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Trailer Deaths

A buddy of mine, Mark Harmel good fellow and terrific photographer and I traveled out to the desert over the weekend a few weeks ago.  We went looking for photo opportunities including the desert flower bloom and for me, trailers.

There are vintage trailers all around the Salton Sea area, some are still in use and others are wasting away, slowly in the hot dry desert.

We started exploring at Salton City heading north going then south on the east side..  We stopped in a couple of areas I had visited in 2002.  We rediscovered while traveling the back roads finding this wasting gem, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Wasting Away, ©2002 Martin Trailer

Wasting Away, ©2002 Martin Trailer

When I spotted that trailer, I instantly remembered shooting this nearly 7 years ago.  In the second shot 2009, note the absence of the trailer in the background and the missing framing.  Salvage I would guess.

The area is pretty much the same as I remember from 2002, the yacht club and launch area there was some “wear and tear”, but overall not much change.

Wasting Away, ©2009 Martin Trailer

Wasting Away, ©2009 Martin Trailer

Wasting Trailer at Bombay Beach, © 2009 Martin Trailer

Wasting Trailer at Bombay Beach, © 2009 Martin Trailer

It seems that the area was dry when this group of trailer were parked, but at some point flooded.  The bottom 12-18 inches of the trailer are corroding away.  The surrounding area(s) that continue to be occupied are higher by a foot or so without the damage.

Here is a shot I did of vintage trailer disintegrating into the dirt and here is the very same trailer shown on Wikipedia from 2005 we found at Bombay Beach, on the east side of the Salton Sea, opposite of Salton City.  Once the skin is off the frame, disintegration seems reasonably quick considering the lack of moisture.

Must be the salt and they just seem to decompose even in the dry hot climate.

Exploratory shooting, the discovery is the homework photographers do, and hunting down vintage trailer is a blast for me.


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