on the way in

On this trip I got a head start by leaving 3-5 hours earlier than on past trips. Everything was packed and loaded earlier that morning which gave me plenty of time to relax. It also afforded me time to remember those one off things we all forget before long trips. The majority of the drive was luxuriously air conditioned as the beagle and I took in all the gorgeous summer desert scenery across four states. We were even treated to heavy rainstorms in Texas and again in New Mexico which took the edge off the heat and cleaned the bug splatter off my windshield. Thank you rain gods! We made great time and stopped for the night a few miles before the NM AZ state border.

The calm before the storm
The following day we arrived in Slab City where the local temp was 107°. The place was kind of a ghost town compared to my visit seven months earlier . When I stepped out of the truck the blast of heat that hit me was dryer than what I'd (sort of) gotten used to in Texas. There was a nice 8mph wind which made things tolerable in a "I'm standing in front of the worlds largest hair dryer" kind of way. After the greetings and meeting of friend 1's friend (whom I'll call friend 2), I unloaded all the goodies I brought for friend 1. That afternoon was spent getting caught up with friend 1 and getting to know friend 2 while I sweated profusely through most of it. This is why I didn't take any pictures while there. Sorry about that.

Builder Bill, The Groom, Sweaty Moi!

The groom arrived as scheduled that evening. He got a little lost so I had to drive over to Niland and lead him in. His reactions ran through the normal spectrum of anyone whose never seen a place like this in person before. Mostly they were good, but yes he was a little concerned about his safety at first. That all changed after some dinner, beers, and great convos with friend one and two. Later that night the questions about how do you, or would you handle this and that flowed out of him. It's always fun to see how a person can have their perception changed and why one would choose to live a lifestyle so different than what's considered the norm. He's been well aware of my plans and the reality of it hit him when he had a chance to experience it first hand. Granted Slab City (to the uninitiated) would appear to be the darker side of this life, but I think his perspective would be a little less ominous had he come in the winter when more people are around. Right after dinner the wind finally died out. This is also the exact moment when I realized that sometime earlier I had stopped perspiring and only because my skin became sieve like again. It was also now that the groom realized how much he had his heart set on camping in Joshua Tree (the originally plan). I tried to verbally agree but since there was so much water coming off me, everyone only heard a gurgle. Since this was a Sat night we had to make a pilgrimage over to The Range to see the weekly talent show there. We hung out for a few songs and then made our departure for Joshua Tree. Two hours later we arrived, made camp, and crashed.

Camp Bachelor!


  1. Glad you made it back to the Slabs! I won't be back until cooler weather:).

  2. Sounds like your having a good time!

    1. So far yes! Although there have been a few close calls. I am staying with family and you know how they can make you crazy.