Daily Archives: June 10, 2013

Something’s happening at Slab City

Back when I posted the thing about Slab City, CA, I eventually decided despite my curiosity about the place I just have too many things left I want to do in my life to get out there and check it out:

Slab City, California – An Impromptu Community

The place is so hot summertime only about 100 people stay there during the scorching months.  And winter months there just seemed to be too many other ways to spend the time to justify a visit out there. 

Now they’ve formed some sort of an organization willing to pay someone $400 per month to sweat through the summer months doing some sort of maintenance on Salvation Mountain.  Likely they’ll get a lot of interest in the $400 per month and the fervor among the interested will dwindle rapidly as the thermometer climbs.

But the last RV Workers on Wheels newsletter had this:

CA: Camp Host at Art Preservation Site in Slab City

by Salvation Mountain Inc. – Slab City, California, USA
(Nin-Profit Volunteer Site Manager with Site and Stipend)

Leonard Knight's Salvation Mountain

Leonard Knight’s Salvation Mountain


Salvation Mountain is an “outsider art” monument at the entrance to Slab City, created over 30 years by Leonard Knight. Leonard’s unique and enduring vision is one of universal love.

Leonard painted his vision on the cliffs at Slab City over a period of 30 years. He can no longer maintain his monument, due to declining health, so a charitable corporation was formed. The Salvation Mountain Inc. Board of Directors has the responsibility of continuing to preserve Leonard’s dream.

We are looking for a camp host and site manager to work with our board of directors at this monument in the desert. This is a volunteer contract position, where we provide a living space for an RV, a small stipend of $400 per month, plus solar electricity, water, trash removal, and internet access. We also have a park model trailer on the site.

You can learn more about Salvation Mountain at http://www.salvationmountaininc.org.

Slab City is a boondocking “off the grid” community in the desert in Southeast California, just east of the Salton Sea. For information about Slab City, go to this website: http://www.slab-city.com.

Salvation Mountain Inc. is a registered charitable non-profit company charged with preservation of Leonard Knight’s art site called Salvation Mountain. Leonard Knight starting building Salvation Mountain almost 30 years ago. While I, a board member, am not a particularly religious person, I do appreciate Leonard’s dedication and vision, especially his message of universal love. This is not a religious charity, it is an art preservation charity.

We are trying to find a site manger (aka a camp host) to live at the Salvation Mountain site 24/7. It’s a contract position, and there is a stipend of $400 per month to help with expenses. We provide water, solar power, internet and trash removal. We are asking for a one year commitment (with a 90 day probation period to see if the fit is good with our Board of Directors).

We welcome your application and inquiries for this position. We will do a background check (criminal and credit), as this is a position of responsibility.

You can request an application at salvationmountaininc31@gmail.com. Be sure to let us know that you saw our Help Wanted ad on Coleen’s Workers On Wheels website when you contact us about this site manager job. Salvation Mountain Inc. – Slab City, California. Posted June 2013.

I’m mulling it over.  Given my current situation and the violence $400 a month would do to my series of debt responsibilities it might be I could stand the heat.  Going to have a long prayer meeting with the cats to find out whether they’re willing to allow having a look.

Damned fool dogs that didn’t hunt – Risk taking and priorities

wind sock columbus2

If you happen to be one of those people who goes through life making decisions about the dogs you’ve considered buying and they always hunted you probably believe it’s because you’ve been wise and prudent.  Or purely from ‘hard work’.  It’s certainly tempting for the person with that body of experience to believe it’s true, and maybe it is. 

Who the hell wants to believe, having spent his life scrambling with the only goal being ending up eventually with more money than you can spend, that it was because it’s just how it went?  That successfully accumulating a lot of money through a lifetime isn’t a hell of a lot different from just inheriting money?  That when the kids inherit what you accumulated but didn’t spend, the only favor you did them was giving them a leg up to being dirty rich kids turned adult?  Robbed them of the experience of scrambling and making the hard decisions and compromises you made, learned from, and consider vital to your life?

Alternatively, for people who muddle along staying in the middle of the bell shaped curve, or those who buy dogs that didn’t hunt tend to blame it on someone else, or outside factors.  The government, rich people, or just lousy luck.

Seems to me the problem with all this is the measuring stick, and it’s a disease of modern life.  Something we condition ourselves to early and never do enough thinking about to examine carefully.  So we fret about whether the chips on the table are $1 chips, or $100 ones and let the place they occupy on the value system influence whether we stay, or raise, nevermind the cards we’re holding.

I’m writing this because the game I’m in at the moment seems to be a high stakes one where I’m sitting.  People nearby ain’t saying so, but they believe I’m a damned fool for the buying the Toyota RV, believing what the guy who sold it to me told me about it, not knowing enough to assure it was the truth.

I’m not denying it’s true.  I thought the guy was honest and maybe he was.  He never checked a lot of it out because the guy who sold it to him was a good Christian in his church and he believed what he’d been told.

So I borrowed the money to buy it from a close friend and I’ll be paying him back for a longish time at $100 per month, whether that RV is in a junk yard, or has the coach stripped off and is earning its keep as a hauling cargo vehicle.  The buck stops here.  I’m not going to lie or misrepresent what that truck is and put some other poor bastard into the same position I’m in.  I’ll junk it first and swallow the loss, screw all the yardsticks.

So now I’ve got another RV staring me in the face, all my mistrusting sense organs fired up from the last time I trusted anyone.  Stakes being roughly the same as before, but seeming higher because I borrowed money from another friend I’m going to be paying back $100 per month for a couple of years, win, lose, or draw.

And knowing no matter how much checking I do, how clever I try to be, there’s a better-than-even chance the guy’s lying about something important I won’t be smart enough to catch.  Or maybe he’s telling the truth and buying the thing will be the smartest thing I ever did.

Either way, I’ll still be the damned fool I was before, the only difference being whether I think I was smart, or blame the government, or rich people, or Lady Luck.

Hell of a deal.