Thursday, December 24, 2009

Slab City & Salvation Mountain

Wed - Dec. 23rd

When we reached the Salton Sea area, we decided to check out Salvation Mountain and Slab City, since we had heard so much about them.
Salvation Mountain was created by a man who was flying in a hot air balloon and crashed at this spot a few miles east of the Salton Sea. He decided it was a sign from God and he has been working on it
ever since (16 years). He thinks he has used approximately 100,000 gallons of leftover paint that people bring and donate to his project. He is technically trespassing on state land. Both the state and county have had plans to evict him and demolish his mountain in the past, but never got
it done. Over the years his mountain has become quite famous. There has been a documentary made and it has been featured in several books. It has become a world wide phenomenon. One of his trucks was actually shipped to Baltimore and shown in a museum as folk art. Leonard Knight's
Salvation Mountain covers five acres of a gravelly, weed strewn patch of ground on the outskirts of a World War II desert training base used by General Patton's tank corps. The Folk Art Society has declared it a national folk art shrine.

Also, on this training base is Slab City. People have been using the leftover cement slabs for free camping spots in the desert probably since the base was abandoned. It has just become a little come as you please, do as you please hamlet in the desert. As you can see from the pictures, there
are some very permanent run down, ramshackle places and some very nice motor homes and everything in between.

I especially liked this place with the fence made out of pallets. Remind you of anyone?

This place was run by the L.O.W.s (Loners on Wheels Club). You had to be single to camp in their area, but they provided this place to have a beer and socialize.

This was us camped to the right of a very nice, fancy motor home. You just pick out any area that looks good to you and move in.

Just an overview of one area. We weren't sure if anyone was actually living in the gray bus or if it was abandoned.

Some places were totally decorated for Christmas with obviously scavenged stuff.

We were told that this place has live music every Friday night. We met some very nice people, but we only stayed two nights, so we didn't get in on that.

Looks like homesteaders. We decided to treat ourselves for Christmas, so we moved a few miles down the road to a resort with natural hot mineral springs.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


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