Postcard from Salvation Mountain.

Just outside the entrance to Slab City in the Sonoran Desert, Salvation Mountain stands all on its own in the sleepy town of Niland, CA. Leonard Knight spent almost thirty years building and living in the mountain before passing away in 2014, and though it may have seen better days, it still stands as a beautiful testament to what one person can create all on their own with a bit of time and almost no money. We were a bit weary driving over and hoping that we weren’t headed for some sort of great California tourist trap, but to our surprise, we ended up being the only ones around for nearly our entire visit, save a lovely lady handing out postcards and soaking in the desert sun with her dog.  There doesn’t seem to be any real infrastructure holding together Salvation Mountain, but the positive energy in the space is palpable and the respect visitors hold for Knight’s life’s work is obvious (the walls are clear of graffiti and the only notable additions seem to be photos, notes, and letters left at a makeshift alter in his former living quarters). The lack of rules and regulations in the space is something you don’t come across very often today in America…it makes you wonder what all humans could be capable of if given a bit freedom from the doldrums of a conventional “work” life.

Peter Curtis & Catherine Litke

Sleepy Jones

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