I don’t even know where to start. Really, I don’t. That’s partly why this post is so late in coming.
Many RVers know about Slab City, some like it, some don’t, but everyone said, ‘You have to experience it at least once.’
I asked, ‘Why? What’s the attraction?’ No one could really say why, they just said it was ‘different’.
My readers and fellow travelers have led me to some of the most interesting places so when they say I have to go somewhere, I usually go.
Plus, Me = Different.
While Slab City looks similar in some ways to scenes straight out of the Mad Max movies, it is unlike anything I’ve ever seen or experienced. I now understand why no one could muster an answer when I asked why I should go.
Rather than attempt a lengthy description, I’ll do a series of bullet-point descriptions occasionally accompanied by photos and a video. It’s that “A picture is worth a thousand words” thing. Plus, it’s easier because I’m swamped trying to get a new dinghy tow vehicle so I can get out of Dodge A.S.A.P.
Slab City, Calif., is a desert oasis in a down economy.
There is no running water, no electricity, and no sidewalks. There are no buildings, unless you count the outhouses. Structures are either RVs or trailers, or a combination of scraped parts from the two.
Building codes don’t apply here.
For all it lacks in amenities, Slab City – about two and a half hours east of San Diego — has a lot to offer: two libraries, two churches, several social clubs, a night club, a skate park, a pet cemetery, a golf course, hot springs, and kitchens providing free meals. Local churches and charities regularly deliver bags of food and clothing.
There is enough folk art to fill two metropolitan museums.
Slab City, sign, just a hint of the folk art you’ll find.
And it’s all free. Yes, free.
Slab City has an estimated 150 year-round residents. From November to April approximately 3,000 snowbirding RVers arrive to camp for the winter in the warm southern California desert.
Announcer’s voice: “We interrupt our regularly scheduled post on Lake Havasu to bring you a more pressing issue. The post on Lake Havasu will air shortly. No posts will be missed.”
Slab City, California. An oasis in the desert.
You won’t find Slab City, California on a Google map. A place in the middle of the southern California desert, it is not recognized by the government as a city or town. There are no sidewalks, no electrical power lines, and there’s no running water. From November to April approximately 3,000 snowbirding RVers arrive to camp out the winter. There are an estimated 100 year-round residents.
It’s a land with no rules where the residents rely on a code of honor. Not everyone is honorable.
For all it lacks in amenities, Slab City, aka “The Slabs”, has quite a bit to offer: two libraries, two night clubs, two churches, several kitchens providing free meals, and five social clubs. There’s an 18-hole golf course, although the back nine are a bit rough. There’s a hot springs pool and a “shower”. The shower is the drainage-ditch runoff that comes out of the hot springs.
I’ve been golfing everyday on the grassless sand and gravel course. My golf buddies and I are most appreciative to Bob and Nancy Unden, a couple from San Diego who built the wonderful 18-holed oasis in the desert.
But from now on I’ll stay far away from the hot springs.