OFF THE GRID:
We took a California road trip with young artists, entrepreneurs and DIY guys Blake Washington and Morgan Gales. Here, the friends share their favorite pit stops to inspire your own summer journey, and a couple of playlists made for cruising.
"This road trip was a hell of a time, as is anytime Blake and I get an excuse to take off for a bit. We went up through Indio and stopped off at the Salton Sea, which is really an incredible sight. Upon close inspection of the sand you can sea that it's not sand at all, but tiny pieces of fish bones that have piled up and deteriorated over the years.
Our next stop was Salvation Mountain, a massive construction of paint and earth in the middle of nowhere. A beacon of one man's [artist Leonard Knight] devotion. We climbed the soft, painted stairs and explored the caverns in the back, then packed-up to go have some lunch at East Jesus. East Jesus is in Slab City and it's constructed almost entirely of beautifully, artistically put together junk. They have a massive RV that's halfway buried in the sand, a mud wrestling pit, a kids' slide that's been shot with a machine gun so it looks like a cheese grater, and all sorts of other rad, weirdo stuff lying around.
After spending a few hours talking with the bizarre and eccentric yet surprisingly relatable inhabitants of the compound, we jumped back in the van and headed off. One last stop: To skip rocks into the sun back at the Salton Sea before heading home."
"They have a massive RV that's halfway buried in the sand, a mud wrestling pit, a kids' slide that's been shot with a machine gun so it looks like a cheese grater."
Five Road Trip Songs
America — Simon & Garfunkel
Clay Pigeons — Blaze Foley
Going to California — Led Zeppelin
Stranger in a Strange Land — Leon Russell
Tuesday's Gone — Lynyrd Skynyrd
"I was actually in culture shock seeing all the crazy sculptures and things out in Slab City"
"We had a super fun road trip out to the Salton Sea and Slab City, with really rad people. We took the 10 freeway out to Palm Springs and then along route 111 to some random roads. It was unbelievable what was out there. I was actually in culture shock seeing all the crazy sculptures and things out in Slab City and I couldn't believe that people actually lived out there.
While we were out there we stopped at Salvation Mountain, which I had heard of and seen in the movie Into the Wild, but seeing it in person should be on everyone's list. It was awesome to see how much love the old man Leonard (RIP) put into it. Also, a must see is East Jesus! It's hard to describe how amazing it is, and pictures don't do it justice. The place is filled with sculptures made of found items and they ask that visitors help to keep the place growing.
The people out there were awesome: They made us tacos for lunch that were incredible, by the way. I really clicked with this old man named Mopar. He was a Vietnam vet with a long white beard who smoked a long tobacco pipe. He told me that out there it's like the land for misfit children—for people who don't fit into what we call "normal" society, but out there it just works for them. I really admired that! I also bought a shirt from them, and on the back it reads DANGER—ARMED AND BITTER LIBERTARIAN DRUNKARDS LIVE HERE. TRESPASSERS WILL BE USED FOR TARGET PRACTICE. I thought that was pretty funny!"
Scholarship — Juicy J Ft. ASAP ROCKY
Heaven — DJ Sammy & Yanou Ft. DO
Russian Privjet — Basshunter
Midnight Sprite — Riff Raff
Enjoy the Silence — Depeche Mode