I said I'd be back! I usually don't do very large or long posts, but I figured I'd come back with a bang. These photos (except for three) were taken a few weeks ago when my wife and I drove to L.V. to celebrate our anniversary. Well, here goes...
You all know that I love to find odd things that can only exist in the desert and then show them to you. Here's another!
Lake Delores Resort, AKA Rock-A-Holla Water Park, AKA Discovery Water Park, was America's first water park and opened up in 1962 and closed around 2001. It had a lake (from underground water), go karts, motel, RV park, jet skis and boating. A lot of money was sunk into this place. One BIG problem though! It's in the middle of the Mojave Desert. No matter how much money they sunk into it and how much they added to it; it was STILL in the middle of the desert. Just like most failed enterprises in the desert, it was closed and simply left there to rot. There is currently a group looking into reopening the place. The new name would be Oasis Lake Dolores (I think). I hope it works out for them. This old video is three minutes long, but it's worth watching at least part of it to get the feeling of what the park once was. Also, it's a great setup for my photos (below). I really wish I could have posted this for the recent "Choose Your Own Apocalypse" blogfest at my friend Chuck's great Apocalypse Now blog, because this place really does look like a post apocalyptic theme park. The only thing missing was the zombies...
If the middle start button doesn't work, please use the start button in lower left corner.
"Mily fun!" I'm sure some of you have seen this sign while driving across the desert from Southern California to Las Vegas (or the other way around.).
The next exit that the sign offered was a preview of things to come. I've driven past here many times and this place hasn't been open for many years.
A mile or so down the road is this monument to desert aspiration, failure and heartbreak. It used to be a real estate office.
This water tank/coke advertisement used to be very brightly painted. Even if this photo wasn't B&W, the tank would be...
This was the vehicle gate to the resort. It leads to a huge dirt parking lot and the pedestrian entrance.
Circa 1977 (photo from Oasis Lake Dolores)
December 11, 2012. I didn't even need a ticket to get in! I was the only person there that day. Actually, my wife was there also, but she followed me in the truck.
There must have been a mile of these slow moving "rivers." (photo from Oasis Lake Dolores)
Same view (a little closer to the turn though).
There were several big water slides that came down this hill. You can see by all the poles stuck in concrete that there was sometimes long lines to get up there.
Several of the small slides are still in place. The plywood ramp means that there have been skateboarders here at some point. No homeless folks here though.
There wasn't much graffiti, but most of what was there, was pretty interesting.
I would have done a lot more in B&W, but then you wouldn't have seen just how colorful the place still is.
Something to eat?
Fountain behind the entrance (photo from Oasis Lake Dolores)
I love finding these places and I'm usually more than content to let the desert slowly take them back. This place did pretty well for quite a while, but then water parks started opening up all over the southwest and this one lost much of it's business. Now, many of the water parks have closed and the group looking at reopening this place, just might have a good shot if they decide to do so. If they don't open it up again, I'll be stopping by whenever we pass this way. You can rest assured that I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for mutants, zombies or whatever else might be found in a post apocalyptic place like this...
I hope everyone had a great holiday season. We sure did! Next week we'll be hitching the jeep up behind the RV and heading for the deep desert environs of Southern Arizona. Just south of Yuma and just north of la frontera Mexicana.