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Author Topic: "Slab City" in S. California. Anyone boondock here?  (Read 11716 times)

MikeyAustin

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"Slab City" in S. California. Anyone boondock here?
« on: September 20, 2010, 01:51:38 AM »
I've been reading articles and viewing videos online about this place, and because of what I've read/seen, it strikes me primarily as a homeless camp with a 'separate' place for snowbirds that are not homeless.  The snowbirds are scared of the locals because of drugs, crime, and constant begging.   I also understand that around the base of every tree/shrub is garbage and human waste.  This is what I understand from what I see online.  But it very well could be that these articles could very well be biased.  I would like to think it wasn't that way.
     Has anyone visited this place and what is your write up ( if you have time).   It fascinates me that a group of people will create a semi civil suburb in the middle of nowhere.  It makes me think of a post-apocalyptic waste land where people have learned to survive without the comforts of modern society.  There is a library, and dance hall/music stage, a church, and a local kitchen for pot-lucks.   
     Personally, the only thing I think is missing is a local pub supplied by a stile (something I'm sorry to say I would personally like to be involved in, if I should ever find myself there as a permanent resident). Also, a local well for water would be good too, if the water-table was potable..

seilerbird

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Re: "Slab City" in S. California. Anyone boondock here?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2010, 06:24:24 AM »
Have you ever been to the Salton Sea? The weather is obscenely hot most of the year. It is a dying lake. The shore line is littered with dead smelly fish. A truly obscene place to visit.

zukIzzy

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Re: "Slab City" in S. California. Anyone boondock here?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2010, 09:09:38 AM »
Have you ever been to the Salton Sea? The weather is obscenely hot most of the year. It is a dying lake. The shore line is littered with dead smelly fish. A truly obscene place to visit.

The Salton Sea was called the Salton Sink till the early 1900s when the canals from the Colorado river flooded the basin. The fresh water mixed with the high amounts of salt in the dirt that used to be the bottom of and ancient sea to make the water a lot more salty then the ocean. It is sustained mainly from Irrigation run off now and the fish are Bonita that were brought in from the gulf of Mexico by wagon in the early 20s. Surprisingly they have thrived in the high saline water and water birds are their main food source. During the hottest time of the year the water does suffer alge bloom and when it turns over the low oxygen content does kill a lot of fish and the smell is almost unbearable. If the winds are right the whole Palm springs basin with smell like an old shoe. The dead fish do smell but the decomposing alge is what gives the Salton Sea the stench.

I love the area for off road motorsports and exploring, sombody has to find Pegg Legg Smiths lost gold sometime.

wayne

Lou Schneider

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Re: "Slab City" in S. California. Anyone boondock here?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2010, 11:02:13 AM »
I've been there three times, for a couple of days each time.  You'll either love it or hate it.  I'm looking forward to going back again this winter.

All of the stuff you read about is true, to one extent or another.  During the summer it's obscenely hot and the only people there will be the permanent residents, who are there either because they want to be or have no where else to go.  In winter you'll find a snowbird camp with some colorful individuals intermixed, along with a few who just want to be left alone.   Give the latter their space, take normal precautions like locking your rig when you leave it, don't leave valuable stuff outside and unattended and you'll be fine.

Yes, there's garbage.  And there's also a lot of self-motivated cleanup going on.   When a resident leaves and abandons a mess, it's left alone for a while in case they come back.   If they don't, the cleanup starts and junk either gets re-used or hauled to the dump.

If you're leery about going there cold, book a site in one of the Hot Spring resorts 15 miles north of Niland (Fountain of Youth, Bashford's, or Imperial Hot Mineral Spa), then make a day trip to check things out.

Like any other dry camp, come with your fresh water tank full and your holding tanks empty.  There are NO facilities to fill or dump at the Slabs.  You can dump at one of the gas stations in town, or fill with good water and dump at the rest area north of Brawley.  Permanent residents have permission to get water from a spigot behind the town's grocery store but I preferred to take care of business at the rest area, which is next to a freshwater lake.  And haul out your trash - there's no garbage bins or pickup out there.

Leonard at Salvation Mountain loves visitors, be sure to spend some time there. Other residents may not - remember it's their home and they're not putting on a show and you'll be fine.  Be sure to listen to the evening CB bulletin board each evening to find out what's happening and when.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2010, 11:17:47 AM by Lou Schneider »

Betty Brewer

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Re: "Slab City" in S. California. Anyone boondock here?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2010, 11:13:27 AM »
You'll either love it or hate it. 

We drove through one year. Drove in and drove right back out.  Not for  us.  Visit Anza Borrego Desert instead.
Betty
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Lou Schneider

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Re: "Slab City" in S. California. Anyone boondock here?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2010, 11:29:40 AM »
Quote
The Salton Sea was called the Salton Sink till the early 1900s when the   canals from the Colorado river flooded the basin. The fresh water mixed   with the high amounts of salt in the dirt that used to be the bottom of   and ancient sea to make the water a lot more salty then the ocean. It is   sustained mainly from Irrigation run off now and the fish are Bonita   that were brought in from the gulf of Mexico by wagon in the early 20s.

The problem is after the canals broke and flooded the basin, the Salton Sea had no natural plant or animal life.  It was truly a dead sea and people had the idea to stock it by dragging seine nets in the Gulf of Mexico and transporting whatever was in them to the Salton Sea.  They transported both plants and sea life without much regard to species or type.  The Sea has been in a cycle of feast or famine ever since.  The imported algae must generate enough oxygen to support the fish, who in turn survive by feeding on the algae.  When there's lots of algae putting oxygen into the water, the fish thrive - to the point where they overwhelm the algae, run out of oxygen and have massive die-offs.   Then the algae recovers, absorbing the nutrients fed into the Sea by the irrigation run-off and the decaying fish, resulting in massive algae blooms.   When the sea's oxygen level is replenished the surviving fish once again thrive and the process repeats.

The sea's level is also rising - there's no drain so the water entering the basin has to be countered by evaporation.  Back in the 1960s speculators thought they could develop vacation communities given the Sea's proximity to Los Angeles and Palm Springs.  Today many of those communities are under several inches to feet of salt water with the ruins extending above the water line.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2010, 11:49:51 AM by Lou Schneider »

zukIzzy

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Re: "Slab City" in S. California. Anyone boondock here?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2010, 01:12:59 PM »
The problem is after the canals broke and flooded the basin, the Salton Sea had no natural plant or animal life.  It was truly a dead sea and people had the idea to stock it by dragging seine nets in the Gulf of Mexico and transporting whatever was in them to the Salton Sea.  They transported both plants and sea life without much regard to species or type.  The Sea has been in a cycle of feast or famine ever since.  The imported algae must generate enough oxygen to support the fish, who in turn survive by feeding on the algae.  When there's lots of algae putting oxygen into the water, the fish thrive - to the point where they overwhelm the algae, run out of oxygen and have massive die-offs.   Then the algae recovers, absorbing the nutrients fed into the Sea by the irrigation run-off and the decaying fish, resulting in massive algae blooms.   When the sea's oxygen level is replenished the surviving fish once again thrive and the process repeats.

The sea's level is also rising - there's no drain so the water entering the basin has to be countered by evaporation.  Back in the 1960s speculators thought they could develop vacation communities given the Sea's proximity to Los Angeles and Palm Springs.  Today many of those communities are under several inches to feet of salt water with the ruins extending above the water line.

A bit I had not heard in this one I will have to research. Thanks I love this stuff.

wayne

Wendy

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Re: "Slab City" in S. California. Anyone boondock here?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2010, 06:07:52 PM »
There are several nice spots to stay in the area so if you visit The Slabs and don't like it, you can find other spots to stay.
 
As for the Salton Sea area, it is not always hot. In fact, in winter it is quite pleasant. And it doesn't always smell, only during the fish die-offs which are not all the time. We've stayed there many times, usually in December/January, and it has never smelled. The birding is fantastic, there are lots of 4WD roads in the area and there are several historic sites, like the North Shore Yacht Club, being restored. There are also some very interesting geologic spots in the area. There are several groups trying to lower the sodium content and restore the Sea. And if you like Tilapia, you can fish for them with no limit. All-in-all, it's an interesting place.
 
The worst thing in the Salton Sea valley is when the smog floats up the valley from Mexico. I'm surprised Palm Springs residents haven't installed huge fans to blow the nasty brown cloud back south over the border.
 
Wendy
 
 
 
 
« Last Edit: September 20, 2010, 06:27:34 PM by Wendy »
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Lou Schneider

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Re: "Slab City" in S. California. Anyone boondock here?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2010, 07:33:00 PM »
Quote
I'm surprised Palm Springs residents haven't installed huge fans to blow the nasty brown cloud back south over the border.

They have - but they were clever enough to disguise them as wind turbines.   ;)

Wendy

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Re: "Slab City" in S. California. Anyone boondock here?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2010, 07:58:10 PM »
They have - but they were clever enough to disguise them as wind turbines.   ;) 

Those are the ones they installed to keep the LA pollution out of the Coachella valley. Now they need to install ones on the CA/Mex border to keep the Mexico pollution out :)
 
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nvrver

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Re: "Slab City" in S. California. Anyone boondock here?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2010, 09:13:36 PM »
Try it you may like it, we have been there twice for short stays and found it interesting.  Yes be sure to check out Leonards nountain and if he is still working on it he is interesting to talk to and he sure appreciates a small donation.
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fulltimer bob

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Re: "Slab City" in S. California. Anyone boondock here?
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2010, 08:53:18 AM »
Disagree about the posters take on Salton Sea.  Depending on weather the smell may or may not be there.  It doesn't have anything to do with dead fish, the only fish we say were the ones a couple of fishermen were catching.  It has to do with the algae.  We stayed there a couple of times.  We toured the visitor center where they give you all the information about the Salton Sea, how it came to be, etc.  At certain times when the humidity, temperature, wind, etc. is just right the algae comes to the surface.  When that happens the odor can be pretty strong.   The second time we were there it was beautiful.  No odor, not hot.  By the way this was in January both times.  Definitely not hot at all.

Wendy

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Re: "Slab City" in S. California. Anyone boondock here?
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2010, 09:34:12 AM »
This website provides a lot of very good info on Salton Sea. It's one of those places that some people love and others hate. I've attached a pic from last time we were at Salton Sea state park.
 
We've never been to The Slabs but we're thinking of a day trip there next time we're in the area just so we can see what it's really like and what it's all about.
 
Wendy
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seilerbird

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Re: "Slab City" in S. California. Anyone boondock here?
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2010, 10:25:09 AM »
Disagree about the posters take on Salton Sea.  Depending on weather the smell may or may not be there.  It doesn't have anything to do with dead fish, the only fish we say were the ones a couple of fishermen were catching.  It has to do with the algae.  We stayed there a couple of times.  We toured the visitor center where they give you all the information about the Salton Sea, how it came to be, etc.  At certain times when the humidity, temperature, wind, etc. is just right the algae comes to the surface.  When that happens the odor can be pretty strong.   The second time we were there it was beautiful.  No odor, not hot.  By the way this was in January both times.  Definitely not hot at all.
So you are saying that dead fish don't smell?

 

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