Inside The California Desert Community Where Societal Rules Do Not Apply

Inside The California Desert Community Where Societal Rules Do Not Apply

Slab City is an unregulated squatter settlement in the dusty Sonoran Desert, located about 140 miles east of San Diego. In a former life, it was a Marine training base, but over the past 60 years, it’s become a community for hippies, rebels and misfits of all kinds. Living in campsites made from old trailers and campers, the 150 or so residents live free of the responsibilities and burdens of contemporary life. No bills, no jobs, no tweets, no likes, no electricity, no water, no taxes and no rules. That’s why the off-the-grid commune has been dubbed the “last free place in America.”

In 2004, Colorado-based photographer Teri Havens stumbled across an article by Charlie LeDuff, describing the desert playground and its unusual inhabitants. Havens quickly knew she had to go there for herself. “When I arrived, I immediately felt at home,” the artist wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. ‘It was open and friendly — not at all what I had expected. And the landscape was inspiring. The raw beauty of the open desert made me feel like anything was possible.'”

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