Niland and Slab City
Niland Travel Blog› entry 6 of 7 › view all entries
March 12th, 2008 – by: cneoridium
Niland's a tiny agricultural community that formed back when water was brought to the valley. Before that, it was open desert. There's a lot there that's abandoned. Gaston's Restaurant - just a sign and a slab. Gas station - burned down. Grain silos - abandoned. Church - semi abandoned. Airport - abandoned. Cemetery - reclaimed by the desert with hardly a trace. You can still buy lunch, get a tank of gas, and rent a video though.
Slab City is, well, sort of a forgotten corner of the desert that's been taken over by "Slabbers" as they call themselves. It's a rare place where you can live for free.
Slab City's best known resident is probably Leonard Knight. He built Salvation Mountain out at the edge of town. It's actually a natural hill that Leonard had enhanced, to spread God's word through... lots and lots of paint! For years people have donated surplus paint and he has created an entire world entirely with dried paint. The colors and patterns and quotes are so intense. You don't get a sense of the scale of it until you get close! He was proud to have it declared a World Folk Art Site a few years ago.
If you respect the Slabbers, they're nice folks to meet. You should go out to Slab City if you get a chance and check it out.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!