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.

How much is your mortgage, and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!