On our way from Joshua Tree to El Cahon, we visited truely an unique place called Salvation Mountain. I’m not a religious person and with that said, going to place what is full of Bible verses and cross I felt a lot like a pagan on the holy land. I tried to put that feeling aside and concentrate on holding myself together with fear of heights on top of the mountain. When I came down from the mountain, I started to photograph the cars, because the cars were full of the pictures and Bible verses. They were quite a sight. Lots to be photographed!
Here’s a little info packet for those who want more information. This information was provide by wikipedia.
“Salvation Mountain is an art installation covering a hill in the Colorado Desert, north of Calipatria near Slab City, and several miles from the Salton Sea. The artwork is made from adobe, straw, and thousands of gallons of paint. Salvation Mountain was created by local resident Leonard Knight (1931–2014). It encompasses numerous murals and areas painted with Christian sayings and Bible verses.
In December 2011, the 80-year old Knight was placed in a long-term care facility in El Cajon for dementia. Leonard Knight died February 10, 2014, in El Cajon.
Concern has been raised for the future of the site, which requires constant maintenance due to the harsh surrounding environment. Many visitors bring paint to donate to the project, and a group of volunteers has been working to protect and maintain the site.”
Salvation Mountain has been seen also in movie called Into the Wild (2007, in Finnish Erämaan armoilla).
“The film was written and directed by Sean Penn, based on a 1996 non-fiction book written by Jon Krakauer about Christopher McCandless’ travels. McCandless met Leonard Knight at Salvation Mountain. Knight appears in a scene in the film as himself.”
Just a few miles forward in the road, after Salvation mountain, there is “snowbird” campsite in the Colorado Desert called Slab City.
Slab city is “used by recreational vehicle owners and squatters from across North America.” (quote from Wikipedia).
Wikipedia tells also little bit more about this Slab City: “Several thousand campers, many of them retired, use the site during the winter months. These “snowbirds” stay only for the winter, before migrating north in the spring to cooler climates. The temperatures during the summer are unforgiving (as high as 120 °F) (48 °C); nonetheless, there is a group of around 150 permanent residents who live in the Slabs all year round. Some of these “Slabbers” derive their living by way of government checks (SSI, Social Security, and Social Security Disability) and have been driven to the Slabs through poverty. Others have moved to The Slabs to learn how to live off the grid and to be left alone. Still others have moved there to stretch their retirement income.”
What pleases my greenish, wanna-be-eco-soul, is that “camp has no electricity, no running water, no sewers nor toilets, and no trash pickup service. Many campers use generators or solar panels to generate electricity.” Residents also finds creative ways to recycle their trash, turning them into art, walls etc.