Sunday, June 22, 2008

Written: Sunday, April 6th - Slab City, CA

The range was great last night - lots of great music sounded into the night - everything from John Wayne to L.A folk music. They have quite the little musical community here in the town of no rules. 'The slabs' have actually become a bit of a hot spot for LA city dwellers on Saturday nights. They often take the drive stay for one night (2hrs - east into the desert.) and leave the next morning for the drive home.

Today we hid away from the sunshine, playing Yahtzee and reading the food section of the NY times. later on, it's time to head to town for water a necessity here. and on the way stopped in for a shower at the spring. Now the shower, how do I explain. It's like a cement hole in the ground with a culvert cascading down into it. You climb down the makeshift ladder, inside the dark hole for your hot spring shower. It is a weird sensation or really creepy and really relaxing. Perfectly toasty hot-spring shower, while trying not to think about the spiders and other desert creatures living down in there. If you can get past the algae, and the overall weirdness of the whole thing it's actually quite nice.

Today we went to find a now space in the slabs, further away from the 'theiving meth heads' as our fellow blue 71 bus owner Bill tells us. we found a nice little spot and a slab of our own actually. It's raised up from the ground so you can't drive up on it. but it has a set of steps, and a little rock garden courtesy of the past occupant.

It's quite empty here in the slabs, the past few weeks have said goodbye to the snowbirds and many others as the heat of the summer has started to roll in. I've been told that in the summer as temperatures rise well into the 100's (128 degrees at times) the only people left in the slabs are the druggies, and those who can't leave for whatever reason. For now, it's toasty, but manageable. and there's still many people around for a few more weeks. I'm told that the winter will bring the return of the citizens of Slab City and that New Years Eve is the night to be here in the winter - It's the party of all parties.

At night there are flashes of light in the distance. Slab City, is neighbored by a military testing range. They drop flares at the base of the chocolate mountains which are close by. The flares were bright light a lightening strike only they lasted 30 seconds long. We are told that the US military is testing all sorts of artillery here and sometimes the windows in the RVs shake. I hope that we're going before any of that happens.

Just outside of slab city is Salvation Mountain, it is this giant man-made mountain out of straw bales, dirt, and copious amounts of paint. There is paint all over the ground around the main mountain which is solid, but there are also lots of other tunnels and rooms and other wacky things. It was kind of disturbing walking around inside we took a quick spin - but God only knows the structural integrity of the straw mountain so we got our pretty quick. The guy who has spent his life working on it wasn't home but we snapped a shot of his little home and outdoor living room.


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