THIS IS A LARGE STORY THAT MUST BE TOLD IN BITS. A story of accident, chaos, meaning, freedom and order. I come here to conduct a series of experiments as my "tribe" joins me for a week long visit. Here's the edge of the thing---a most incredible square mile---the remains of a military base closed down in 1946---squatted upon by RVers seeking free--warm--winter camping---evolving into a loose knit society of mavericks and outlanders.
But first---I show you the infamous "HOLE" ---that's it's name--located just a few steps to the right of the guardhouse pictured above. An entire community bathes here. Warm water from a nearby spring pours into this hole and is shunted under a canal to dissipate into a field.
The entrance is a bit soggy at times--but no mind---strip yourself--and carefully hang your clothes on the bushes.
Then climb down this ladder for one of the most delightful showers of your lifetime. Thousands have bathed here---an experience to brag about---Have you been in the hole? Be ashamed to say no if you've visited the slabs.
The water comes from the outflow of this warm spring a half mile away.
Salvation Mountain---made world famous in Sean Penn's movie INTO THE WILD . Google it for the full story.
Leonard Knight--its builder---now very old and feeble ---He's famous---and apparantly on fire with purpose. I wonder whether he's squandered his life.
The guy out front addressing my tour group is a refugee social worker from New York who lives near Leonard and has assigned himself the duty to protect the old man from predators. (He was robbed) Tomorrow I plan to show you scenes from the slabs heartland that struck me. and the next day report on my experiments and finally philosophize a bit.