Tag Archives: Slab City

No heaven on earth. No utopias. Just more people

Finding stereotypes capable of holding up under close scrutiny is necessary for humans, but generally goes unrefined.

Finding stereotypes capable of holding up under close scrutiny is necessary for humans, but generally goes unrefined.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I spent a while bouncing around RV full timers forum-type discussion board-type places lately.  Curious about whether any stereotype applies.  What I found was not a single good, solid stereotype a person could hammer down to perfection, but rather a number of herds of them.

Not much of this sort of thing out there among the modern nomad population.  Whether they're van dwellers or motor homesters, clean lines, shiny paintjobs and glitter are major attractions.  If it ain't eye candy it belongs in a different universe.

Not much of this sort of thing out there among the modern nomad population. Whether they’re van dwellers or motor homesters, clean lines, shiny paintjobs and glitter are major attractions. If it ain’t eye candy it belongs in a different universe.

Fields of peas pretty much running with other peas, cornfields sticking with their corny neighbors, and everyone seemingly well fed.  A few farmers within each stereotype weeding and watering.

I was especially interested in Slab City and what the people who stay there winters have to say to one another.  I thought because it’s as near anarchy as a person gets in the US, it might tell some worthy things about us as a place viewing itself as a free people, thinkers, individualists.

There’s some of that on the surface.  Everyone saying to one another, you have to take whatever comes in Slab City.  Everyone celebrating and patting themselves on the backs for their rugged individualism.

But in fact there’s an undercurrent a lot less worthy of self-praise among them.  An undercurrent of bullying and intimidation hidden in the “gotta take it as it comes” platitudes.

Turns out “take it as it comes” means, “take me as I come” and don’t even think about me taking you as you come.  If you try I’ll probably slit your tires.  Or shoot your cats.

It manifests itself subtly in the matter of cats.  Seems over the past few years women visiting the slabs have had their cats killed by dogs, or shot by dog lovers.  Always women.  How about them apples?

For folks who don’t have much interest nor love for cats and don’t have any desire at all in going on crusades, sacrificing the soothing rewards of rugged individualist wildass self-image community, it just flows down like Jack Daniels Black Label.  Everything bad hiding inside “taking it as it comes” harmony.

I’m figuring it would be a place I’d have to go to war if I landed there.  Can’t see myself sitting still for having my tires cut, knowing someone else who got his tires cut, me having a firm idea who did it.  And most especially knowing who some cat-shooting human was, or cat-killing dog-running-loose owner.

Sometimes wars can happen without anyone having to go looking for, drive so damned far out of the way.  I hope I don’t have anymore wars left ahead of me this lifetime, but if I do I ain’t going to drive 1000 miles to find them.

Old Jules

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.