opposed to 86 being 4 lane.
Originally Posted by tmiw View Post
Google Maps satellite view seems to indicate four lane for 111 from the Mexican border up to Brawley, for what it's worth.
Thanks for your replies, RichardinSF and tmiw.

Guess I'll stop in Brawley for a bite, if I can still go. Since there's only time for either the east or west coast of the Salton Sea, which do you recommend (Bombay Beach or Salton City)?
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Old May 11, 16, 4:04 pm
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Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
Guess I'll stop in Brawley for a bite, if I can still go. Since there's only time for either the east or west coast of the Salton Sea, which do you recommend (Bombay Beach or Salton City)?
I've only been on the Bombay Beach side. I remember lots of dead fish skeletons in the sand there, which may or may not be of interest to you. Slab City and Salvation Mountain were pretty cool places to visit though.
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Old Jun 2, 16, 4:08 pm
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I've only been to the Bombay Beach side, and it was quite a sightseeing adventure.

Also, fairly nearby there is the International Banana Museum:
http://www.internationalbananamuseum.com/

I don't know if it's open on Mondays; if it is, though, and you are in the mood for a shake or frozen banana, the stuff on offer there is surprisingly good!
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Old Jun 5, 16, 6:38 am
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Is there anything to actually eat in that area? I've not been in years but god.....What a place.
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Old Jun 6, 16, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer View Post
Is there anything to actually eat in that area? I've not been in years but god.....What a place.
I've not found anywhere interesting or good although I have mostly been on the west side (with an occasional side trip to Mecca). Nothing in Borrego Springs either.
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Old Jun 7, 16, 5:09 am
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There are plenty of places in Borrego Springs. Its a real place with human life forms.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 12:10 pm
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer View Post
There are plenty of places in Borrego Springs. Its a real place with human life forms.
None of whom appear to run good restaurants. It's a Denny's kind of town without the national names. Maybe the best you can do is drive a bit out of town to the restaurant at Casa del Zorro.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 7:57 pm
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Have taken the west side from Indio to El Centro via Salton City, and this winter took the east side from Indio to Bombay Beach. It's totally dystopic. The end of the world. The Salton Sea is pretty vile, and what looks like white sand along the beach is crunchy -- the skeletons of dead tilapia and other fish. It is certainly worth seeing, however. I kinda prefer Bombay Beach over Salton City.

The reason for my post, though, is a serious warning. That road has a frightening number of fatalities. It's desolate and people often drive at ridiculous speeds. Don't be distracted and don't drive tired. I'm not the kind who tosses warnings like this around very often. But 86 has killed or maimed too many people over the years. The Palm Springs paper and TV stations have called it "the highway of death," on occasion. Be careful. And bring your own food and drink. The food won't kill you, but there's no place worth stopping by the Salton Sea.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 8:27 pm
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The entire area is a dump. When I read the title of the thread I thought it was a joke but in fact it appears I was wrong. What entirely is the draw to the place?
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Old Jun 9, 16, 10:09 pm
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The draw is that it is dystopic as hell. It is Mad Max. It is the end of the world. It is an environmental mistake allowed to get worse, and now to the hundredth power. And, if it is allowed to dry up, you ain't seen nothin' yet. And, with the ironically named New River dumping more poison from Mexico into the Salton Sea, it continues to get worse every day. The draw is this was once a sport fishing paradise that has become environmental hell. From atop the mountains at Joshua Tree, it is beautiful in the distance. Up close and personal, it is the first circle of hell.
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Old Jun 10, 16, 6:09 am
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Yeah, its a very odd, odd place. Growing up there in the 1980s, my dad and brother and I would go out there once in a while. The memories of the resort on the sea were still fading, but remnants were still present. You could still fish in the sea and find stuff edible. I wouldn't trust anything there from the water now.

Its also been taken over by a very, very odd lot of people - dystopian is a good term for it.

Did I mention the smell????
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