Friday, March 13, 2015

Salvation Mountain

Did you think like I did that Salvation Mountain was in Salton City? Check out the boxes on the map, as they are located on opposite sides of the lake! Salvation Mountain and nearby Slab City are located just outside the community of Niland. We wanted to see the east side of the lake, so we drove the approximate 13 miles north on Highway 86 to Mecca and 55 miles south on Highway 111 to Niland. The route around the southern tip of the lake to Niland is approximately 50 miles.   
This is Salvation Mountain as you first approach it. I have to admit that prior to going to it I had imagined it to be remote and possibly unsafe. It is very much a tourist attraction and has attendants that stay on the property. We saw on the Salvation Mountain website or Facebook page that they are wanting workkampers! 
  Touring Salvation Mountain is free, but donations are accepted.
Here are the rules for the property and a brief history of Leonard Knight, the man who built Salvation Mountain.
I love this picture of Leonard Knight! Look at that smile and enthusiasm! He died on February 10, 2014 at the age of 82 after having lived and worked at his Salvation Mountain project for 30 years! Here is a link to a wonderful summary of his life and his Salvation Mountain project:  Leonard Knight Biography
I didn't understand the boat at the time we were there, but then there is a lot that spawns a question! I later read that the painted area at the base of the mountain is the Sea of Galilee. Still no connection until later:  The boat - The Sea of Galilee! Was his intention to eventually have the boat in the Sea of Galilee? Makes sense to me! 
See the waves in the sea!
I love all the colors, little windows, and my hubby, Roy, standing there! To his left is the entrance to a maze of rooms and to his right are some smaller individual rooms. You'll see their entrances in the next picture.  
These doorways enter two individual small rooms.
Here is a look inside one of the small rooms!
This is one of the corridors, as you wind through the larger windowed structure. It looks like work on Leonard's mountain continues!
It was nice and cool inside!
I enjoyed the birds painted on the windows!
Isn't this fanciful and wonderful, like something out of a Dr. Seuss book?!
It's so serene and fascinating! It makes the heart smile!
This is the message Leonard wanted to share with the world!
The walk through ends too soon.
Check out the yellow brick road!  There is a sign at the start of the climb up the mountain that says, "Please stay on the yellow brick road."  What a sense of humor!
The pathway is soft, as the paint is poured directly onto the desert surface or adobe made from straw.
It is kind of strange when the top is reached, as the painting abruptly ends and goes back into natural desert. It is also not a peak that goes directly down the back side of the mountain, but is more like the painting is on the front side of a plateau. The area with the r.v.'s is the start of Slab City. I'm guessing this section is made-up of retirees that are here for the Winter.
This is the area to the left side of the mountain. We walked down a sand road on that side.
Salvation Mountain has volunteers and a board of directors that work toward its preservation. Here are a couple of interesting links:  Salvation Mountain Official Website , Salvation Mountain on Facebook