missjunebug has a secret obsession with the Salton Sea. And that was even before she saw the Val Kilmer film of the same name! She toured this salty, below sea-level inland sea with Mr.JB, ElderJB, and TinyJB many years ago and recently returned to do a solo drive around its entirety. She’ll save that experience for another post another day.
What she did find about half way around was really stunning: the Davis-Schrimpf Seep Field.
The Davis-Schrimpf seep field is located off Highway 111 near Calipatria, California off Davis Road, a glorified dirt road that cuts through local farm fields. As with all things Salton Sea, the Davis-Schrimpf seep field is well below sea level and super surreal. What missjunebug found was lots of mudpots bubbling up carbon dioxide gas from deep down below the surface of the earth. On the surface what you’ll see if you visit this cool seep is nifty nodules rising up. These gryphons as they’re called by geo students in the know are variously textured with mudflows and salty remains of the magma cook-off going on about a kilometer below. The smell reminds missjunebug of her family’s experience in Lassen National Volcanic Park many years ago. But the bubbling at Davis-Schrimpf isn’t hot like Bumpass Hell, just gurgly and blurpy, salty and muddy. And very, very cool if you enjoy all things geologic.
Walk carefully around the gryphons and watch your step. There are lots of pockets that are soft and several deep gurgling pits that are not feet friendly. Treat the area with respect and take plenty of pics. This is a rare geologic treat!
Next time you are within striking distance of the Salton Sea, set your GPS for the Davis Schrimpf seep field and prepare to be amazed. And if you don’t plan a road trip anytime soon, at least check out the Kilmer film Salton Sea. It’s equally surreal!