Slab City – Welcome to the Lawless Californian Town


Episode Transcription

Made by robots, for robots. Only read if you're weird.

Hey Man, what's up buddy pal, have you ever heard of Slab City Slab City Yeah? It's a barbecue place, downtown right, yeah yeah! You can get big old slabs of ribs from slab city, big old slash. I mean that we saesson big old, lasars. Okay. Well, that's cold for a preparation of you. As you came from Colorado. That's my culture! Oh right! That's where I live here. We have ribs in Colorado yeah, but you know are like that. We talk people and now you don't. We sat around here, okay, okay, and so you can't just come in here and start talking like you grew up in misarranging, for you, like, you grew up going to a school where they got bring your horse to school day list. You grew up where you like, like you, grew up where you had to ask your Mama. If that girl was your cousin before you declared, you had a crush okay. Is She my cousin Mamma? She, my cousin, your doning, it again my Mama to my cause? If you would like to come on down to slab city, because this is how we talk- We've never done a part to God, your H, a thing of a dig, I got twenty, the officials to the new person said. No, I don't want this experience for our listeners. I don't want them to hear us. clapity ideas for gin, dictators things yeah acity. What is it have you ever at? So yes, Slib city is a very interesting place. It's in, what's known as the Sultan Troth of this Sonoran Dean, draft salt and trough. That's like a hipster coffee shop, slap city right next door, a sultan trough right, yeah yea! It is the second lowest point in North America. It it's at two hundred and thirty eight feet below sea level. Okay, so pretty deep! What's the lowest point in North America, Death Valley, my life, my whatever you are at any time. That's the lowest as Osprey are the low point of this country. Aren't you so your fault? What are you sitting like that? You got a hit, a problem. I do well this chairs crooked, and so I'm trying to counteract it. So Death Valley is the lowest point. How is Death Ay? Oh Gosh, I don't know we can look it up. How low is too low hello? Can you go deaths at two hundred and eighty two people? I see the ile, I swear so we digna bad. We two hundred and eighty three. We just dig a big enough hole in slab city yeah. It honestly doesn't have to go much deeper hold on that say it's the lowest point. Slab City is two hundred and thirty six feet below sea level. Yea. Two hundred and eighty two, that's the lowest point, blosio level. Yes, the lowest land like. Obviously, if you a weeks, go lower, yeah, yes, so it's the lowest like surface land. Well, where does the bottom of the Grand Canyon said not that low? That wasn't what I asked Timothy Sorry that wasn't what I asked him, the think. Yes, I could understand you. The thing that I asked was how low was the Grand Canyon here, I'm pulling it up. Okay, two thousand feet above sea level. Oh really, yeah, because I mean the top the green canes at like six thousand feet. Above sea level already know that yeah, so they got a lot of room to go down in the Grand Canyon, but this does it because the top of it ever sent time at sell yeah. Have you yeah? Why did you ask what I mean at the beach? Just is that sea level that's just hanging out of the sea level to day I'll. Do it it again. I mean that's, not cool, I, so you know I really don't try to make like you know, political stands or whatever, and I'm not like trying to champion causes on our podcast. That's silly, so slab city there was in this region. There was a military base called Camp Dunlap, which was started in on thousand nineteen thirty seven and ran through the World War. The second one part to world war part two and was in operation for quite a while after that, eventually over time, the use of that military base like did it completely diminish, but they decreased yeah, and so they made it significance smaller, but left a lot of their installations there. It's kind of k the thing behind Evangel yeah actually really accurate, use to be a pretty big base. Then they sold part of it. Now it's a Christian college where, where kids don't make eye contact with each other, because they're afraid to sin, that's actually. Strangely yeah, it's part of it's a national guard base, part of it's a Christian College, part of its an elementary school part of a Aitin cast yeah, which actually started our pods yeah. Did it really yeah? It was the day that we were on the couch and you went and you re a the Pithy and Knights, or that did I do a pithy and nights episode, no hat just ing. Maybe I show Yo one for our one hundred in we haven't some thin already. I don't even know how many episodes I don't think we're anywhere near a hundred. I think we're like sixty something total. Were he what thirty? Okay, anyways so go later, so the camp shrunk inside significantly, but they left all their installations there and a little while, after that, around s the s O s, a bunch of retired fets who were stationed there were like an I missed. Those days like you know what you remember the good old days yeah. I shows a waiter, know you're in the good old days, while you're still in them yeah, so they just kind of got together with some of their old vet friends and said: let's just go retire out there, and so they win slave city yeah. They went over to the slabs, which were just the foundations of the buildings of the camp and started like parlor. I vs there and we're just like we live here now, which is frowned upon when you do it in a neighborhood in Kansas City, I rolled up my handeck all my windows down middle of the night. I live. A Brood Watch comes up and they're like neighborhood. What what are you watching and yeah? I was like hey what you guys watching their ring door. Bess, that's it that's all they're watching! Is there ring door bells, and I said I said: Hey what's up and they're like what are you doing and I was like I live here now and they said well. This is my back yard and I said Ha. This was your backyard. I live you. This is now my I now swab city, the second one, the second part a yeah. So it started out with his shirts they're squatters, pretty much yeah pretty much there R V squatters. So it is for some reason, squattings a little water case. You have an RV right, yeah like like, if you have an RV people like is just a traveler, but if you and you don't have a r Avola, what is I I kate? There was a traveler going by okay, but for real like you, if you pull up, you can walk up to a location and just try to stay the night there and people will be like you can't sleep here man, but if you drive up in an RV saying, location people like that's cool, somehow they only make or vein works. I do anyways, like you, can't just lay down in a walmart parking lot someone's going to come. Tell you hey, you can't sleep here, it's true. You do yeah and ere a yeah yeah people are like that's cool, that's okay, man, so anyways. So it became like a little RV community. You could try for retires I'll, go see, store tonight honker, so they started moving out there over time. It became this big transient. I don't know if I want to be home this community, because they're not homeless, really K, but just a bunch of people started moving there. Mostly people, mostly retirees, but a lot of like folk artists and hippies is a remunerate sun started. Yeah. Actually, ironically, is not far from Coche or burning man like it's in the same desert that those places that those things happen. I was really yeah. So it's the same desert valley where those happen yea Yep. So this table is not big enough for you to keep doing what you're doing by the way black you're like a lounging, and you can go at your talking about your foot, which is in a gross flip block today, not gross footfirst yeah, which is Gross Oo, is Gross. Thank you, they're the same thing and you just keep you turn it you're, like I don't know if an me can watch this video, but you're literally doing this over and over yeah, I'm just yeah and your foot is chosen. It's just right on my leg and I I thista up tried. I was like I go, I could tell I could tell you were trynor yes and I was adjusting to your adjusted just harder Li. Try To let you continue your sentence. I don't want to. I don't want this experience for our listeners. I don't want them to hear US squabble. We cable all the time. So slap side grew and grew in Grein grew. How big did it grow to re? To me? That's how hovel start actually yeah I'll shut up with their carves who's or me is this. So the community grow grow Y. AH you're fine go ahead. The community grew that strokey just have. The community grew and became this place by Oh gosh, the mid s where people were. It was home like they lived there yeah. They were like. I live in Slab City, and so they were at a Po boxes. No, so it's as in mail to R V, you don't doesn't have an address. You said Telime, there's! No, you telling me Steve Yeah my mail man, yeah, can't hunt down on ARV you're, not sure his name is Steve, O his name, Steve You're, not sure that his name is Steve. Erney, don't know you think you know you don't know, don't do this, you don't know. My name is Jaron. I'm been letting you believe that I did that thing where you started, calling me that and now I'm committed, so I've changed my whole career to be charing. Myers yeah, it's us so because when we were in Scott Hall you re like Hey, I'm Jason and I was like Sori Jaren Ye and I was like yeah because in that psychology class next to Stevie and Reagan Yep now my rigour Ifen Reagan, but you wanted to be your age. Don't worry about that and then different times, and actually I'm only attracted to girls, name yeah. What's your type Reagans Yeah Yeah? It's just you know I mite like I was terrible and then I just sprinkle in some Oregano Yaks. So anyway yeah. You call me for the wrong name and I committed so you're, not a hundred red. Don't do this to me, don't like so doubt. In my mind anyway, you're telling me my Mama can't hunt down on RV, I'm sure you could hunt down in RV, but most our V people are like that's too complicated a right when I have it my rvfinae address on it. I just cockit the side yeah. So whenever you order something, you have the number he is like. Oh what's Trotar we on today you check this tree and you're like Oh, that's. Yeah Yeah and then you're like we got to stay here till the mail gets here. Yeah and the neighborhood watch comes and they're like hey, listen, my yard lie. Well, Hey I'm expense. If it comes here, will you call here's my number? Will you call me I'll just drive back my house moves. Yours does make that teacher. I know where to find you, as you can't find me, because you know the yeah a thing, because the whole recreational thing roaming vehicle. Is it Stapfer Romeias? No, it does yeah. It's recreational. You don't know that. I do know that I'm! I could not be your, but you don't know that. Yes, I recreational vehicle turns out. You were right. I guess maybe we should trust our natural instincts. Okay, whatever man his name, Steve, it's not an instinct, it's a knowledge and he Nesta. You said Hey, ask this. Guy Was name she up o talk every day. He's got an unfair advantage. He sees my name on my home. Yeah he's got your mail, he's reads your mail. He reads my mail yea if he will anyway so they're out there in slave city they've developed it they've got a mayor yeah, so they caught no, they call it the last free place on earth to there's no government. There's no government. There actually is literally nothing. So there's no government there is no rent, there's no property ownership, there's no o o to as it is what I a structure, because I've seen these things popping upon tiktok right, yeah, where these people have the IO, communes or yeah, but your commune can't exist apart from the infrastructure that exists outside your commune. Well, here's the thing these guys are pretty self sufficient. The only thing that they rely on the outside world for is water. That's ground level in it like that's, not self sufficient. That's! What I'm saying is that you're great if water keeps coming out of the spicket, if the if the the infrastructure is already in place, you're relying on the external yeah yeah, that's true, you're, not wrong yeah, so I mean you can say yourself sufficient, but unless you're literally living off the rain water Tuchao, then Youno right. There's no rain there, it's a desert, so that's what I'm saying they go in: they go in and they buy and they're taching all that water from the coast yeah. So it's got a white claw in it. It's come from La that there there is dumb and white all in the water. That's all they're doing you know yeah. We ran out of water years ago out here just but we do have reservoirs white cloth because you know truly came took over. You know everyone's going to sell her. Now people abandon white clock in two thousand and nineteen and now now we use it to water. Our lawns, the grass is dead. All of O Goss is dead. It's weird! I don't know why for a while, it cared purple. That was that was terry cool. It was a pretty cool thing, a lot of tourists for dad all of them did to all of them ten again and then they died, so they never cam back. So I'm saying because I see I hear you I take talks just like they're, like Oh yeah, we're living outside of the you know we're our own. We set our own rules were own masters, all the Sufis like okay, SORTA, you're, arrogant, yeah. Can't you can't exist without the infrastructure. That's already been put in place. Yeah, that's true! That's true! I mean I agree. I have respect for communities there like self sufficient self, sufficient yeah. Where are they yeah, they're, literally Autogram Yeah? These guys are pretty well of to God. There's no electricity, there's no utilities, there's no running water, so they like going and by gallon drums of water from the nearby town. Occasionally they'll go in to buy food, but for the exact rose, yeah you're going and buying food you're going in and buying what you're going into. But for the most part I, with the exception of those one gone slab city for those things, but the exception of those two things really: nobody. There works they just a lot of them. Do Art or other things in the city like there's a guy who at you're describing is literally any retirement community. But not it's not just retires anymore. Just a lie telling me about whatever that jocolate in Florida is so so you think those those retires are driving into town to buy a ten gallon drum of water is the same as the retires in Florida doing a parade for whichever person they're voting for with on their golf carts. Okay, all right! It's the same thing you know, that's yeah did US run the rest of the episode now you're like well. I guess this is impressive. Now they're to realization I was like man I was like. I was like honestly. I that's a good point like retire. I is going to sound so retires. I would love to clip this out of context. If you could write this down, go ahead, there's a thing they're, not contributing to society anymore. So should it should they be a lot of vote like? Should we let them glad you said vote, I thought you were going somewhere else. I thought you're gonna be like soul. Do you allow to live any more? We just yeah. We might little have yeah you don't Conte anymore. You quit working yea, happed, Yeah Bomb God m yeah, so anyways yeels ideas, freaking dictators, it's a really good system tim. If you don't contribute he's to think. If, if you can't vote until you're eighteen years old yeah, then why should you get to vote past? Eighty like there should be a cap. You know like. If there's a early side, there should be a late side. You know you know it's just in what whatever you tried to physically sneak out of that one. You went e whatever that steak. It away from this hey thanks for being here for things alone last night, if you want bonus, content, early access to episodes and a whole lot more, including a discord channel. We have that available to our patron supporters to sign up for that and for or info text till in to six six, eight, six, six, okay, anyways all right here, here's a thing: okay, here's a thing: Let do this: Where Is it good? Is it? where? Is it good in industry? Interesting? Not yet let me first lay in the foundation, okay, but it's a full full community yeah, it's a community with its all with so there's a guy there who runs a internet. Cafe he's got a Sol bunch of solar panels and batteries that he's hooked up to these soller panels, and I guess here's another weird place. Where he's not sufficient is he gets Internet from some Internet satellite Internet service, but I he flicks those on in the morning and he makes coffee he hates coffee, but he makes it for all of his guests and then they can just come and use his internet. But but what's interesting is there's a lot of so it's not as old people who live out there. It's all these INSTAR influencers too yeah they're out there, just like Oh yeah. No I'M! I work for a company they're based in Phoenix, but I live back, but I live here in Slab City and then they just work at this weird tent coffee he was interested in buying is entrail. I anybody wants to yeah, but here's. I think nobody there actually like there's not really an economy, because they just give all this stuff away from free or take donation or like they'll cover the cost. So like there's one guy, there's one guy in town who has a shower, and so everyone uses that show everyone us that show they just give him three bucks to use for the gas and the water that they use, because he hooks it up to a big water tank that he goes and gets filled and then propane to Er to hate the water propane yeah. What are you looking at a pro pain that was normal propane as your bodies of spots on my body? A sorry about that audio listeners. Take that out. I hate hearing those noises, yeah, that's rough, but yeah so but other than that everything's free, like they have a library free. They have a night club called the range free and people just yeah and the way it works is it's like. If you want to do it, you do it. If you don't want to do it, you don't do it and it's just kind of this very big. Like society built on like do you unto other big, I mean how many people you ask me live out there. Okay, so he's what's interesting about. It is there's about a hundred fifty year round residence, but in the winter they get what they call snow birds who are people who are escaping the the Colt and the one ever heard this term before okay shut up so they the snow birds go south for the winter, and the population rises to aver on four thousand, a yeah, so big community through the winter months, but the summer monts only about a hundred and fifty people stay there year round because in the summer average high out there's a hundred and twenty five. So it's a hot. I the only people who stare at the methodics yeah. Well, no! So we're on a case. Do they have place. There is a sheriff in the area, but the sheriff in an interview said that he largely leaves lap city alone for a couple reasons. He says one: They have a pretty strict moral code, so he says they honestly kind of govern themselves. He's like there's, usually not really any serious crime out there he's like there's a lot of drug crime and like drug use is like, but I'm not super concerned about it because they don't harm each other and he was like so so. He was like he's like honestly. Most of those people out there. This is kind of a last, a last resort, place for them and his like so he's like I'm not going to make the lives harder, and so they kind of just let them do their thing. If every once in a while border patrol will come through just to make sure nobody there is illegal and then, if something serious happens, they know how to reach him and he'll come help in a serious issue, but for the most part they're a big Monte. There is like just do whatever you want, yeah and as long as it doesn't affect other people. So I watched a documentary about it and it was really interesting. There's kind of this, the guy who runs the Internet cafe today is kind of like the leader of the town and nobody really established that. But everybody really reveres them and listens like to whatever he says. Yeah and what's interesting, is the methodics in town? Usually don't stay long because their drug use impacts the other townspeople O and because it impacts the other towns people. That's when there's a problem yeah and it's interesting because it's like you go hey, you can't do that yeah. It was. It was the most interesting thing because he literally just came to her camp like in this. He kicked one out in this. He came to a camp and was like hey he's. Like he's like, I realize, you're addicted to this drug and he's like at the end of the day, you should be able to control this and he's like, and this has happened over and over again, that you have kept us all up like three: am you were strung out and making all this noise and he's like? That's just not cool for all of us here, so you got to go this just not cool. No literally you colbe more cool. It was literally that even Keel, and he was just like you got to go and the girl was like sobbing, but she like s like okay and like packed up and just left and like be like what do you and do if she refuses? I don't know like no one's done that, yet I don't know, I don't know, I'm sure, I'm sure it's happened. Let's do it. This is our slap sitting. Oh Hello, eevery name is John from I'm striten I'll bring cargo. If you worship me, I am God I don't want you to like get all I confused. You know, but you should probably tell your kids. They don't worship me. Things are going to be big you're going to go. Oh for them, so that's actually a good Sagwa. The town is pretty famous, obviously because it's like this, like squatter town yea, but because it has these very interesting and quirky, neighborhoods and kind of locations and honestly in neighborhoods, yeah and honestly, if you listen to the list of these, it sounds like the locations in a video game like an open world video game. Listen to this, I'm just going to read you the list of areas so there's poverty, flats, Niland Heights, Little Canada, that's where all the Canadians say: Yeah Slav city singles drop, seven slabs that hold on slab city singles. First of all, this sounds less like town names and more like bowling team names. I can see that I can see that drop seven and drop eight there's the coliseum, which is actually the two big water storage tanks that they used to have that they ripped the roof off of and just crafted, and I can't find anything that says this, but I strongly suset suspect that they just have battles in there because it's called the coliseum. It's just a giant open air. What I be is the only thing that makes sense all right, because a e all right, it's covered in like war graffiti yeah, you know the they at TOR staff out there. That's where they settle all their issues. They say: Hey, listen, lady, Sam you're, freaking out until three in the morning. Here's your choices, you can either leave yeah or you can fight Samson at the cause in the Coliseum. Whoever wins become Samson, that's you know, that's the Dat's like to a Sampson. You know, and I mean so there's always just this is this- is the Samson from two thousand and seventeen to two thousand and nineteen yep O it's kind of like a pharaoh yeah and when he dies someone else become. Someone else is Samson. You are our new Samson there's the Cotelaines, which is the canal that runs through, which I assume is what Kochel is named after okay, maybe hers the Camaniere Cotele, who knows maybe a little, both Salvation Mountain, which you may have heard of that's, probably the most famous thir people, Yeah Angeles. The range range sounds that that's their club, their night club, Borde, yeah, open air bar thing. There content venue bhas my two favorite, so you ready East Jesus and West Satan, so those two communities are really interesting communities and I'll. Tell You why? Okay, they were started by hippies, yeah, obviously es us. US was first and these Jesus was started after Salvation Mountain which gives context to it. But it's not a religious thing. He's Jesus is like an artist installation, and so their big thing was whatever waste. We have we're going to terran into art, and so bottles tires cars they over a decade. We've built this five hundred foot tall statue of Jesus Christ out of trash trash, because isn't he just the great recyclers just go stories? Yeah, it's gonna go for restore yeah, but it's all of us are trash. All of us. A Tha gave us purpose and meaning and value Yep yeah, but the main thing is that you're trash, but it's like kind of Muspel thing. Yeah, your son, if you remember anything from this cock, don't remember that he gave you value, purpose and love, but I remember the you were trash, so write that in your journal Rita, so a lot of the the art installations that they have. There are like heavily political against society, c capitalism and Western society. There is a massive wall of t vs, which I'm going to I'm going to see. If I can pull what kind of movies they watch, these watch a form rope. I'm going to pull this up. So there massive walls of like it's like old vs from like the s s yeah, yeah old TS. So it's basically where all the TV from the Richmond TV vigilanti go yeah. Actually he might source his his addiction from here. You think he's driving a vew hall with box TV from Slab City to Richmond, Virginia Yeah, yeah, okay, and so each of the TVI. Were you going to show me the picture where he's going to pull it yeah, I'm just going to describe it to you. So they're, big TV with white paint over the screen and the big red words? Oh yeah, I s igling something things that they say which is like. You need a man. You need more stuff standard of beauty, you're, not good. My favorite is white people young at each other. So these are the you see on what you think bla we own you, okay, yeah, it's very of the wrong opinion, yeah, it's kind of dark, but honestly, like it's like well, I've seen it right, yeah, it's outside of every house in Arkansas yeah, so there's a with their big trump flags and their cart flags. I mean that's what I'm saying it's had seen this so yeah. They got signs that say the media is lying to you. Yeah they've got one that as Democrats for evil right next to it says Republicans are evil. It's yeah, it's crazy! I mean you know, we're all evil. Jesus actually said that so that's fun, Yeah Bad News, bad advertising, so yeah, so they just got were part of that. You know which one which screen do we thet on it's one of those. It's one of those one of those little faces games from like two thousand and ten, where you tag yourself tag yourself, we're misinformation. We're, like might be facts might be facts. Pretend facts so speculated facts speculative fact. Thank you. So they just have a bunch of things on there that are like it's a call back. Is it just making sure you know never heard of that one? So, just a bunch of political art pieces made out of literal garbage and some of them are very creepy, like they've got like Manikin legs, like sticking out of things like spooky, looking stuff that you're like this is weird. I don't like this and what's what makes it even creeper is they're in this desert heat. So most of this aren't like slowly melts, yeah and so like deteriorates and melts, but yeah so and they're constantly adding to it, because the whole thing is they don't waste any of their trash, so they're constantly adding trash to these art pieces, so they're like in a state of like ever changing and either deteriorating from getting destroyed by the climate or growing from people. I it's like the precious moments, Chapel Yeah Yeah, actually pretty accurate yeah. Pretty soon he's always he says, is never finished until I'm gone till I'm done it's so west West Satan was another organized or nature's pace trash. That's all! I just love capitals, a love to take trash and waste. AH, there they're x a bunch of CEOS and they actually X, N, B C CEO. No, they actually it. This is one of the most interesting neighborhoods because there's the least amount information, they're very close off to outsiders that art welcome people in they have like like make so fest fence around it. That says like keep out and like signs that say like enter, to become my next target and like creepy stuff is because they just don't want anybody to come in and it's pretty clear that they chose the name West Satan to like make fun of Eas Jesus and the hippies over there because they're the angry group yeah. They seem like the angry group, but they keep to themselves. They do their own thing and nobody really cares. So I would love to see the Slab City Royal. You send one fighter from each neighborhood to the coase, the Kansas City Royal, really any any sin. PARKVILLE person they are. They also have their own hot springs, the hot crab slipe city, where they go, and you know I've got one of those things things, that's a hot tub, a something but salvation mounds, probably the most famous part of Slab City. It is just like it sounds a mountain where you go to get saved, that's not that curate, but the artist poly would think so. The guy's name is letter night. He built it. I was born an nineteen thrty one dive, then and fourteen, and he served in the United States military and when he came back from the military he wanted to do something to help people find Jesus, and so his first idea was mountain. Now that wasn't his first, I got t build them out. He started small with the hot air balloon that he would paint a Bible verse on the side of and then on the other side of it right. God is love and then just send that hot er balloon flying over cities around America. Here's the problem. He didn't have a hot air balloon, so he just bought a bunch of canvas and like Oh, no tuck it together try to make one and then took his stove to give is it is sterile. I tried to do and it didn't work. Obviously he sounded great he's lighting all forward, nothing. I was not in out. You know why I could. I left the pans in the Boul all the pans out. It's too heavy yeah, so that didn't work so that he was like I mean I can figure out how high bons work. It's got to be just it's just some meat and a balloon then, and so I didn't know why it worked. I mean I got in the basket and I had a hair drier. It was just you know, nothing seemed to maybe it wasn't hot enough, so I switched to my oven yeah so that didn't work, so he okay yeah I at work. This was in the S in eighty four, he discovered slab city and he was enamored with it. He thought it was the coolest thing in the world and that's where he had his next idea. He was like okay I'll build him out in his like. I could have built a hot air balloon I'll, build the mountain I'll start with this stove, as this isn't going anywhere, I'm going to make sure it never does. So he built a mountain out of what mostly adobe a Dolbean Straw and just started stacking it on top of each other and then with paint painted the outside of it. To be this big colorful thing that the center piece has got his love and then just covered it in Bible verses. Well, he worked on IT T L, one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine when it collapsed and he having a heart of gold said. I I believe this is God's way to tell me that my construction method was not safe, and so he started over in this time. He built it using a dobe Straw and latex pain, same thing no, but he actually started adding random other materials, like sticks and twigs and car parts to strengthen it and stoves and stops ovens, Stevens and so from one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine for the next really until he died like twenty seven years from that point, was adding to this mountain year picture of it yeah. I do you've probably seen this before it's pretty famous I'm gosh this picture is tiny Jeez. I really want you to flip a picture of Pike's peak, a yeah man. You might have seen this before I've never seen you've, never seen this. No, so yes, it S. just this big mountain really really colorful mountain tall. It's about three stories, tall! Okay, it's a mountain! I mean I'm the hill, but I mean, but I mean you're not doing anything out there all day. You just got yeah you's like what are you doing over there yeah we're coming out? Who was that I'm more come O building the mountain build the moment yeah. So it's to describitur audio listeners, it's super colorful he's got like every color in the rainbow, like literally whatever can a Pat Ye at is what he painted the outside of a of it with, and then he this cover o describe a audio listeners. It's kind of like a three story mountain you, a picture that, like just a hill, it's basically a hill. I don't know, I don't know what footage I consider something, a mountain, but it's not three stories yeah so, and it says God is love and there's a big heart underneath it and a big cross on the top of yeah and then the heart inside the middle of it has a cinis prayer, says dear Jesus, I'm a sinner, please come into my heart, that's it and so yeah there's a giant cross, the top of it. So the idea this the idea for him Gennle ly was people will see this and they will become a Christian yeah and he for years were pastors by would start by to see it. He would give them full to or he would stop what he's doing, give them a fule tour and then tell them about Jesus, and this was his ministry, his whole life and he strongly believed in it. He eventually started a church in a tent nearby and it's the Slab City Church and was wondering if there was a church out there yeah and he would baptize people in the Cotelaines, which is I mean, given its name. The best thing we used to baptize people over in that section, but now that's west Satan, so so gonna go out and what's interesting, is he didn't pay a dime for this? It was completely built by donors, sort of I mean he built it, but donors gave them the paint, so people would drive by and they just drop off paint and back. He got I like ten goons of paint you want. It was just put another layer of paint on him once that drives. That's had that's how you build them out. Well, it's he built the mountain out of the adobe, and so he took a doby from the surrounding desert to kill the mountain and just random trash. He found pretty much to strengthen it and then he painted it with donated latex from like done. Latex pain, hey thanks, O ticking out things are learn last night. If you like what we're doing you want to help us do more of it. One way you could do that is to purchase a merchandise. We've got mugs, t shirts, all that stuff on the website. Tilono S Merch. If you go to till nom Mercht, all of that is there of you to check out, and we would love her to be a part of the show and helping us to do more things. So, thanks for checking this out and back to the episode and it's still being painted to this day, so he died in twenty four ee still adding to it. He died in o thousand and fourteen and a group of locals came together and they actually. This is like the only like legal entity that any anybody in that city is a part of. It is a not for profit that is exists to maintain salvation mountains. There Salvation Mountain ink is what I think they called it, but they're not for profit organization. I don't think they understand how that works, but but they just a donations. I Mk, Oh because that's what they put on the mountain, so they they exist just to maintain it. So it's a group of about seven people who they will hang out outside as like security and to give tours to tourists that drive through the area and then maintain it, and so they're constantly painting it or doing patches, because the the the desert environment is really not good for that great for anything or Yeah Yeah, and so it's it's in a state of consent to Kay, and so these people are keeping it up and patching holes as they pop up or repainting sections as they dry up or melt or whatever. What's really interesting about this is that there we go go to the interesting bar okay. What here was really interesting is that well he actually, he built a museum to go along with it like connected to it, which is made of the same thing he actually well. Actually this is he built the first layer of it is the hot air balloon that that failed, so the dome the first layer of it is that hotter balloon that he stuck up and then he built on top of that Hotter Belin. So the hotter balloon is in the mountain. Well, it's in a dome on the side of the mountain, that's the museum, and so the museum was interesting about the museum is what he would do is when people this guy is just so interesting when people came to Salvation Mountain and he gave them a tour and he kind of did his Little Gospel presentation. If people accepted Jesus into their heart, he would think them by asking them to give them something theirs, so he could Kiri. Thank you so much for being here, so he could reave your hub cap yeah, exactly black guys have a spirit here, I'd like it, and so he collected all these little trinkets from Picaro in that trunk. WHO- and so this museum is just shelving, like all around this, like dumb stuff to us, to land him stuff that people gave him after they accepted Jesus, and it's that's is muse and it's just random trinkets and ods. I in it looks like it up there. It looks like areawise. I got from this couple that came through he. Seventy four I hope they're doing. Okay. I think they named their kid after me. I think you just made that up. Yeah Yeah- I did- I haven't heard from them, but I think they did. I would talk after the conversation. It looks like aerials bedroom where she's like sitting in the thingamagig. I got twenty Disney created that I you know that so he does all these trickes, but what's crazy is this became like a big, almost like tourists towards destination sure and some society in some Art Society in California started petitioning the United States Congress to protect it and the United States Congress ended up in two thousand and two declaring it a national art treasure. It's just like a protected piece of art. I would like to be discard and national a well okay, so you got it so that's an nat, yeah yeah and that's different than an NFD. Yes, it is okay, so a national art treasure yeah a Nat. It is not the same. It's not the same, it's a different thing, but it could be an aft. Could I mean you could, in theory take a picture of it and N F it, but I mean, but other people have pictures of the at pictures of it. Just like all N FTES anyways in ninety four, the county hired a toxic way specialist to test the soil around Salvation Mountain yeah and showed that it had really high levels of toxicity, and so they were threatening that they would have to take it down because it was dangerous to the environment and the people side city were like hold up. Can we hire somebody to test it? I and they were like sure, guess and so person wit, it's good to me. You go not to in that toxic. Put that the museum is we put that every time you come, you got a lease Tuck that in the Museus, how could this place be toxic because it just made me a Christian. This is not toxic. o Put this in the fricking museum. Take it as quit. Looking at the screen reaching to pray, there is no Alex but yeah, so that Lik purposely did not turn around. That really literally, is just like just fain, ignoring you, so this other, this other independent organization hate you. This independent organization came back and said: Yeah, there's no, no toxic levels in this soil, a yeah co and the county was like okay, yeah, you're, Ri kind of like sure fine, so they got it to stay and then not long after that it became in the official S. for the new person said no, here's, let's ses, that's fun about this. It it's had. A lot of media coverage is still about. Salvation matters is yeah. It's had a lot of covers in the media, the music video for Kesha Song Praying. It was partially filmed here. I was actually filled all around slab city and the surrounding area, but part of it happened here. My favorite is at the cover of third days. Third Day's album revelation is an artistic rendering of so I'll show you third day third day the nickel back of Christian music. This is this. Is the Thursday third day's Big Song? I don't know they've had a couple. I think photograph Huh Yep, so they were like yeah. It's an artistic rendering of that that mountain. What was it their like? Third Release? Fourth Release: I don't know I can't think of a single third day song right now. Let's see the band thirdday or Terday Thurday Thurday Thurday third day, I can't think of a single Song Ho I'm getting there yeah. I see what you got. They have an album called conspiracy number five. I can't think of a single song telling a song title: Alien, Angus D. Thank US day, Skies Fall Down or sky falls down, come together. Forty days, I can't think of having a song, give you all the stuff they got rewards for. You are good to me. God of wonders that wasn't them, though that's like that's them, covering that song was it so hold on singing. Some men got a wonders by third day, but did they write that got a wonders beyond I galiee see you in slason yeah, of course, cutlass covered it I wait hold on. I knew it wasn't. I knew it like a net song God. I wonders feels like a an yeah. The choir wrote it we're on a way we're on a Christian music tangent. Let's get out of this okay Yeah Kay elthe did. I think they did okay, anyways so yeah third day, that's got the cover art of it. I can think of a lot of casting ground, songs and mercy music, fair. I it was single burnt Das Song Right now anyway. So slap city is what's crazy about this city. Is that there's really nothing about it? That should make it last like there's no economy, there's nothing feeding the city, it's just a bunch of transient people, and then people who are just like. I live here now and they don't really do anything with their time except for make art out of stuff. But what's wild as you watch the you watch, videos of them and they're they love life. They love it there and what's really interesting, is there was a guy named rusty who, in the S, was like the town mayor but like they didn't call him there, but yeah? They always have like a revered person that everybody looks up to and listens to what they say and they're. Like kind of the leader of the pack, a rusty, we shouldn't publicize that because when you say that I think a I could be that person I could go to in a go, be I could take over. You know that would be a dream of mine to take over a cold. I don't want to start while I don't want to start. I want to inherit a colhares. This is my inheritance and that's what we could call it. We are the inhaeret Russy said that was really interesting. Like poetic, even is okay, but he said hast em, that's what they said. What something you've been here for a long time with something that changed over the time that you've been here. I said there ain't, so many chickens. He said used to be a lot more tickets run a while. I don't know where what happened to them, they around no more just kiddin that he did say that, but it wasn't what I was going to say. I was just growling through this is other quotes. You were just like we're rusty from Slab City quotes and he got a whole list at no more chickens right here I was called to this article. That was an interview of him and that I hit that and I was like Oh yeah. This is funny. I forgot that he said that, but I was o what you're thinking of I I'm getting there man, okay, so he said he said it was really interesting is this is how he said it. So it was really interesting is that they said they asked them. If there's like a law or a moral cord code or something that people abide by out here, and he said like things that you have to do, and I said well, here's that that's the thing he's like there's nothing you have to do out here, he's like out here. It's all just what you want to do. He said once you get out of that old situation, where you're punching a time clock and doing what somebody else that tells you to do. He says well you're free and you do what you want to do here. People want to get along with their neighbor. I tell you it girls on you and that's all there is to it, and so it's really interesting because it's like there really isn't a crime problem. That's why the sheriff doesn't really deal with it. Like people do what they want. They do a lot them do drugs, a lot of them drink a lot and they don't really do anything. That amounts to much hoe than the art that they make or building the ranch or the Salvation Mountain or whatever it is, but everybody just does what they want. Mad a mountain yeah. I made him out man. What have you done and so he's like? Oh Yeah, you got tick Tock followers. I made a mount out so yeah and it looks. I really different lives for a happy family they're trying to climb the ladder yeah. You know and I'm climbing a mountain that I made yeah. Some people try to climb Everest and I was like I'm going to make up. I may on ever more like my evertat does sound like something that, like Everest College, would do that I be like yeah. My rest yeah so, but it's not like it's not like a lot of other like like. We talked about tunnel town yeah, and this is a place like we're paddle like that, but not, but not at all, because it like there isn't crime. There isn't people I'm going to visit tunnel bound. Okay, there's n't people getting killed out here. There isn't people like people do drunks, but it's not a debilitating thing. Like people are just they're just living life, it's the one of the wildest. I think it's one of those things where it's probably a bit harder to get there. You know like it's a little bit more of a journey to get out to slab city yeah, it's in the middle of the desert yeah, so you so you kind of have to have the means to get out there and if you have the means to get out there, then you're not. You know yeah rusty. In his interview he talked about how there's kind of two groups of people as the older people and the younger people who come out so the younger people kind of get out here for the anarchy thing like to get away from responsibility and he's like his like. What really kind of happens is we kind of take care of them because they don't understand how to survive out here? Yeah an so. We end up taking care of them a lot, but he wasn't like frustrated about it. He was just like matter of fact about the that's the way I what happens yeah. So there was for a little bit an effort took like take over slab city and like develop it, but a community group came together and they stopped it in the county. They stopped him from being able to sick et over yeah, and now the county officials actually kind of protect it and they're. Like you know, these people aren't hurting anybody. I same sang attitude as that shaeffer like they're, not hurting anybody, they're, not hurting each other. All is got to take. Is some big WIG, CEO yeah? I know real estate developer to come out there with his big map. Yeah right he's three D model. Where he's like listen, we could put a mall out here. You've seen us, do it in Minneapolis and New Jersey, all right, I'M SAYING SLABS S SLAPS! Imagine it's got a Miromesnil. You say that because it sort of happened they developed it sort of, but here's the thing. I knew this from the start. We don't have time for that, so we're going to have to fiddle that off into a part. Okay! Well, we've never done a part to before. So, if you're listening to this and you're like well, I'm impatient, I don't even want to wait for part to that's fine, it's available right now on Patriot. All you got to do is text till in the six six eight six six every week our patron supporters get an episode early. They get the episode a week before everybody else, and if you cannot weigh for part two of this, because apparently this is where it gets crazy. You can text hill into six x, a y six six sign up as a patron number. You also get access to our discord and special merge, but more important part to right now. So, if not we'll see you next week on Tilling

What do Salvation Mountain, East Jesus, and West Satan have in common? If you guessed they’re locations in a video game then you’re only half right. These eclectic phrases are names of subdivisions in the infamous Californian town known as Slab City. Home to mostly squatters and vagabonds, Slab City has been hailed as the last free city in the world. Residents enjoy no modern amenities like running water or electricity. However, they relish their off-grid lifestyle in one of the strangest places left on earth. Not only is the town itself incredibly unique, but the geographic location tells a story of its own. This is the unbelievable Slab City, California.

Where is Slab City?

Slab city is located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert. The town sits on the Salton Trough, an active tectonic basin that is home to the Salton Sea. The unique neighborhood rests about 100 miles outside of San Diego, 170 miles south of Los Angeles, and only 50 miles north of Mexico. Needless to say, it has become the last resort home for people across the southwest.

What is Slab City?

Technically speaking, Slab City is not really a city. It is an unincorporated community made up mostly of the homeless and a wide array of snowbirds that flock to the city each winter. Due to the town’s nature, it is also home to drug addicts, anarchists, outcasts, and other eccentric people.

The community earned its name after the foundations (slabs) of old military barracks that the city has been erected on. Residents have built homes out of whatever material available. Many of the homes have been strung together using various garbage and local plants/dirt. Others enjoy the comforts of mobile homes, RVs, or tents.

East Jesus and West Satan

The community has been subdivided much like many modern communities of the world. Each community has been given different names, the most noteworthy being East Jesus and West Satan (obviously). Both communities are home to artists who believe strongly in reclamation so much of their artwork is built entirely out of bottles, glass, and other waste materials.

Other localities of the city include; Salvation Mountain, The Salton Sea, Niland Heights, Slab City Singles, The Coliseums, Little Canada, Drop Seven and Drop Eight. The city is complete with a library, an internet cafe, a church, and its own outdoor night club the Ranch. Places in this town have very video gameesque names, which is perfect because the region is the inspiration for Grand Theft Auto 5’s Sandy Shores.

Salvation Mountain

The most well-known part of Slab City is the infamous Salvation Mountain. You may not have heard of this man-made mount of worship, but you’ve more than likely seen it in pop culture. It is referenced in video games like GTA 5, featured on the cover art of Third Day’s album entitled Revelation, and featured in the music video for “Praying” by Ke$ha. Those are just a few of the many appearances of Salvation Mountain.

Salvation Mountain welcomes visitors to Slab City, California
Salvation Mountain welcomes visitors to Slab City, California
By Tricia Savino – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The passion project of Slab City resident, Leonard Knight, Salvation Mountain is the monumental welcome sign to slab city. Standing at 50 feet tall, the mountain is a religious art piece built of adobe, garbage, and latex paint. Lots of latex paint was used in the construction of this hill. The project took Korean War veteran Knight 30 years to complete and is maintained to this day by local volunteers.

The Last Free Place on Earth?

Slab City is technically an unincorporated community which means there is no local government of any kind. There are no services, no police, no post office, no infrastructure of any kind. The lack of government in the city means there is a lack of taxes, at least city taxes, for its residents. But the freedoms afforded to the residents extend farther than tax evasion.

People in Slab City have few needs that can only be met through currency. So, many residents rarely hold jobs as there is no need. Those who do are working part-time. It is an escape from the rat race that gave Slab City so much appeal to them for the locals.

Even though the city does not have a police force of its own, the county does. Also, officers from the nearby town of Niland have been known to check in on the residents from time to time. Fortunately for the squatters though, the police are pretty lenient with them. They only enforce laws that put others endanger or revolve around border security. So Slab City is not completely lawless, but it is awfully close. Soft and hard drugs are prevalent in the community. But, a highly regarded moral code keeps the residents relatively safe from harm caused by another.


Is it the last free place on earth? Not really, but it is probably the closest city on earth to it. Slab City is an eclectic place where people who can’t fit into modern society thrive. The residents love their homes and are thankful for the community that they have built there. The city may not be the prettiest in the world and it may lack much of what people in the U.S. have become accustomed to, however it offers its residents the life they’ve always dreamed of. For that, the locals love it.

Learn more about the social structure of Slab City and the interesting different locations across the town in this week’s episode of Things I Learned Last Night. Things I Learned Last Night is an educational comedy podcast where best friends Jaron Myers and Tim Stone talk about random topics and have fun all along the way. If you like learning, and laughing a whole lot while you do, then you’ll love TILLN. Watch or listen to this episode right now!




Slab City, California – Wikipedia

Salvation Mountain – Wikipedia

Slab City and Its Neighborhoods – San Diego Reader

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