Salton Sea of the Midwest – 2017

by Kaylah Stroup

Two years ago Jeff and I discovered a place we’d come to call “The Salton Sea of the Midwest”. We’ve visited there numerous times since (I’ve linked all of my posts at the bottom of this one) but it still hasn’t lost its charm. Recently we decided to head back out there to see how its changed and get some new photos. Finding brand new places to explore is always an excellent feeling but I truly enjoy going back to the same spots to see how they’ve changed, to see if I can get an idea of what sorts of other people have discovered them since (aka has anyone painted penises on the walls yet?), and document the progress nature has made to take these places back.

Each time previous to this we’ve sneaked on to the property, and of course, been the only people there… because it’s abandoned, duh. This last visit though? People galore. As we approached on foot we spotted a parked car on the road close to the trailers. I wanted to leave but Jeff insisted it was okay. When we finally made it through the bushes we immediately came face to face with a middle aged couple. I assumed they’d question what we were doing but instead they commented on what a neat place and kept on walking the other direction. Well, that was weird but okay… We continued along the abandoned road, spotting some people out on the decrepit docks who also didn’t seem to concerned that we were there.

It was definitely a strange feeling to be there with so many other people. I guess saying “so many other” kind of makes it sound like there was a family reunion or something but generally abandoned places are very peaceful and devoid of people. It’s like finding your own little sanctuary… if you could consider somewhere filled with mold, broken windows, and animal feces a sanctuary. To have this place have any people is weird but multiple groups is something else. I guess part of it lies in the fact I consider it “my” spot. This area that everyone else seems to have forgotten – when I’m there, it’s mine. What are those people doing at myyyy spot? They’re probably wondering the same thing. We’re all just looking for our own little escapes.

During this visit I concentrated on shooting interior as opposed to taking the same exterior shots as before. It’s funny because after all these visits I feel like “well, yeah, of course I’ve been inside all of the trailers and cottages!” but I only recognized a handful of them. Everything else was new to me. I don’t know how, maybe I just have a really terrible memory but it made this spot that I thought I knew like the back of my hand feel new to me.

abandoned, trailers, ohio, colorful, decay

Check out past posts from this location – March 2015, March on film, June 2015, and May 2016.

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