No Love For The Desert

November 29th, 2012

I saw it while bearing down Interstate 15 through the Mojave Desert. The skeleton of a water park looming in the midday desert sun is hard to miss, surrounded by nothing, and sits quiet and sad in the blistering heat. I made mental notes to come back this way that night. I probably should have made a note of the location, too, what with the age of GPS and all. Things are hard to see at night.

Southern California border patrol didn’t give me a second glance when I passed their checkpoint, and I began eyeing off mile after mile of highway roadside, trying to remember just how far away the waterpark was. It was much further than I thought, which is kind of how it goes when running on memory alone. I figured it would be hard to miss the scrawny palms in the still night air, though, and kept onward until finally it made its presence known.

A full moon over the desert is like a full moon anywhere. Bright and cool. It was quiet, except for the nearby rumble of constant traffic on the interstate. Nothing much moved in the waterpark, and nothing had for a long time. This place is obvious, though, and obvious places get trashed. There wasn’t a lot left undamaged when I walked through by moonlight, and there’s even less left now.

There’s a sadness to the dereliction of places that were created purely for entertainment that you just don’t feel for the institutions and remnants of industry. Such places fall into ruin because the people are gone. Maybe people loved this place once.

Not much remains of the place, and each new batch of photos from skateboarding or exploring or whatever shows things rapidly collapsing into the desert. But, it’s worth a visit, if only to tread the dry bed that used to be something of an oasis, and wonder how things used to be.

4 Responses to “No Love For The Desert”

  1. Tony Proweron 07 Dec 2012 at 12:47 am

    An interesting theme, love the first image and would like to see more long star trails in your images.

  2. Svenon 01 Jan 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Amusingly, I’ve been striving lately to shoot stars without trails :P

  3. Kimon 02 Jan 2013 at 5:59 pm

    what sort of lens do you use generally?

  4. Svenon 05 Jan 2013 at 12:48 am

    For a while, I almost always shot with either a 17-55/2.8 or fisheye, but lately I’ve been mostly using a 14-24/2.8.

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