Sunday, May 27, 2007

Salinas salt mine on Isla Carmen

Here on the east side of Isla Carmen is an abandoned salt mining operation in Salinas Bay. While salt hasn't been mined here since the 1960's, private owners have taken over the little town site and kept up this unique little spot. What a wonderful diversion and step back in time on an otherwise uninhabited island!

Remnants of the mining operation are strewn about the town site including old machinery, cars, loaders, and abandoned buildings. Isla Carmen is part of the Loreto Bay National Marine Park (founded in July, 1996) and protected under the park's jurisdiction. Permits are required to land here and to explore the abandoned town site.

What a wonderful idea... an old forklift converted to hold planted cactus!

The abandoned mining offices still hold file cabinets and even the company payroll safe. The area has the feel of a western ghost town...cool!

Abandoned U.S. manufactured cars in the middle of an uninhabited desert island attest to how "odd" this place is. There is really only one dirt road around town, the half mile drive to the salt water lagoon itself.

You can still see the train tracks where the salt was brought from the lagoon to the town site for shipment. The lagoon itself has a beautiful turquoise color cast to the water, surrounded in blinding white salt shores.

And of course the salt in the lagoon covers everything! This little side trip is definitely the way to spend a morning when the wind and sea conditions make it difficult to watch for whales or dolphins. Such an anachronism here on Isla Carmen!

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