Yesterday after Anza-Borrego we kept driving, had some tasty tacos at a Mexican joint as well as something called a date shake - a milkshake with honey and dates mixed in.
We drove to Calipatria, CA, to the fabled Slab City. Slab City is hard to describe, but it makes me think of what Burning Man might have remained had it not become such a popular, wealthy institution. A hot, barren desert populated here and there by people who have opted to drop out of what they consider to be the oppressive mainstream culture/system, to live their own reality rather than the one prescribed by the default world. A place, I imagine, where they feel more free. As you leave Slab City a sign reads: "Warning - Reality Ahead".
What does it look like? Picture a fascinating scattering of RVs and various inventive shelters, derelict trailers, spontaneous desert art projects, and here and there people flying their freak flag high. Hats off to them. We saw an outdoor nightclub called the Range, signs for a library and a hostel, a burned down RV, all kinds of art. We didn't stay long because by that point (see below) we were feeling pretty tired from the extreme heat (39-40 degrees in the sun, and little shade around).
We also visited Salvation Mountain, a sort of shrine (built by a man named Leonard Knight) which looks like a so-called "folk art" installation on the outskirts of Slab City. These words doubtless don't capture what the place is or what the artist was expressing in building it. Take a look at the pictures below, they say more than I care to describe right now. The place was very interesting. Obviously made with love and devotion and what one might call intense faith. The heat was stiflingly oppressive so after a good visit we felt rather drained and headed home.