AGM to Slab City to Wister wildlife unit

leaving American Girl Mine BLM

Temps were going to start rising so far south so I needed a day with minimal wind for a relo. Winds were due to calm by morning on Thursday the 23rd so that was the target.

The Hwy 8 rest stop was conveniently on the way, with trash dumpsters and a hose bib of potable water. Woot!

Slab City

The slabs still amaze me; people with nearly nothing making clever use of what they can scrounge. Townies dump used tires and slabbers use them to demarc passable areas from sugar sand. Townies dump box springs and the slabbers use the metal skeletons to make fences.

Mojo’s Camp

The last time I was at the slabs I found a spot and squatted. This time I was invited to stay in a “commercial” campsite in a spot that was already rented. You bet.

I’m going to say “commercial” because it is a fee-based site. It’s run by Mojo, a friendly and helpful proprietor. Like Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke, I wouldn’t be surprised if her warm smile were backed up by a derringer under the petticoat.

west west northwest

Mojo has staked out a section of land and made capital improvements on it. It’s really an impressive effort:

  • enough power from ~2000w of panel1 to run lighting and other amenities in common areas. Smaller panels are emplaced where needed to run outlying amenities.
  • enough water (at least 1000gal) to run sinks, flush toilet, shower, etc
  • trash pick-up, with sequestered recycling
  • the flush toilets drain into holding tanks which are presumably pumped out as needed
  • community kitchen with fire pit and lots of cast iron
  • wifi from Starlink
  • common gaming area with pool table, foosball, jenga, giant chess/checkers/etc
  • there is even a front-loading clothes washer (!) but I’d already done my laundry by hand at AGM

The van is in the center of the 2nd pic.

While I am a “free is better” camper it’s absolutely worth staying a night to see just how well an off-grid Mad Max society can work. Mojo is online at

east jesus

East Jesus is an art camp, filled with everything from barely-repurposed trash to rather interesting and thoughtful pieces. Recurring themes were aircooled VWs, cars partially buried or otherwise at an angle, and dolphins.

caddy gunite side gunite inside

There was a tunnel-like structure that led from one section to another and the tunnel was really clever.

  • rebar framing
  • chickenwire covering
  • cement-infused burlap bags for the exterior

I think the burlap was infused as one would do when laying fiberglass rather than sprayed on, since the underside also seemed to be completely coated. The structure was quite thin but it was cool underneath and seemed tough. Apparently had survived the previous-week’s 70mph winds without issue.

Wister wildlife area

alone the rules at sign-in pit toilet

Up the road is the Imperial Wildlife Area Wister Unit, a wildlife area managed by the state of California. The larger camping area is for hunters and requires a seaonal pass. Just beyond that is a 7 day area. Both were empty except for a small travel trailer that looked abandoned on the seasonal side.

There is a two-hole pit toilet on this side of the seasonal area but it is locked. The single-hitter on the far side of seasonal is unlocked.

next move = Joshua Tree BLM

Next site will likely be near the south side of Joshua Tree NP. It’s maybe 10F cooler there.


mastodon comment thread for this post

  1. 1000w tilted south and 1000w flat. I imagine this gives good output throughout the year.