East Jesus is a sculpture garden on the outskirts of Slab City, created in 2007 by Charlie Russell. After his death in 2011, a nonprofit organization called The Chasterus Foundation was created to ensure the sculpture garden's future. The name East Jesus is not intended to hold any religious connotations, but is a colloquialism similar to "bumfuck Egypt", meaning "the middle of nowhere".
Shortly after I arrived, a friendly guy came outside and told me to feel free to look around. He said everything was made from garbage and therefore could not be broken or stolen because it was, after all, trash.
|A robot and his pet toaster|
Surprisingly, I was the only visitor. I spent the better part of an hour walking around and admiring the sculptures, but no one else showed up the entire time I was there.
Many of the pieces had humorous or thought provoking messages.
Many of the sculptures were huge, and clearly took a lot of time and effort to build.
|If Charles had been with me, we would have taken turns posing beneath this one with terrified looks.|
I'd like to come back to East Jesus in a few years and see what new pieces have been added and how the old ones have held up over time.
|I laughed when I read this, and then contributed a few dollars.|
|The lot adjacent to East Jesus|
|A nearby trailer|
I had a quick look at a few more derelict buildings in the towns surrounding Salton Sea.
I stopped at an abandoned marina that stunk of dead fish, but enjoyed another beautiful sunset over the silver waters.
|The salt covering the sand looked like frost|
|In some places, the layer of salt crust on the rocks was very thick.|
I reached the abandoned Salton City Marina as night fell, and captured several grainy photos, disappointed that I hadn't gotten there earlier.
I ran into some teenagers who were looking through a storage container, lighting newspapers on fire to see inside. I asked what they were doing, and they said they were just looking for "shit to fuck around with." I think I scared them off because they left in a hurry.
I drove north and parked at a truck stop for the night. It was only the end of my second day on the road, and already I had seen so many amazing places. I could hardly wait to get started again in the morning to explore the amazing semi-abandoned town of Desert Center, CA.
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