Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Niland (aka the "Slabs", December 5-8

This posting will be a little redundant for those that travel with the WINS or LOWS, but might be surprising for those that have never heard of this place.  I've heard about the slabs ever since I started RVing, so I was really curious.  I googled "the slabs" and found lots of information which peaked my curiosity even more. The area was a WWII base that has been abandoned.  Before the military left they removed all of the buildings off their slab foundations, thus the name "the Slabs.  The map even shows "Slab City" and my Garmin GPS lists some of the streets.  Names like Container Charlie, the Tanks, the Turd House, Salvation Mountain, the Oasis, and Solar Mike just to name a few sounded like characters and places out of a book.

I left Joshua Tree a day early to arrive at the Slabs before the WINS to scope it out with in mind I'd probably only stay for a day or so.  I arrived at Niland and then turned towards the "slabs" towards the desert,  I followed the GPS coordinates provided in my WIN newsletter wondering if they were really correct. I saw run down RVs and makeshift housing...much like a shanty town.  I almost turned around and I would have if I hadn't previously done a little research on the internet.  This was totally different world where the "residents" live quite comfortably in their RVs or make shift homes.  I felt like I was back in t he 60's....during the Hippie era...only the VW Buses were now full sized RVs or structures scrounged from desert trash.  There is no real law..I image the residents police themselves. There is no rent to pay but the residents definitely are territorial.  There is a library, church, garden, pet cemetery and plenty of entertainment.

The library books are neatly stacked and categorized from self help books to National Geographic magazines.

Note how cleverly this resident has marked his territory using recycled tin cans and old tires.

This was the old military Olympic size swimming pool.  It now is a skate board park.

Solar Mike supplies solar panels, inverters, batteries and everything to make an RV independent of electrical hook ups.  Look closely and you will see a little tiny solar panel on the dummy's hat.

The pet cemetary

The Oasis is the local hangout.  Memberships are $20.00 and for $5.00 a month you can get internet.  Where else can you get internet for $5.00 a month?

You can get all kinds of food and goodies at the oasis and be shaded from the hot winter was about 80 degrees on this day.

I'll write a little more about some of the colorful people and places on my next bog.

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