There’s something about dry camping in the desert for a few weeks that really makes one appreciate the lesser things in life … like soaking in a big muddy spring with naked strangers, sharing some hooch under the stars, or showering in a culvert.
It also makes one realize how we take for granted what most consider the the basic necessities of life … plumbing – and hot water, at that – electricity, refrigeration, shelter and transportation.
One look around the slabs and it’s obvious that many come to Slab City because they want to, while others end up here because they must.
Perhaps there is no where else to go for the scruffy genius. Are the weary travelers here in a tent with their three legged dog for fun? Does the young graduate couple camp here with theirs because it’s free?
That’s one good reason we spent nearly three weeks at Slab City. Same goes for a good number of Canadians, Fokkers, full-time RVers, weekenders, and resident transients who call Niland, CA home for at least a while. There’s no amenities, no facilities, and there’s not much of anything in town, unless you’re looking for a vast selection of fortified wines.
But what does one really need to maintain his or her standard of living? That all depends on where your comfort level lies in relationship to your surroundings.
To some, Slab City has it all: hot springs, live music, good people and a community shower. To others it’s a great place to visit – decent weather and social clubs, with fuel, a laundromat and store nearby.
To those who might disagree, I suggest you at least give it a try. After all its perfectly safe, with 24-hour security from the border patrol, a U.S. Navy bombing range to the east and Calipatria State Prison to the west. And you can’t beat the price!
I give credit to anyone makes a go of it on the slabs. First impressions can be deceiving. If you give it time, Slab City might just grow on you. Just not literally, one hopes.