Slab City or The Slabs (located at coord|33|15|32|N|115|27|59|W|type:city_region:US) is a camp in the
Colorado Desertin southeastern California, used by recreational vehicleowners and squattersfrom across North America. It takes its name from the concreteslabs and pylons that remain from the abandoned World War IIbase Marine Barracks Camp Dunlapthere. A group of servicemen remained after the base closed, and the place has been inhabited ever since, although the number of residents has declined since the mid 1980s.
Several thousand campers, many of them retired, use the site during the winter months. These "snowbirds" stay only for the winter, before migrating north in the spring to cooler climes. The temperatures during the summer are forbidding; nonetheless, there is a group of around 150 permanent residents, who live in the Slabs all year round. Most of these "Slabbers" subsist on government checks (SSI and Social Security) and have been driven to the Slabs through poverty; some of the "slabbers" also have a strong desire for freedom from the American government.
The site is both decommissioned and uncontrolled, and there is no charge for parking. The camp has no electricity, no running water or other services. Many campers use generators or solar panels to generate electricity. Supplies can be purchased in nearby
Niland, California, located about three miles (5 km) to the southwest of Slab City.
Located just east of State Route 111, the entrance to Slab City is easily recognized by the colorful
Salvation Mountain, a small hill approximately three stories high which is entirely covered in acrylic paint, concrete and adobeand festooned with Bibleverses. It is an ongoing project of over two decades by permanent resident Leonard Knight.
Slab City was featured in the book "
Into the Wild" and also in the 2007 movie of the same name. The video for "Fourth of July" by Shooter Jenningsis partially set at Slab City.
External links and references
* [http://www.slabcity.org/ Official Slab City home page]
* [http://vagabonders-supreme.net/SlabCity.htm Tioga George's "Vagabonders" web page.]
* [http://www.desertdutch.org/slabcity.htm Desert Dutch's Slab City web page.]
* [http://www.myspace.com/slab_city A Myspace page about Slab City]
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/17/national/17slab.html?_r=1&oref=slogin 2004 New York Times article, login may be required.]
* [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=niland,+california&ie=UTF8&z=16&ll=33.258391,-115.463068&spn=0.010102,0.023239&t=h&om=1 Aerial photograph (Google Maps)]
* [http://www.topoquest.com/map.asp?lat=33.26&lon=-115.466&datum=nad83&u=5 Topographic map (TopoQuest)]
* [http://www.terraserver.microsoft.com/image.aspx?T=1&S=11&Z=11&X=1608&Y=9202&W=3&qs=%7cniland%7cca%7c Aerial photograph (Terraserver)]
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