Eric Merrell

Desert Skies and Railroad Ties


oil on canvas on panel
30 x 40 in.
34.5 x 44.5 in. (framed)
The original railroad tracks here in the low desert ran at a lower elevation through the Salton Sink Basin, below sea level, to the left of this spot. When the Salton Sink flooded around 1906 and created the Salton Sea, the original tracks were inundated and had to be moved further east to a higher elevation. Toward the right horizon are the Mecca Hills, and further in the distance to the left is San Gorgonio, usually snow-capped even in summer, with its uppermost reaches at an elevation over 11,000 feet, the highest in Southern California.