Pardon my lack of blogging last week.  I was gone for most of the week attending WPPI (a photography conference) in Las Vegas, and took the rest of the week to recover.  It was great to see old friends and make new ones!  We left Cameron home this year and while we missed him, it was really nice to have a few days to ourselves.  We squeezed in a little date night, and even a couple of parties!  Woo!  Fun times indeed!  And while we’re on the subject of the desert, a couple of girlfriends and I took a trip out to the middle of nowhere to check out this massive artwork called Salvation Mountain.  I was honestly a bit overstimulated and didn’t know where to focus.  Leonard Knight, who created this, lived on this land in a truck.  Luckily, his family recently moved him into a nursing home.

As colorful as it is, it was actually quite creepy being there.  It’s literally in the middle of nowhere.  About 1.5 hours south of Palm Springs, close to Mexico.  It felt like we drove into a time warp.   The town was full of abandoned buildings & trailers.  You see the people and can’t help but to wonder what they do there… how they ended up there… where the kids go to school… where they even buy their groceries…  On our way back, we had to drive past border patrol.  They asked us where we’re going.  We said we’re heading home from Salvation Mountain and they chuckled, “You drove all the way here for THAT?!”  We asked what else should we do in the area and their response was, “Get out of here as fast as you can.”  hm…

This is the trailer that Leonard lived in.  His blankets were still in there!

Once I walked into the actual “exhibit”, it was much more cheery… but is it weird to say that the fact that it was so cheery made it even more eerie?

So do I recommend driving 3 hours out to see this?  Probably not.  But if you have good company, it’s a fun day trip.

Share this story

  1. I love this place! Salvation Mountain is an amazing place to visit. I have visited with Leonard a couple of times and enjoy the conversations we’ve had. It was sad to hear that Leonard is in a senior home now. On our way out, we always stop at Bombay Beach to shoot sunsets at the Salton Sea. It is the epitome of urban decay but there is a feeling of peace there.

  2. Aw…my friends and I were actually planning to go out there too. I had hoped Leonard would still be there. I’m glad he’s getting better care, but part of the reason I wanted to go was to meet this odd artist that created Salvation Mountain before he was gone. A bit disappointed now. Great photos though!

  3. lol, the whole time i was thinking about how cool of a backdrop it would make for portraits too… just too bad it’s in the middle of nowhere! 3 hr drive into nothingness… not sure i would do it again, but glad it worked out this time. :)


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *