We left Salvation Mountain and headed down the dirt road towards East Jesus. This was ultimately the destination for our off the grid day trip from our cushy digs in the Palm Desert. We had read about an artist community in East Jesus and were eager to see their outdoor sculpture garden.
The road leading there was beyond bizarre. More rusted out trailers, twenty or so washing machines lined up in a row in the middle of the desert. We then saw a sign that said Slab City. Slab City was a collection of tents and rusted out trailers, broken down buses. One large tent had a sign that said “Martini Lounge, Live Music Nightly” another said “Furniture and Crystals for Sale”. In front of the tents people sat on lawn chairs and waved at us as we drove by. It looked like a movie set from Mad Max or A Boy and His Dog.
I thought about stopping but I had my sister and wife with me. I have another friend who attempted to go to East Jesus but turned back after seeing Slab City saying they were too scared to go on. Another musician friend went into the Martini Lounge but seeing the dark layout of couches and chairs went backed to the Salton Sea and played around a campfire for an audience of one. He said he could have played there but would have been scared to have his spouse sitting in the audience alone on one of the couches.
We came to a fork in the road. The fork was about six feet high and had a sign pointing right to East Jesus and left to West Satan. We finally arrived at the artists commune. A nice young man was there with a cute friendly dog. He gave us some information on the artist group and you can find out more about them at their website. . All in all it was a unique day trip from the Palm Desert and well worth the drive.
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East Jesus California