According to Urban Dictionary, East Jesus refers to a place that is “way the fuck out there” or “ungodly far away.” Certainly, East Jesus, Salvation Mountain, and Slab City in general, sure felt like they were “a thousand miles from nowhere” (to quote Dwight Yoakum) — in more than one way!
Yet, logistically speaking, I’d say Slab City is easy to add to a road-trip itinerary if you’re planning on visiting Vegas, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park, San Diego, or Phoenix. As for me, once I’d personally decided to make Slab City a part of my itinerary, I was definitely interested in experiencing more of its alternative art — as per Greg’s suggestion.
To give you some background, the East Jesus art installation got its start in 2011, according to their website. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find there.
Here’s a little description from the “About” section of the East Jesus website:
“Itself a reworking of the waste products of post-industrial excess, East Jesus is a place for those who continuously interact with and remake the world around them.”
After ambling through and past lots of wacky sculptures, I finally arrived at the East-Jesus exit. That’s when I saw the donation bucket. And, basically, I felt like an asshole when I realized I had no cash on me. I mean, I’m used to paying admission fees to see art at home, and this place was fantastic, free, and totally worth the visit.
The moral of that little mention is to bring cash for a donation if you’re so inclined. And while I’m on the topic, I didn’t see a donation bin during my visit to Salvation Mountain, but the option is available on the official Salvation Mountain website!
(Hey, I’ve gotta give a plug for supporting art and artists!)
One more thing before I wrap this up — Greg mentioned that Salvation Mountain can get crowded on weekends, so if you’re planning a visit, weekdays are preferable. I sure was glad I went on a Wednesday morning, bright and early!
So Long for Now, Slab City!
I’m going to close with a quote from Rene’s blog post, “So Long Slab City (for now),” which I referred to earlier. And in case you’re too lazy to scroll back and find the link, I already provided it for you again just now! 🙂 Here’s the quote:
“And everyone who is curious but not brave enough to make the trek wants to know, ‘Is it really as bad as they say it is?’
“To that we say: do you really believe everything you see and hear on the Internet?
“The Slabs aren’t for everyone but if you have an open mind and heart you’re bound to enjoy yourself. Stick around, get to know your neighbors and do things. Pretty soon you might find that it grows on you.”
What do you think? Would you like to visit Slab City’s Salvation Mountain and East Jesus? If so, would you go as a day trekker, like I did? Or would you stay a night, or three? Maybe you’ve already been? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!
Thanks for staying tuned. 🙂