That's what I'm driving now

taking pictures for trucking and RV magazines.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Salvation Mountain & Slab City

The whole story is like out of the story book: once upon a time there was a man called Leonard Knight. He was discharged from the army after the Korean war and visited his religious sister in San Diego and he found the way to the Lord himself. He wanted to do something and his first idea was to build a big hot air balloon with big signs on it to praise the Lord. After years of working on it the balloon got so big and heavy it failed to lift. After 14 years of working on it he gave up on the balloon but not on the Lord. He was working in Quartzsite at this time, visited the Niland area in southern California and liked it's climate much better than his native Vermont and decided to make a  "small statement" as he called it about his faith before he leaves. After about 10 years more and more Snowbirds spread the news, Leonard's mountain grew and grew and became a local attraction. The government wanted to tear it down, declared it toxic because of the paint but an independent lab proved it wrong and Salvation Mountain is still standing at the entrance to Slab City, a winter heaven for snowbirds, formerly a Marine Base in WWII. He built it from straw, covered with clay, painted it to praise the Lord and get his message out about love. All the time he lived on site in a converted truck, later in a trailer. Hat off for this very dedicated man, Salvation Mountain is now over 3 stories high and 100 feet wide, you can say it's an internationally known landmark.The sad news is: we could not see him or talk to him because after working on his "small statement" for decades at the age of 80 he has been moved to a care facility. I'm glad we had a chance to see his work because without care the mountain will erode quickly in the unforgiving desert climate.

The sign at the entrance.
He lived on site in the truck all the time.
The well known landmark March. 2012
Everything here is about the Lord and love.
Slab City is just around the corner. More about it next time.
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