Nov 26, 2010

Salvation Mountain

There are places that immediately distinguish themselves as one of a kind. When getting my first glance of Salvation Mountain just outside of Niland, California it was clear that we were about to experience something we wouldn't soon forget.

Created by Leonard Knight, Salvation Mountain is a shrine created from hay bails, old telephone poles, and layers upon layers of paint. Everything at the site has been decorated in such bright colors it gives the impression of a cartoon-like atmosphere. Leonard lives at the site, and despite being in his eighties now is more than happy to give you a personal tour and share his stories.

I first heard about Salvation Mountain after watching Into the Wild - a portion of the film takes place in Slab City which you can see from the site. At first I expected Leonard Knight to be overly eccentric, maybe even a little scary, but the reality is that all that apprehension disappears when meeting him face to face. He wasn't pushy about religion and he didn't seem to have any motive for making money from the visits, instead he was simply proud to share and talk about what has become his masterpiece.

I think the photographs speak volumes about the level of detail and originality that exist in this quiet site off the eastern shore of the Salton Sea. It was undoubtedly one of the biggest highlights from our 2009 cross country road trip.

You can read more about my experience and watch the original edits I made of the location by visiting my Indio Outio posts for Salvation Mountain and Leonard Knight.


Angry Charlie said...

Yeah, I just recently rewatched Into the Wild, and I have to say, Leonard has kept up quite well for the last 30 years! haha.

Alex Chandler said...

Wow, I bet that was an awesome place to visit! I email this old lady who goes all across the North West in search of places like this, I bet that guy was just as humble!

Editing Luke said...

Thanks for the comments guys! Yes, meeting Leonard Knight and actually getting to hear him personally talk about his work and what it's been like to have people from all over come and visit was just as incredible as seeing the mountain itself.

ChristianHippie said...

I want to go to Salvation Mountain so bad. It is extremely high on the bucket list. Hope it was as inspirational for you as simply watching the videos on the place has been for me. God is Great!