California | Recession refugees and a host of dropouts and seekers find solace in an off-grid squatter community known as ‘the last free place in America’
by Angela Lu Fulton & Sophia Lee
Posted 6/28/13, 01:00 am
NILAND, Calif.—A large white cross perches on a brilliant mountain of bubble-gum pink, Grinch green, and candy red. It looks like a Christian hallucination of Dr. Seuss—but this colorful mirage sits in the middle of a seemingly endless California desert of parched sand and prickly shrubs near the town of Niland. Population: 1,006.