We headed out from the Thousand Trails Palm Springs resort about 9:30am. I had written down directions to Slab City. We had the GPS hooked up and programmed, although admittedly, we don't always trust the GPS. "Her" idea of the perfect route sometimes takes us down crazy dirt roads or way out of the scenic drive we have anticipated. What I forgot to bring was the paper map of Southern California, and of course what happened was a some point, I realized we missed a turn. We ended up circumventing the entire Salton Sea. The drive was long and the first half was a tad boring. We ended up on the truck route going to El Centro and Calexico. We found a sign at the southern end of the Salton Sea, directing us over to Highway 111.
I first heard about Slab City when my friend, Heidi Boucher , a photographer, went on a shenanigan type adventure to some place in the desert called East Jesus. The pictures she shared were enticing, and she was just starting her career in photography at the time. Anyway, I knew at some point, I wanted to go see what it was all about.
And then a You Tube Channel that I watch about the RV lifestyle, Carolyn's RV Life also did a series on Slab City. I like knowing about the alternative life styles out there; it fascinates me. This is probably because in person, I'm pretty shy, and basically leery about trying new things and having new experiences, so I like the vicarious experience of reading and watching how others explore these things.
Wikipedia calls Slab City a snow bird community - LOL. Palm Springs - Yuma - these are snow bird communities. Slab City is more a community of people wanting to live off the grid and a community of alternative artists, as well as low income folks wanting to stretch their dollars. People here value their privacy. Some don't want any interaction with outsiders. Some do. If you decide to check it out, be respectful of the residents. Smile. Wave. If you get a positive reaction, maybe stop to chat. Maybe not. It is definitely a trust your gut situation.
We didn't get to actually climb Salvation Mountain. Some private group was doing some filming and asked us to come back later. It was a weird situation. They promised they would only be 5 minutes, but when that 5 minutes turned into 30 minutes, we decided just to explore some of the lower rooms and head on to East Jesus.
And then we ventured another mile on to
We spoke with a couple of residents in East Jesus. This is the artistic community at Slab City. Nice people who encouraged us to walk around and enjoy the artistic expressions. Very cool place and nice friendly people.
This was one of my favorite exhibits. There were smart ass as well as inspiration phrases.
I am just in awe of people that can put these recycled things together to make such interesting pieces of art. One man's junk is truly another man's treasure.
If visiting Salvation Mountain and East Jesus is not on your bucket list, it should be. Go see it for yourself....at least once!
Continuing north on Highway 111, we meandered through agricultural land and peekaboo views of the Salton Sea. My first insight is that this body of water is huge! When I mention that we were going to the Salton Sea, I mostly met with questioning looks. Why would I want to go there? I'm not really sure, but I have had a fascination with it for a long time. I think perhaps because it was a vacation destination for celebrities (at least in my mind) in the 1950s and early 1960s. I've just always wanted to see it. We stopped at one of the state parks to take a few pictures. This is a dry camping area. It was a bit hazy the day we were there.
And I saw a pelican!
Most people comment on the smell at the Salton Sea. Because of the salinity in the water, and pollution, the fish population is dwindling, and you will find things like this as you walk along the beach.
Lucky for us, it was one of those days when the air was fresh and there was no smell. As an RVer, I would consider camping there over night (I think it was $10 per night), just for the experience. It was very quiet and peaceful and the view was nice. I just don't know how you could plan for a day when the air was fresh though. Something to consider for the future.