Travelling for more than five months in the US (and Canada) has opened our mind enormously.
Plenty of guys we have met told us, we see more of this country in our short travel than others do in their whole life. Probably yes, maybe they got blind, but it is their fault how they can miss this whole range of different nature and landscape right in front of their door. Of course there are thousands of miles inbetween, but in Europe you don’t have the chance to get that wide range unsettled and virgin land like here.
We’ve been at places were the US civil war was, at the roots of the Oregon Trail, where the Gold Rush occurred, seen paintings of settlers from 1816 at Capitol Reef in Utah, … So many open minded friendly people we met, interested what we do and (most of them) were helpful in every situation! Well! It is a young country, which was built on justice and liberty not so long ago. If you want, you have the opportunities to achieve everything in US, with a good idea or hard work. But government also gives you the chance to do what you want and gives you the place to do. It’s everybody’s own decision!
Our every last station in the US: Slab City
To see other dreams of the American Dream we headed to Slab City in Niland. Nowadays it was an army base to test atomic bombs, then they opened it for a free land and it got a sign for out-laws or hippies in the 70ies. Hundreds, maybe thousands lived there doing what they want. Artists, new defined musicians, people who are fed up with the system and also drug addicted stayed there living their days like it would be their last one.
One part of our favorite film “Into The Wild” (was a real story) took place there in the late 80ies. Luxury is completely the different word, but free! We visited the life time achievement of Leonard Knight, who dedicated all of his work to god. On the one hand crazy how he built his monument, on the other hand very impressing how that guy deeply believes and insist in god! It was a pity not to meet him. He died in 2014.
Our opinion about Slab City
The image of Slap City is gone, at least in our opinion. People are living like in slums or in their old old trailers. It seemed to be a dump station in every corner. Everybody who went away left his garbage there, also non working trailers, cars and so on. It was not a place to worry or to scare we thought. We hesitated, but then we decided to stay one night there. Nothing happened, but you saw plenty of crazy people on the road.
Impressions of Slab City:
Next few days weren’t very special! We stayed at a free campsite in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park, two nights in Lakeside and two nights in the Potrero County Park to get prepared: Fix Mexican insurance, get coordinates of campsites, change oil of our van, learn better Spanish,… before we cross the border at Tencate to Mexico.
Summarizing our travels in US:
- friendly, nice and mind opened people everywhere, many new good friends!
- crazy city life, not in a bad way, but kindly different than at home
- awesome nature and animals we’ve never seen before
- driven about 21000 km (13000 miles), hiking miles not included 😉
- Visited 22 states (+Ontario Canada two times)
- 35 °F (2°C) to 120 °F (49°C)
- thousands of impressions and lasting memories for lifetime, which nobody can take of you
MANY MANY THANKS! WE WILL MISS YOU, BUT WE COME BACK ONE DAY!