The Slabs, Redux

12 04 2011

Our last post about Slab City was one of ambivalent feelings. Yair wrote it on Thursday, and we ended up staying at The Slabs through Sunday afternoon. Those few days made a big difference in the impression that The Slabs left us with.

Friday

  • We ate dinner at Karma Kitchen, a free kitchen in Slab City that has for two years been serving meals on Tuesday and Friday nights. They operate on donations (food and money) and perform a wonderful service. Angel and Scooter are the people behind Karma Kitchen, and we were impressed by how they made everyone feel like they were helping out. If someone couldn’t donate, they could help cook, toss salad or serve. The dinner was preceded by a very brief but touching reflection circle as the group said their version of grace.  We enjoyed incredible and copious amounts of food, but were surprised at how few people attended dinner (~25) considering the population of Slab City.
The Slabs' "Kama Sutra Tank"

The Slabs' Interspecies "Kama Sutra Tank"

Kama Sutra Tank

Kama Sutra Tank

The Other Tank

Anti-Corporate Tank

  • Movie night at The Range. Yes, Slab City has its own event space. It actually has two, but The Range is the main attraction and has everything you would find in a mainstream event space – and more. The Range boasts a parking area, concession stand, comfortable seating, dance space, good lighting and sound, a projector, large stage, dedicated generator, fire area, and bathroom. Friday night at The Range brought a band shooting a music video, a tribute video to a recently deceased Slabber, and a film on how not to get caught growing weed in the forest. We also met some very cool people. (More to come on that.)
A Cell-Camera Pic Of "The Range"

A Cell-Camera Pic Of "The Range"

Saturday

  • A relaxed and relaxing Shabbat at Slab City had us hanging out at The Oasis Club with “New York Mike”, a well-educated, thoughtful, articulate and cultured artist from Queens. Not your typical Slabber, but he still fits in.
Outdoor Space At The Oasis Club (Note The Oasis)

Outdoor Space At The Oasis Club (Note The Oasis on the Right)

The Oasis Club's Kitchen

The Oasis Club's Kitchen

  • Saturday nights are a big deal in Slab City, as The Range is open with all-night music. People come from surrounding towns to attend the shows including families with children.  The evening brings out a nicer and more giving / communal side of The Slabs.
  • Friday night’s new friends were Abby and Moth.  Abby is a pretty sick hula-hooper who can also play her hand like a musical instrument. They showed up at The Range on Saturday night along with their friends Nikki (another hula-hooper) and Bobby (a fire dancer) and Ayo learned some cool tricks. [Warning: Lots of pics of Moth's place follow.]
Moth In His Place

Moth In His Place

Moth's Suspended Bed

Moth's Suspended Bed

The Entrance To Moth's Place

The Entrance To Moth's Place

Sunday

  • The hooping continued on Sunday morning, with an early-morning meeting at The Oasis Club (they were serving breakfast) followed by a trip to the Kama Sutra water tank and Moth’s home, a thoroughly clean and disinfected massive septic tank. Moth keeps chickens and has lived at The Slabs full-time for three years. He’s seriously tricked out his home and we had a lot of fun roaming around in and atop it.
That's One Huge Septic Tank / Living Space!

That's One Huge Septic Tank / Living Space!

Abby Being Dangerous On The Roof

Abby Being Dangerous On The Roof

Ayo, Abby, and Nikki On Moth's Roof

Ayo, Abby, and Nikki On Moth's Roof

Hooping In Moth's Place

Hooping In Moth's Place

  • On our way out from The Slabs we visited the geothermal hot springs, which reportedly can get as hot as 108 degrees. There – while bathing – we chatted with a man who was writing a book on a particular long-distance hiking trail in the northeast (I don’t recall the name).

Our Slabs-o-meter ended up in the green at the end of our weekend. The Slabs would be a very different place if not for The Range, and we are glad that we stuck around to experience it. And if you’re interested in checking out Slab City, don’t shy away from it. The worst thing that might happen is that you’ll decide that a nearby RV park is a better fit for you, and you’ll have fulfilled your curiosity. If you’re going for your first time, send us an email for some more specific advice on where to park.

View Of The Chicken Coop From Moth's Roof

View Of The Chicken Coop From Moth's Roof

Moth's Chickens

Moth's Chickens

On an only mildly related note, there’s a really well-maintained free dump station about seven miles south of The Slabs. It’s funny to be able to rate dump stations, but this one was set-up in a very well thought out way. Two thumbs up!

posted by yair and ayo

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12 responses

12 04 2011
frugalveganmom

This place looks just like it was depicted in the movie Into The Wild, you guys seen it?

Looks like so much fun, despite the weirdos who initially put you on edge, I would LOVE to make this a road trip stop….someday!

14 04 2011
jayhorowitz

Slab City was in Into The Wild. We hung out with some residents who were really proud to have been in the movie.

Oddly enough, I’ve seen the movie but didn’t recall any of the scenes from The Slabs. Gotta watch it again…

13 04 2011
Derek

Congrats on being added to the Hitch-Itch web site this week!

We also spent time at Slab City two years ago. We stayed in the low area next to the library.

Make sure you check out the library – the founder of the library is buried in front of it :)

Derek

14 04 2011
jayhorowitz

I left “a stone for peace” on her gravesite. And then found a few good books :-)

13 04 2011
Michael

Great post! I think I read somewhere that Moth can be a unpredictable short fuse so you’re pretty lucky to get such access to his very interesting world.

14 04 2011
jayhorowitz

Our experience with Moth was that he is a very chill and hospitable guy.

As he tells it, people started calling him “Moth” because he had a few experiences being emotionally drawn toward females, only to be burned as a moth drawn to flame.

13 04 2011
Michael

Why do they call him Moth or why does he call himself Moth? Or would asking that be too risky? : )

14 04 2011
crazy sexy fun traveler

Interesting representation of kama sutra :D

14 04 2011
jayhorowitz

Quite!

15 04 2011
tiffany

great photos of slab city, seems like you met tons of interesting people.. wish we hadn’t missed it when we were in the vicinity…

16 04 2011
Mark Tisdale

I feel I’ve just had a peek at a modern Mad Max film. Wild!

27 06 2011
Robert

Sab city seems to be the place to go when you drop out of society. A nice quiet place to be yourself and left alone.

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