Slab City, near Niland, California

If you are in Imperial Valley, Slab City is worth a visit.  It is a colony of people who choose to live off the grid.  Most people live in mobile homes.  The vibe is hippie art colony or a stationary Burning Man.  We drove past Salvation Mountain, which was closed due to COVID-19 concerns.  However, the Mountain is visible from the dirt road.  Most of the inhabitants of Slab City have some kind of art on their property.  There are some public structures, as well, including a spiritual center and library.  We stopped at the sculpture garden in East Jesus (next to West Satan).  There is a lot of found-object art to see.  Everyone was friendly, but it was a bit awkward, because of social distancing.  We wore our masks, but also wanted to stay a good distance since we were from a higher risk urban area and didn't want to inflict any germs on the good people of Slab City!

Much of the art was repurposed abandoned cars.  The area used to be a garage dump and people have put the bottles, old cars, abandoned furniture, gazebos, etc. to creative use.  All the roads are dirt, although very driveable.  We enjoyed our time!

Somebody had a lot of thoughts about dolphins.

This reminded me of a traditional ofrenda for the Day of the Dead

Before Slab City, we stopped at Bombay Beach, which is on the Salton Sea.  I didn't like it and it didn't seem welcoming to visitors.  There is a lot of debris from when the area was a resort, but it hasn't been repurposed in a compelling way.

On the way back to San Diego, we stopped at the In Ko-Pah tower.  It was built in 1922 by a developer who was trying to make Jacumba into the next Palm Springs.  There is also Boulder Park next to the Tower.  The area was closed due to the pandemic.  We drove up and it wasn't clear if the entire area was meant to be closed or just the Tower.  We took some pictures of the garden and left.  The Tower is five stories and also has a gift shop.  It is very easy to access from I-8 and is just a drive of about a mile.  It is worth a return visit!


Popular Posts