What destination did moto-journalist Jamie Robinson choose for an adventure on his new Moto Guzzi V7 II Stornello? A place that really is… out of this world. This is Slab City, known here as “the last free place” in the USA. But, free from what? From civilization! To find out more about “The Slabs”, watch Jamie’s video, posted on MotoGeo (the web portal he created and manages, dedicated to motorbikes, travel, and life on two wheels) where he shares his moto adventures.
Slab City is a sort of campsite in southeast 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 civilization. While its population peaked in the 1980s, Slab City is a popular stop for campers and adventure-seekers looking for something a little different.
Over the years, the Slab City community has become a village, despite its lack of electricity, running water, and other basic amenities. Its residents power their mobile homes with generators and solar panels. In the desert around Slab City is the colorful “Salvation Mountain”, a small artificial mountain covered with decorations in acrylic paint, symbol, 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)