What destination did American biker Jamie Robinson choose for an adventure on his brand new Moto Guzzi V7 II Stornello? A place that really is… out of the world. This is Slab City, known here as “the last free place” in the USA. But, free from what? From civilisation! To find out more about “The Slabs”, take a look at Jamie’s video, posted on MotoGeo (the web portal he created and manages, dedicated to motorbikes and bikers, to travel and life on two wheels) and share his adventure.
Slab City is a sort of campsite in south-east California, a few miles from the Salton Sea. Its origins date back to a military base located there in the 1950s. When the base closed, the first campers arrived and with them the first groups of nomads, hippies and people wanting to escape civilisation. While its population was highest in the 1980s, for some months of the year Slab City is still the choice of camper vans and caravans of tourists looking for an alternative lifestyle.
Over the years, the Slab City community has become a village, despite a lack of electricity, running water and other amenities. Its residents power their mobile homes with generators and solar panels. In the desert around Slab City is the colourful “Salvation Mountain”, a small artificial mountain covered with decorations in acrylic paint, symbols and verses from the Bible. The mountain was created by visionary artist Leonard Knight (Vermont, 1931 –San Diego County, 2014), who lived at the foot of his creation for many years.
Slab City is mentioned in the best-seller “Into the Wild”, by American writer Jon Krakauer (published 20 years ago), adapted into the 2007 film “Into the Wild” directed by Sean Penn, in which the residents of the campsite took part.
In 2008, Italo-American multi award-winning director Gianfranco Rosi (Golden Bear at the 2016 Berlin Film Festive with “Fire at Sea” and in the running for an Oscar 2017 nomination) shot his first documentary, “Below Sea Level”, entirely at Slab City.
(source: Wide Magazine)