Friday, December 21, 2007


The locals had a Hootenanny last night just down the road. No karaoke for these Slab residents, they do it all themselves. We could hear the strains of some Bob Dylan & Beatles tunes wafting up out of the trees where they had gathered. They do their own singing & they do their own instruments. And they didn't sound half bad either.

We parked for the night near Mike's Sun Works so we didn't have far to go in the morning. Mike was out right at 8 & began troubleshooting our problem. Another couple of rigs rolled in minutes behind us & the two young fellows began outfitting them with solar systems right away. The usual assortment of characters came & went & one by one their problems were addressed. Mike finally located the problem with the inverter & fixed it. He went over the system with us explaining how it all worked & answering all our questions. A few last minute things to tidy up & we were on our way. All & all it was a good learning experience for us the last couple of days & we left with the knowledge that we had definitely come to the right place for our solar installation. Two thumbs up for Solar Mike & his Sun Works. And he's a nice fellow too:))

From Sun Works we went back to the spot where we had spent our first night here in the Slabs. Figured we would hang around for the night & see how we made out with our solar system. Of course, I had no sooner put the solar panels up when the cloud cover rolled in. Some days ya just can't win for loosing:((

We decided to have a better look around the area so jumped in the car & drove around a bit. Saw an old wooden sign that said, Library, so we drove in & stopped. It was a typical slab dwelling made out of bits & pieces of wood, aluminum siding, car tires, etc. Looked pretty ramshackle from the outside but it was really unique inside. The lady who started this library died in 2003 of breast cancer. She was only 53. A friend took over looking after things & he has maintained the library & all it's books & artifacts. Probably not a lot of people know about it or come here but I did feel like it was a special place dedicated to someone's memory. Old books, old magazines, & old memories.

From the little library in the desert we drove a short distance past Salvation Mountain & had us look at 3 old ammunition bunkers that were here when the army base was in operation. These bunkers are lived in by people during the summer months because they are cooler & of course they are filthy with garbage, human waste, & debris of all kinds scattered about. It is so appalling to us how some people live & treat the environment. You wouldn't believe the mess unless you saw it. And it's everywhere!!
A short distance from the bunkers is small pond where hot mineral water bubbles to the surface. People obviously come here because once again the area is littered with trash. The overflow from this small pond runs along the desert floor through some dense shrubbery in a narrow stream for a few hundred yards where it enters a cement well like structure. This is the local slab city shower. Check out the pictures at Somebody has just very recently constructed a well made ladder for folks to climb down into the hot mineral water. At least some people are trying to make things nice.
Between the shower in the ground & Salvation Mountain we noticed another couple of structures way out on the desert floor so headed over there to check them out. Just when you think you've seen everything bizarre in the slab area you come across this place. I have no idea what this was but I suspect it had something to do with the army base years ago. Big round cement silo like structures. Water tanks maybe, gun emplacements, some kind of training facilities, landing pads for alien space craft, power generating plant maybe....just don't know but as with all things in this area it has been discovered, used, & abused by humanoids. The usual amount of broken glass, old tires, litter & debris, but it also has something else........graffiti. Not bad graffiti though, & some of the paintings are actually quite good. The strangest structure is a large round cement silo with a concrete roof. We noticed someone had made something out of old used tires on the top. We walked up an embankment on one side of it & noticed a hole had been knocked through the concrete wall big enough to crawl through, so in we went. Found ourselves in a large round concrete room on a concrete floor with lots of paintings on the wall & an assortment of odds & ends scattered about in a sort of organized way. Kelly noticed a box of food on the floor beside a sleeping bag. A couple bottles of juice & loaf of bread that was still fresh. Oh, oh, have we blundered into someone's abode. The most bizarre thing about this round concrete room was what was hanging from the ceiling. Someone had gone to a lot of ingenious work by first building a structure of tires on top of the roof over a hole in the center of the roof. From this they suspended an assortment of cables & fashioned themselves a large hanging & caged bed. It sort of took on some spider like qualities in it's construction.
Noticed a steel ladder going up the side of the wall leading to a small hatch in the roof so I climbed up there, poked my head & shoulder through the opening & took a few pictures of the surrounding area. Kelly had already exited the structure & when I came back down the ladder I found the place eerily quiet & a little spooky to say the least. I fully expected a vampire or some hideous horror movie monster creature to suddenly descend on me. It was with a feeling of relief that I stepped back out of the hole in the wall into daylight again & headed off back down to where we had left the car. Hard for me to explain this place so have a look at the pictures I took.

Just made it back to the motorhome in time to take some photos of the amazing sunset over Slab City. We will probably leave here to-morrow heading for Borrego Springs which is on the west side of the Salton Sea in Anza-Borrego State Park. We had planned on going up to Joshua Tree State Park north of here until we checked the weather to-day & found out it's only in the 40's there. Met another Canadian couple this morning at Solar Mikes who had come over from Peg Leg Pete's near Borrego Springs for a solar installation & they said the weather over there is just, that's where we're going next. We just gots to go where we gots to go to keep warm:))))
P.S. We haven't had to pay any RV park fees for 4 nights now....Ya-hooooooie!!