March 14, 2015

We had an opportunity, this winter, to visit Slab City, CA.. We made a new friend while camping on the Mexican border winter 2012/13, who moved there last fall. He is able to get online at the internet cafe, not too far from where he has set up his living space, so we contacted him and made arrangements. The ride into the Slabs is 

bumpy and dusty. At the beginning of the road is Salvation Mountaina manmade hillside composed of adobe clay, hay bales and lots and lots of colorful paint.

 

 

From slab city

 

 

We found our friend's space and after he moved one of the logs that outlined his boundary, we rolled in and parked it under a shade tree. I was ecstatic to see that shady spot. Ah, the little things..  

He had made himself a home complete with a container garden that was growing herbs and tomatoes and an outdoor shower with an on-demand hot water heater powered by his solar panels. I won't go into details about how he fertilized his garden, but you might be able to take a guess.

His 2 dogs protect his space. They are sweet and lovable critters and it's comforting to know he has them for company. 

It's a hot dusty hike to get water from the canal, but at least it's accessible. I can't even imagine what life would be like for him without water near by. He has a bicycle that can carry the heavy water containers back to camp. He is a true survivalist who lives what he preaches and writes E-books to help others make it through this chaotic life. 

On Saturday night, the Range is the place to be, with open mic live music and an interesting mix of people all joined together to relax and have a little fun. There were older folks, rednecks, bikers, hippies with dreadlock kids running around and everything in between. I was a little hesitant to sit in one of the ratty cloth chairs, so I chose a vinyl car seat in the back. We didn't stay too long because I was afraid of leaving our "house" unattended. Just seemed like a perfect opportunity to get broken into.

There are social clubs to join at the Slabs, providing some precious ammenities, such as internet, to it's members. It also gives people a place to go and talk to others in a neutral setting. 

 

 

 

 

We ended up staying at the Slabs for 4 days. It was kind of like Breaking Bad meets Trailer Park Boys with a splash of Road Warrior just to keep you on your toes. We met some folks and heard their stories of why they were there. My friend calls it the end-of-the-road. One couple in there 40's were there because they had troubles with their motorhome and got taken by a mechanic for all they had. They couldn't pay for the repairs, so ended up buying an old trailer and are now stuck at the Slabs. Some come there because of poor life decisions, some are just socially unable to live in the real world, others are rebels against the man and some are Trustafarians who are there because they can be. Many are also snowbirds, who flock there in the winter from cold Northern climes to wait out the tundra back home. 

Our friend is an Anarchist. Slab city is the ultimate experiment in Anarchy. This interested me because he is now living in Anarchy heaven, with no real rules, no policing, no "man", but complains of all the people burning their trash (including plastic), pooping outside without composting, leaving trash piles everywhere, etc. Being in the thick of it, I can see that Anarchy does not work.

All in all, it was an uneventful weekend with pleasant sunsets enjoyed while getting reacquainted with a friend.  I tried to concentrate on that and keep everything into perspective. The bottle of Mescal we had brought up from Mexico at his request, didn't hurt either. 

 

 
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