We took a tour of the area Friday. The eight of us piled into 2 vehicles and down the road we went looking for adventure.
Our first stop was Salvation Mountain, located in the lower desert of Southern California in Imperial County just east of the Salton Sea and about a half hour from Palm Springs. I have heard about and even seen pictures of the mountain, but never expected it to be so big and, well not sure what word would describe it.
Lenard Knight is the artist who spent 20 years painting his gospel message on the mountain he built. He lives in his truck in the desert summer and winter, and has for the last 24 years. He is now 79 and gets up a 5 am to work on the mountain. What dedication.
I think Leonard will slap some paint on just about anything. The mountain is built with adobe clay and straw, and Leonard estimates he has used over 100,000 gallons of paint on the project, which has been donated by the visitors to the mountain.
Slab City was next on our tour, located next to Salvation Mountain.
Slab City is 129 feet below sea level. Located four miles east of Niland on an abandoned World War II Navy base, Camp Dunlap. Slab City isn't actually a city at all, it's more a loose community of squatters, snowbirds and nomads who've made their home on 640 acres of open desert. Some of the people live year around here with no water or electricity. Imagine living in 100 plus temps in the summer without air conditioning.
There are no comforts out here in the desert, not sure how most of the people survive.
Not everyone is living in poverty, someone has a Jaguar car.
From here we stopped in the town of Niland for lunch
I will finish the tour in my next post.