Is this the end of Slab City? No, I doubt it. But this Friday Five may signify the end of an era, for us at least. We had no suggestions for this week’s random collection of five (or more) photos from our 15+ years of Live Work Dream Galleries. And, every time we return to the Fountain of Youth, I reminisce about the time we spent at The Slabs. As a result, I decided to share the first few photos that caught my eye from our Slab City Gallery.
The end of Slab City likely came for us when we started coming to FOY every winter instead. The Slabs are right down the road a bit. And we spent plenty of time there during our first decade on the road. And then some…But we never dug in! And one winter we took advantage of a deal for a week long stay here. “You’ll be back,” everyone said. And we’ve been back every winter since. With our stays getting longer every year. But I digress…this was about the end of Slab City.
Is freedom Free?
They say Slab City is the last free place. I get that. I felt pretty damn free there any time we visited. We were free to do as we pleased. Pretty much, considering we’re still slaves to our own responsibilities. But freedom comes at a cost. And there’s a fine line between nihilism and anarchy. Rene and I choose to work, and save, to afford a certain standard of life. Therefore, we could never give it all up to be completely free – as many Slabbers believe they are.
As much as I value freedom, I also appreciate decent healthcare, good food, and financial piece of mind. That’s why I coined the term Snabbers for us, twelve years ago. Now we’re not even that.
Our Own Personal End of Slab City
To be honest, we haven’t been back to the Slabs in a few years. It just had such a different vibe the last time we were there. I never once felt unsafe during so many Saturday Nights at The Range. I once even wrote about the kind people of Slab City. But check the dates on many of these posts. And notice how fewer there were as the years went on. Rene wrote her own soliloquy about the end of Slab City in 2018. With that, she began, “Oh Slab City, where have you gone? ”
We have so many photos of he slabs. Many of which might be misconstrued as signifying the end of Slab City. But there really was a turning point for us. “Back in the day” we’d camp next to a $100,000 bus with another neighbor sleeping in a cardboard box. And we all got along. There used to be many more full-time RVers there. Then came more people living full time in their RV. There’s a big difference there we can discuss some other time.
Is the End of Slab City Another New Beginning?
But next, we started seeing more pallet walls and barbed wire go up. Also, burn-outs became a more frequent scene. As in if I don’t like you, I’ll burn you out. On our last visit, we encountered far too many unleashed growling dogs and not enough nice Canadians, eh.
Now I refuse to be one of those tourist types who drive through the Slabs taking pics from their car. I’ve heard tales of there being no quirky docent to greet visitors at East Jesus. And based upon our last visit, I’m sure there is more trash than ever. Yet, we have not even seen the end of Slab City since the Before Times. What the global pandemic and rise in vandwelling popularity has done, I can only imagine.
Only the ripples in water remain to suggest one’s existence…But even they too slowly Disappear…Everything in life is just for Awhile [sic]…
The End is a New Beginning.
Stoner, Slab City 2015
This is more words than I have ever written for any Friday Five. But they are warranted. And they only scratch the surface of my longing for those fun times on the Slabs. But every ending is a new beginning indeed. What might we have in store for the next Friday Five?