Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Salvation Mountain, The Slabs, and the Salton Sea

We really hate not having the internet !!

One positive though, is the awesome library here in the Foothills.

This is probably one of the nicest libraries we have visited.

Teresa and I were longing for a road trip, and decided to see for ourselves what others have told us about The Slabs near the Salton Sea.

Of course, every successful road trip starts with an amazing breakfast at Cracker Barrel.

With that out of the way, we drove out to Niland, California, where the Slabs are located.

I sure do not want to offend anyone, but Teresa and I were afraid to even get out of our car in Niland to ask for directions.

And from there it went even more downhill.

The Slabs, or Slab City as some call it, is a unique snapshot of some very colorful characters.

But first, a bit of a history lesson.  In the early 40's, the US Marine Corp built this base and called it Camp Dunlap.

When it was decommissioned in the 60's, the military removed the buildings, but left the cement slab foundations in place.

Since that time, many folks stay here for free.  

Some are snowbirds, who leave in the spring with their rigs, and some are homeless, who live here year round in poverty.

Sorry, we don't have photos, but we were very uncomfortable, and also out of respect for the residents.

Apparently The Slabs were not quite as threatening, even just a few years ago.

Okay, now just on the edge of the slabs, is a place called Salvation Mountain.

This "mountain" is a piece of art created over many years by one man.

Made of straw adobe, it is covered in thousands of gallons of paint, much of it donated.

Although the artist is currently not present, there are many volunteers trying to maintain it under the unforgiving harsh conditions.

Our next stop was the Salton Sea.  

We parked at a recreation spot, with the intentions of having a picnic on the shoreline.

Not going to happen !!  Not only was the smell horrible, but the beach was covered in dead fish.

The problem is this sea was accidentally created by the flooding of the Colorado River, and because there is no outflow of water, it is slowly getting more and more salty, and will no longer support life.

On the plus side, it is a birder's paradise.

We had a great laugh at the outcome of our road trip, and were soon heading for home, holding hands and listening to some relaxing CD's.

No matter what we do, or where we go, we are just thankful to be doing this together.

Our time here is running short, and on Friday we will be arriving at the most beautiful resort we have ever seen in Palm Springs.

See you there !!


  1. Been to the Salton Sea, didn't care for it much and have never been to Slab City but have seen many blogs posts about it. Don't think I would put it on the top of my list of places to visit. Glad you are having fun and enjoy Palm Springs!

  2. Agree wholeheartedly. Nothing about Slab City and the Salton Sea is attractive to us.

  3. I had to laugh as I read this. I have never been to either place but so many have. Some really enjoyed it and go back every time. Me? I don't think I would want to go or maybe like you two just to have a look see. Salton Sea no I'm sure I don't want to go there.

    And yes you two are so lucky to be doing this together.

  4. We toured Slab City and have the feeling as you guys did.
    But did camp buy the Salton Sea for 5 days a couple years ago and the smell was nonexistant, at the time, we got lucky.
    Since then have enjoyed Borego Springs area, love the free Hotsprings near Holtville and camping in the Imperial Sand Dunes can be a fun experience as well.
    Enjoy the Palm Springs area a nice area we enjoy.

  5. The joy of Rving, all types of adventures. Never been to the Slabs but have camped a few days at the Salton Sea. We did not notice the smell either but there are different areas.

  6. We stayed at the Fountain Of Youth RV park for a week a few years ago. The hot pools and tubs are nice but the area is pretty depressing. We met the old character who built Salvation Mountain. He gave us a tour before asking for a donation to buy straw and paint.

    Many years ago this area was the playground of the rich and famous. Times have changed and yes, the smell.....

  7. Well we could have saved you a trip to Salton Sea. We went Tuesday with Jesse and Ginger. We were pretty dissappointed. Have a safe trip to Palms Springs, we will see you about 10:30 Saturday.

  8. Never have visited either place, but doesn't sound like I have missed very much. Enjoyed seeing the picture of salvation mountain. Hope we can see you both in Palm Springs. Have a great Thursday

  9. Amen, when it comes to Slab City! We did not hang around very long. Enjoy Palm Springs!


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