TTAC Photo Essay

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
ttac photo essay

“While in California for business last week, I took a day off and traveled out to The Salton Sea in my Dodge Caliber rental car. Salton Sea started when a flood at the turn of the century produced a substantial inland lake where there was originally barren desert. Soon agriculture thrived, then a tourism and investment boom hit to capitalize on the “desert oasis” image. Lots were being subdivided, roads and utilities were built out, and suddenly the lake tipped into dangerous salinity and pollution levels. It has no intake or outflow – salt and pollutants just concentrate over time. Just as the hotels, marinas, and communities began construction, algae blooms, massive fish kills,and related bird deaths turned the vacation paradise into a fetid, hellish nightmare. There’s no simple way to fix the health of the lake – and also no magic way to make use of the streets, utilities and plots of land already sold under the failed dream. Minor progress can be made on both fronts, but even with significant government intervention, its a rough, unattractive place to be. So here’s the Caliber in a long-abandoned parking lot of the never-built Salton City Marina, surrounded by tumbleweeds, dead palm trees, cracked concrete, and unnaturally blue water. Broken dreams and the smell of death. The Caliber looks right at home.”

Photo courtesy TTAC reader Jeff Conlin

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4 of 28 comments
  • Johnny Canada Johnny Canada on Dec 19, 2008

    Robert, you gotta check out a great documentary film narrated by John Waters called Plagues and Pleasures.

  • BlueBrat BlueBrat on Dec 19, 2008

    Thing is, people will buy a Caliber and other Dodge products when they're sold new at $5,000.00 a piece.

  • Mekira Mekira on Dec 19, 2008

    The Island of Misfit Cars

  • Dimwit Dimwit on Dec 20, 2008

    BlueBrat: The scary thing is you're right. Both GM and Cryco could move a ton of iron if the great unwashed thought they were getting a deal and the car represented a value play. SUV's are dead, and minivans on life support but show up in something midsize or smaller and have a good sobstory with a good price and it'll move. You wouldn't believe how many Calibers we have on the roads up here in Toronto. A lot of them were moved from Durangos and Caravans.