Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Years in the Slabs!

It was definitely about time to meet up again with some NuRVers and New Year’s Eve seemed the appropriate time. It was a year ago NYers Eve that we first connected with this fun group & we’d had quite the time all year meeting up with the different peeps we met at our month long rendezvous in Quartzsite, AZ. We were sad that Kev & Angie (the founders) couldn’t join us but Sam & Tracy and Maria & Brian were committed and Slab City was the perfect place for this group of derelicts to congregate. Maria & Brian had connected with Cheddar Yeti (Jeanette & Dennis) & they were coming too! We had all invited friends (non-rvers) to join  in the fun so between 12/29-12/31 we slowly assembled a fine group of revelers.  And talk about assembling! Jeanette & Dennis’ friends arrived with a truckload of plywood, a huge wooden frame & a bolt of some gorgeous turquoise chiffon material. We sat there, drinks in hand, watching them construct what was to be the highlight of our evening. But I digress,  I first must comment on the expedition to Slab City.

The last few days preparing to leave Palm Desert were a whirlwind – you’d think that because we’d known for 2 ½ months when we were leaving that we would prepare a little better, but NO! As usual, we had a ton of last minute shopping to do, mail orders to be made & dining coupons to use. Not to mention packing up after such a long stay in one spot. We did have a good time there, different for sure, but time spent with family means so much and will have to hold me for about a year…

Now if you recall, on our fateful trip to Pahrump a year ago we came out of a parking lot a little screwy & ended up with a broken bottle of olive oil all over the carpet. Post Burning Man we pulled up the carpeting & now have beautiful wood floors – the perfect place for a soy sauce incident! Oy the Soy! So upon our arrival to the Slabs we had several hours of clean up, thankfully, no carpeting to worry about but our catalytic heater was covered in it. Bill’s wonderful ADD tendencies had him painstakingly taking it all apart and cleaning up every little piece of it, including the “plates”. We weren’t sure if it would ever work again & just a little scared to fire it up without a fire department close at hand. Several days later we did just that, though, and aside from smelling just a bit like a Chinese restaurant for awhile, it worked great!

Salvation Mountain is at the entrance to Slab City and really sets the tone for the whole place. We visited here in November just to see what it was all about and the pictures just don't do it justice - here are a few pics of our friend Cindy (from Orange County) who joined us for NYers eve.

Maria & Brian’s friends, Kevin & Molly (with a truckload of firewood!), came from AZ and we found out Jenn and Johnny of ”Hitek Homeless” fame were parked close by & they came over to join in the fun. I had ordered glow-in-the-dark eye glasses for everyone & Maria & Brian brought these huge sparklers and the fun ensued; we all ended up at “The Range” for music and dancing - another memorable NYers eve on the road! 

Slab City reminds me of a real-life Burning Man. People of all ages, walks of life and living styles congregate together on this huge abandoned military base. This area was featured in the movie “Into the Wild”. There are no services out there – no water, electricity, plumbing, trash pick up – nada, nothing! They have a huge problem with trash but that does not take away from it’s appeal, at least to us. People are incredibly friendly and welcoming.  Most nights there is live music at one camp or another, with bonfires and even balloon makers. We were very lucky to connect with Jenn and Johnny as they had spent a lot of time here and knew where things were “happening”.
An area started by a burner named Charlie with a vision of making art out of the trash found at the slabs.

It was amazing how much there was to do and see in this area. Two large stage venues for music (plus all of the other impromptu spots), 2 libraries, an 18 hole “desert” golf course, numerous trips to “East Jesus”, the Oasis camp where one can get breakfast, lots of amazing conversation and even a hot spring.

Now, the latter we had heard and read about and from the descriptions we thought we might pass, but then we met Bob and Sini! Half our group had departed by then and Bill and I were sitting at our campfire when he noticed that someone was out walking with a flashlight and appeared to be looking for something. We went over to help and met Sini who had lost her reading glasses. I mentioned that I had recently lost my headlamp and guess what, they had found one. At that moment her hubby Bob called out that he had found her glasses and we all went back to their rig – I was sooooo happy to retrieve my fav headlamp! Now just a few days before our friends left they had met Bob & Sini and invited them to join our campfire,  Maria had commented that they seemed fun – and lucky for us, our paths were meant to cross. They had been full-timing ~6 months, out of Seattle, both retired and around Bill’s age – and they loved hot springs! We had so much in common and became fast friends. We met the following morning for a nice long walk at sunrise for our first dip in the hot springs– and YAY, so glad we made it there. We ended up extending our stay several days just to go again and have fun with our new friends. 
After 10 days it was time to restock our propane and dump our tanks. We will surely be back – and next time, for longer!

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