My southern California adventures continued yesterday with a trip to National Folk Art Site Salvation Mountain. Built by Leonard Knight on the outskirts of Niland, California, the message is simple: God is Love. These words are painted dozens of times on the giant kaleidoscopic mountain that Leonard has dedicated his life to creating. His interpretation of the Bible is equally simple: accept Jesus into your heart, repent your sins, and be saved.
Salvation Mountain is a work in progress. Leonard accepts paint donations (we brought him pink, purple, and green) and his latest project is a sort of museum next to the mountain constructed out of straw, adobe, knick knacks, trees, and of course, massive amounts of paint. Some photos from my trip:
Salvation Mountain also serves as an official entrance to Slab City- a community of artists, squatters, and general outsiders occupying abandoned the Fort Dunlap World War II Marine training base.
It’s also a quick 17 miles to Bombay Beach– a semi-abandoned community on the Salton Sea where the fish are all dead, the water is brownish and salty, trailers are buried in the sand. You know, basically a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
For more, watch Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea or better yet, pay Leonard a visit at Salvation Mountain.