Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Slab City

033(Chuck)The Slabs are located near Nyland, CA which is on the east side of the Salton Sea. It is the concrete remains of a WWII Marine base which was called Camp Dunlap (1942-1961). It is a boondock area for some 150 full time residents and many more transients who pass through in the winter. It has been glamorized and quite possibly over glamorized for several decades. As we were planning our departure from Anza Borrego, Judy indicated that she wanted to stay at Slab City for one night. Underground Weather indicated that we were in for a windy day and it seemed like a good idea to spend it at The Slabs. This community is notorious for some characters who may be antisocial, uncooperative and very possessive of their space. I did not want to wander in and park where someone deemed that I should not be at that particular time so I e-mailed our friend Marty who inhabits there occasionally and asked for advice. Marty said ”Go find the LOWS” and gave us directions. The LOWS are of course Loners ON Wheels which is a singles RV group. They have maintained a presence at The Slabs for decades. We stayed on a small corner of their area and felt secure for the two days of our stay. 025

Marty asked me for our impression of The Slabs and it is mixed with more frowns than smiles. I have read blogs of folks who have shared conversation with some of the more famous of the permanent residents and many seem to glorify and honor the free spirit and encourage the admiration of the down and out. I did not seek these people out. I spoke with only one neighbor who was a Canadian spending the winter in a warm climate. When we drove around in the area we saw large areas of trash of all descriptions. Dean and Judy took a walk and found a church group from Borrego Springs distributing clothing, furniture and personal grooming articles to a group of young, barefoot and very disadvantaged people.

We looked over Leonard Knight’s Salvation Mountain while we were there and he has indeed found a way to express his love of Jesus. The mountain is his canvas and donated paint is his medium.

020 017Salvation Mt. is at the entrance to Slab City. Our friends Dean & Judy are to the left above. 013The photo above is inside the ‘building’ at right in the photo to the left.

035Nearly anybody who has RV’ed in the West has heard of Slab City . If you have never been there it is probably worth the experience. The winds were calm by the second day and as we left the Slabs we could not help but notice the words on the blockhouse by the road “Caution Reality Ahead”.

(Jan) The Moores and Sheeleys moved over to Ogilby Road on Tuesday. It has been so much fun being with these dear friends hiking and playing Pegs & Jokers, talking and sharing evening meals. Dean & Judy spent their summer in the Maritimes so they shared some wonderful cod from New Foundland with us and also, some moose from Nova Scotia. And thanks to friends Richard & Peggy, we had a meal of crab from the Oregon Coast! Dean & Judy headed back north on Saturday. We’ll miss them but we are planning to cruise through the Panama Canal with Poutneys, Richmonds and them in April.

1 comment:

Jim and Bobbie said...

Glad you got to experience The Slabs. It is interesting to say the least. Now you know for yourself what it is all about.

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