After gazing upon the magnificent Salvation Mountain, my friend Tien and I wandered over to Slab City nearby! Slab City, or The Slabs, is a free campsite community located near an active bombing range in the desert city of Niland, California. Previously an old WWII base, Marine Barracks Camp Dunlap, the campsite earns its name for the concrete slabs that remained long after the military base had been bulldozed and abandoned. It is basically an “off the grid” alternative living community and artist commune in one place! The residents there have no electricity, fresh water, nor sewage treatment.
What makes this place unique is all the local art that surrounds you as you drive through it. Pictured above is the iconic “Tree of Souls” (Soles?) is right by the entrance to Slab City. As we went further in, there was this old truck that was fully covered in old technological components and random materials, presented as one giant art piece. Below is another shot of it from the side!
Also, what was surprising about this place is that the residents there are naturally friendly and polite (unlike LA, LOL!). They do get curious about what you’re doing, but for the most part, it appears that they are used to the public coming in and photographing everything. We missed a couple spots there, like East Jesus and the mural on the water tank, I’ll definitely have to visit those spots next time!
But, we did see this awesome eye and crow wall mural, so we had to take a photo in front of it! These two women were out walking their dogs, and one of them wandered over to me, and Tien captured this awesome shot! I’m thinking the dog is a better model than me in this photo! I’m wearing a vintage 1970’s red gauze dress from American Archive, gold aviator sunglasses by Le Specs, and Nike Air Max 1’s. Photo by Tiensirin Tienngern.
After running around Slab City, we started our journey home! We came across this amazing field in the city of Westmoreland, so we pulled over and started taking pictures! This image reminds me so much of the Andrew Wyeth painting, “Christina’s World”. Photo by Tiensirin Tienngern.
Lastly, I have no idea what possessed us to go to the Salton Sea beach at night, but we wanted to explore the area that we missed! While Tien was out shooting in the dark like a crazy person, I mostly stayed in the car. Until she coaxed me to get out of the car and stand by the Salton Sea Beach Marina sign! Notice my enthusiasm in the photo, LOL! I was desperately trying to avoid getting any splinters! I’m wearing a top by Forever 21, and acid wash shorts from Torrid. Photo by Tiensirin Tienngern.
I’m just surprised how much we got to see in one day! I’m definitely taking a trip out there next time, and seeing all the places we missed. If you decide to do the Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, and Slab City trip, just remember that cell phone reception is spotty, and you can only get fuel in Westmoreland. Would love to hear in the comments below if you decide to take a journey over there!