We took a Sunday drive to the Salton Sea area…
Mary prepared the Ghia Saturday, she purred with a fresh set of spark plugs, an oil change, and a tune… the perfect ride for an air-cooled jaunt into the fall desert.
We passed through the “resort cities” and on into Imperial County.
The environmental oddity that is the Salton Sea. A hundred years ago the Colorado River flooded this below-sea-level area. Today, remnants of 50’s vintage resorts, environmental & social problems remain.
We pressed on to Bombay Beach, Niland, and finally Salvation Mountain, part of Slab City.
We found a shady spot to park the car
Coincidentally, we arrived on the artist/creator’s birthday. Leonard Knight, 78 years young last Sunday, started this creation 27 years ago with some paint and a message.
Leonard had loads of enthusiasm and was eager to show his guests around. Inside, the Mountain has some seating areas, a comfortable atmosphere, and the lingering scent of latex paint.
This particular view was made somewhat famous in the book/film Into The Wild
A small community supports the mountain, under Leonard’s guidance volunteers come to paint, maintain, and commune around the mountain. He explained that the mountain becomes stronger and stronger over time, with more and more layers of paint. He speculated they’d applied more than 100,000 gallons of paint over time. I asked where he gets the supplies:
“People bring what I ask for- mostly exterior, high gloss paint.” he said.
“Right now I’d like some high gloss yellow.”
Slab City and Camp Dunlap are the same place, garnering different names over time as the retired Marine camp gave way to the desert, and boondockers.
A short walk from Salvation Mountain leads to the pedestals of what must have been water tanks.