Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tour of the Slabs

"The Slabs" consists of a square mile of land just east of Niland, CA. It's said that this is the only permanent free campground in America. It was a military base WWII, Camp Dunlap, and was used to train troops in desert warfare. After the war, it was torn down, and only the cement "slabs" remain.

This is what a lot of people think the Slabs are about - trash. But that is only a small part of it, and it is getting less and less all the time. The LOWs and the Traveling Pals and a few other groups maintain facilities for their members, and those areas are spotless.

Snowbirds flock here every winter. There is actually lots to see here in addition to Salvation Mountain -- I hardly know where to begin!

This is "The Hole," a vigorous shower, just the perfect temperature.

The water flows down from a hot spring just upstream.

A few ammo bunkers remain, and appear to be occupied.

The land is always up for sale, but would cost too much to clear it of military ordnance, which is why it is available to us RVers.

The remains of a full Olympic-size swimming pool.

The Lizard Tree Library has no rules, and is open 24 hours a day. If you have a book you don't want, leave it. If you see a book you want, take it.

The Coachella Canal runs through a corner of the Slabs, and has recently been redone in concrete to prevent water loss through seepage.

One of the most touching things is the pet cemetery. Lots of beloved companions have their final resting place here.

This year I recognized the grave of my friend Linda's cat, Thor. I know she really misses him.


  1. Great photos and comments. I have enjoyed reminiscing. Wish I were there again with the Arkansas temps in the low 30s.

  2. Hi Diana:

    I love your blog. Couldn't respond for a while, didn't have google, etc.

    Your photographs are great, and I love your little vidclips.


  3. You beat me to the punch on this one. That's the problem with being in the same place. :-)


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