So this is the Slabs, our new home in the desert

Our first two days in Slab City pass quickly.

Of course, the first order of business is to make our nest. 

Bridget and Spike have their bed and condo placed in their wire pen.  I put down a carpet square with their water dish on top.  That way any spills don’t make mud.  If they happen to be happy in their pen when dinnertime rolls around, I put their kibble in a dishpan and set that out on a carpet square in the pen also.  This is known as a canine picnic.

The dishpan-as-dog-dish came to me in a burst of genius. 

See, the crew likes to eat kibble scattered about, like all over the floor of the BLT.  Putting the kibble in a dishpan allows them to scatter the kibble somewhat, without spilling it out into the sand which could draw ants or on the floor of the BLT which could draw my ire.

I know a big ol’ honkin’ dishpan is not cute like a dog dish with paws printed on the side or their names written with hearts.  I’m not into cute.  I’m all about function.  If it doesn’t function . . .  well, it’s outta here.  In fact that’s pretty much what I said to Spike when he kept stalling during this morning’s potty run.

Later a portly gentleman with walking stick greets us as we set out for a walk.

He introduces himself as Rudy. His smiling face framed with white hair and beard gives him a cheerful, Santa Claus look.  He sounds like a Scot to me, but he explains his accent is Dutch, although he grew up in Brazil where Portuguese is the language, and he speaks German, so his accent is . . . whatever, who cares.

I’ve discovered it’s customary to skip whole decades of life history when meeting a fellow traveler of retirement age.

Life is too short to be bogged down with particulars!   Now Rudy’s a Canadian from Vancouver, B.C, as are many of our neighbors.

We discuss our road habits (where we go and when we go there — camp, that is), and I decline his thoughtful invitation to Thanksgiving Dinner which will be served by one of the groups here.

The roads at the Slabs can confuse a newcomer.

Loners on Wheels

Ken patiently explains them to me as the crew and I meet him on the road during our walk.  One area is a collection of club neighborhoods.

Bridget, Spike, and I don’t venture far.  If we walk too far, Bridget sits down frequently and it takes a long time to get back home.  I don’t want to push her beyond her limits, although I suspect the sitting down might be another one of her mind games.  A passive-aggressive power play, maybe?  The dog can be weird.

For solitude we walk the huge wash away from the campers.  Otherwise we walk around the maze of little “streets” and wave to those who are out . . . and keep on moving.

Getting back to making our campsite into a home . .

Tires for lawn edging! How clever!

I unfold the blue patio mat to make a sitting area under the awning.

I’m happy to see the sunlight strikes the door side of the BLT first thing in the morning, and then it’s blocked by the awning and the BLT itself as the day goes by. The refrigerator side is shaded.

I place my two camp chairs and lounge chair on the mat, along with a side table.

I give the BLT a thorough cleaning, and I wash the dishes sitting under the awning with Bridget and Spike.

The weather is absolutely perfect here.

The three of us sleep well with a light cover and a window half-open.  I’m pleased this is a quiet place by nine o’clock and it stays that way until a train whistle in the distance around five-thirty in the morning.  During the day it gets up in the eighties.  We’re comfortable inside and out.  There’s only about an hour in mid-afternoon when the BLT is too warm, but it doesn’t matter.  Our “patio” is cool, and we like being outside.

“C’mon out, Bridge!”

Ken comes over with his dog Scooter for a visit each day.

We sit in my outdoor room until way past sundown. Conversation is easy with Ken.  His droll manner of speaking makes me laugh until my sides ache.  Ken pays no attention and continues with whatever he’s saying, as if it’s perfectly normal for a woman to cry tears of laughter for no apparent reason.  This makes me laugh all the more.

After Ken leaves, the crew goes to bed and I settle in for some television.

I run a scan and am thrilled to see twenty stations located by the BLT’s built-in antenna!  Oh this is great!  Surely I’ll find something good on!  I flip through the channels and discover that thirteen are Spanish, six are Chinese (one live from Beijing!), and one is English, the latter selling make-up, food processors, and exercise videos all day and night.  Oh-kay, where’s the kindle . .

Internet connection is unpredictable. 

Today I couldn’t get online until almost four o’clock.  Cell phones work, but you’d better speak your business up front because you only get a few minutes before the connection breaks, which is pretty much how I like phone conversations to go.

I was told to look out for roaming dogs.

I haven’t seen any, other than big, black Oprah who is like the community mascot, panhandling for hand-outs of love and food, even though she has a stable home.  She’s a social butterfly and Scooter’s (Ken’s dog) best friend.  Spike and Scooter, however, will never be BFF ever since “the incident,” but they apparently have buried the hatchet, unless Scooter’s wagging tail is a ruse.  Ken and I keep them apart, just in case.

Readers say they are interested to read my review of Slab City.

I won’t give a review of this place.  It’s a camp with positives and negatives, and like all the camps we’ve lived in so far, it has its own, unique atmosphere.

As Ken puts it, “It is what it is.”



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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43 Responses to So this is the Slabs, our new home in the desert

  1. Barb says:

    Looks a bit crowded — for how you like it Sue! HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING!!!

  2. Pat says:

    Enjoy your new campsite and have a great Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. John says:

    Hi Sue, I will add no more,,, Ken, said it all…. Enjoy

  4. Rita says:

    Happy thanksgiving Sue, Spike & Bridget.

  5. cathieok says:

    Campsite looks cozy. Glad you have found your niche.

  6. EmilyO says:

    I remember Slab City from many years ago and Ken is right – It is what it is – and that’s the best description and review.

  7. Geri says:

    Thinking of you and remembering the fun we had last year at Thanksgiving. We have had a lot to be thankful for this past year! The Slabs looks like an adventure of the weird but fun world! Happy Thanksgiving Sue, Bridget and Spike! Hope you get lots of turkey !!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thinking of you, too! The idea for Spike and Bridget’s photo above came from me thinking about how the crew wolfed down Thanksgiving dinner at your place last year. I hope your day has been a good one.

  8. TXBX says:

    HAPPY HAPPY Thanksgiving!!

  9. Sherry says:

    Well I’m going to stick my neck out and say it doesn’t look or sound like the kind of place you most enjoy. But you are open minded to give it a try for the experience of it. Glad it’s going well enough. Love the look of your little outdoor room with the carpet and chairs.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I like our patio rug. It helps keep the sand out of the BLT and it makes the outdoors more enjoyable when sitting around yakking. Happy Thanksgiving, Sherry!

  10. My new Casita is on order. Should be ready to pick up December 3rd. It’ll be registered it in California (long pause). Only a few more weeks of living vicariously through your adventures until we can start going on our own:-) Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. cinandjules says:

    Another day of adventure for Sue and her crew. Love your casa! Whatever your plans are for Thanksgiving….enjoy.

  12. Ron says:

    I won’t give a review of this place. It’s a camp with positives and negatives, and like all the camps we’ve lived in so far, it has it’s own, unique atmosphere.

    As Ken puts it, “It is what it is
    I like this response it made me smile.
    Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for the blog.

  13. Sandie says:

    My good buddy Lee is parked over with the LOWs. He loves the Slabs. And I personally don’t think there is any way to describe it so Ken’s answer is the best.

  14. Mick says:

    Happy Thanksgiving RvSue, Bridget and Spike.

  15. jean says:

    happy Thanksgiving. the slabs sounds like the kind of place everyone needs to spend some time in. maybe they would be more tolerant. give the crew a good scratch for all us out here.

  16. geogypsy2u says:

    Yes, it’s an interesting place. Happy Thanksgiving.

    Seems like I had Thanksgiving dinner at the community center one year.

  17. Jeff says:

    I hope you and the crew enjoy Thanksgiving. I promise not to invite you over….. 🙂

  18. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    Camping World sells a Awning Sun Screen for $109 and is the cats meow for the Casita. Mine is brown and keeps the refrigerator in the shade nice and cool. It is heavy enough that the wind don’t blow it all over the place and you can see through it too. It slides into the bottom channel of the Fiamma awning. It gives one some privacy when camped with neighbors. When the awning is straight out the bottom of the sun screen hangs about 8 inches from the ground. You can stake it down tight with the plastic stakes and rope that comes with it if you like. There is a Camping World in Henderson NV if you are headed that way. Happy Thanksgiving.

  19. Joy A. says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to the three of you from me and Lily, too, she’s says woof to Spike and Bridget.

  20. Jim says:

    Have a nice peaceful Thanksgiving Sue and pals.

  21. joey says:


  22. Susie says:

    Sue. I’m thankful for your blog. Happy Thanksgiving.

  23. Llanos says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Sue. I have just about worn out my google button following you the last few days! I tend to like the “kooky” side of things. It’s refreshing to see people who are not trying to be like everyone else. For whatever reason.

    • Pat Scrabeck says:

      Hi Llanos, I’m with you. Kooky is interesting as long as I can go in my house and shut the door. I love watching people, so much fun. Happy Thanksgiving to Sue and her crew and everyone else on this site.

  24. Happy thanksgiving, thank you for sharing your life. I hope to some day get brave enough to also sell the home and travel in a RV. I am learning a lot from you. Hopefully we can get out on the road this summer. Still trying to find the RV for our needs.

  25. Bob Giddings says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and crew.

    First, I’ve got to ask, Chinese?? Where’s the audience for that? Or is there an obvious encampment?

    Second, if you feel like an experiment in Serendipity, ask Rudy if he’s really from Surrey the Vancouver suburb, and if he remembers me and RORT. Stranger things have happened, but not many.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Bob… I don’t know why Chinese. Maybe there are a lot of descendents from the railroad building days, but I never see them… In L.A.? San Diego? It’s a mystery to me, too.

      If I see Rudy again, I’ll ask and get back with you. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

  26. Nan says:

    Enjoy your stay. We are really looking to our adventure there.

  27. Tia in NC says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Sue! Hope the dinner is good.

  28. Rod says:

    The Slabs, It is what it is…… Or perhaps it is what you make it…… Since your totally on your own to do most anything you want…

  29. Virginia says:

    Hi Sue: If you have a good internet connection most of the time (don’t know what you use), you can stream movies, news and TV shows with a ROKU. It connects to almost any TV, although one with HDMI would be best as you get movies in HD. I am assuming you use 3G or 4G hot spot modem. This ROKU makes any TV into a “smart TV.” All you need is an internet connection and the movies are streamed through APPS. When I read you could not get any decent TV, I thought this might be a good solution. 4G service is faster than broadband they say so it will be great for people on the go such as yourself. It’s pretty amazing what ROKU offers for TV service. Check it out on the net. They sell em at Walmart. Happy Thanksgiving and best wishes to you and Crew at the Slabs.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Virginia. I’ll look into it sometime. I’m not much for TV. It’s one of those things I can ignore and go without, except once in a great while I want to watch it . . . and that’s when it’s in foreign languages! Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!

  30. Jim Ebbert says:

    I’ve passed through Slab City numerous times when I was on active duty in the Navy.
    The Naval Special Warfare Group or U.S. Navy SEAL’s have a desert warfare training compound near Niland CA. and adjacent to the bombing range, commonly referred to as Siphon 10 or Camp Billy Machon.
    As a young SEAL stationed at SEAL Team 1 in Coronado, CA. we spent many days, weeks and months training in the desert near Slab City in the Chocolate Mountains.
    I have very fond memories of folks in their RV’s hailing us over as we sometimes drove through the main drag of Slab City in our jeeps, humvees and six bys commonly referred to as deuce and a halfs.
    Always with the offer from the RV folks of a cold beer or better yet a free Scotch at the end of the day. We couldn’t always partake in a drink or two because sometimes we were still working but several times we were able to.
    Here we would be sitting with some friendly folks from several RV’s having a cold drink while in full combat gear and holding our weapons. Good, fond memories.
    Do me a favor and hail a vehicle over some evening and see if the boys would like a beer or two.
    It meant a lot to us especially knowing we would be deploying sooner rather than later.
    Someday I hope to get back to Slab City just to pass out a few beers to the boys as they drive by.
    Best regards,
    Jim Ebbert

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