Once finished with our Salvation Mountain visit, we continued on down the road, past hand painted signs alerting us to our next destination, and into "the Slabs".....the last free place.
A lot has been written about the slabs, favorable and unpleasant accounts of what it is and who lives there. I'm not going to pass judgement, its not my place to judge the inhabitants or their lifestyles.
What I see is a gathering of retired snow birds, itinerants, squatters, meth and alcohol addicts and free spirits living together in what some say is harmony, some say is discord, all drawn there by the allure of free living. This place used to be a Marine training camp called Camp Dunlap. The military pulled out after WW 2 and left the abandoned concrete slabs behind.
Creativity abounds. Whether as artistic expression or out of necessity, everything is used. Wooden pallets are transformed into fences, homes and shelter from the sweltering summer sun.
There is a church, a community center, a library and a live music venue in the slabs.
|live music on this stage Saturday nights|
Some of the "properties" are neat and clean, some are not. There are tents, lean to's under trees, derelict trailers, old school buses,brand new motorhomes and an assortment of folks, young and old, living in them.
|ever wondered where East Jesus was?|
Some sections of the slabs are quirky and interesting, a dead tree decorated with shoes sits by the side of the main road.
Some places are scary. There is no water, electricity or sewer, no garbage pickup.
People just trying to live.