I’ve written previously about visiting Salvation Mountain. It’s an awe inspiring place, to be sure. My first visit changed my life.
Located in the dusty desert town of Niland, California, it is considered one of the Salton Sea’s main attractions.
Talk about an art installation! WOW! Salvation Mountain was built over the course of thirty five years by a man named Leonard Knight, who sadly passed away earlier this year. What struck me so profoundly was his dedication. I mean this place is literally in the middle of nowhere and he stuck it out, enduring the one hundred and twenty degree daytime heat and the cold nights in nothing more than an old trailer. He built it with no money, just from scraps and old paint that he scrounged up. He was open to people donating to his project, but he was very particular about his message. Anyone was welcome to visit Salvation Mountain except one group of people: Preachers. He found that officials from all the different denominations of Christianity would visit and try to twist his message to match their agenda. They would offer him material or financial assistance to alter his message to meet their expectations. He would tell them all the same thing: God is love. And that’s IT. Go away!!
His was a stubborn, proud and singularly beautiful vision. And it’s not just the mountain itself. Things around it have also been acquisitioned to help spread the word: A truck, a school bus, a post box, all covered with love affirming artwork.
If you live in or near Southern California, or are planning to visit, check this place out. The old man has died and it will probably not be around for a long time; it’s already starting to fall apart. It may not be for you; you might not be so impressed. But if you can visit this and not feel anything, then I really don’t know what to say.
Below are some images I shot in the fall of 2013. Enjoy!