So Who's Crazy, Them Or Us?

At a makeshift community in the desert, misfits and loners make a life

It used to be much easier to tell which of us were nuts and which weren't. Take, for example, a recent trip to a California desert to check out a scrubby campsite in the middle of the sand trap that stretches from San Diego to Phoenix. The nowhere setting and psycho temperature, a relatively cool 112[degrees] on a recent afternoon, tells you right away that the 100 to 150 squatters parked there this summer--several thousand others always flee the heat and return in October--are whacked out of their gourd.

But let's not rush to judgment.

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