Salvation Mountain – Amazing!

I went to Salvation Mountain today that is at the entrance to Slab City in California.  Resident Leonard Knight created this beautiful mountain and other works of art near it from items he found discarded in the desert along with a ton of paint, to show his love for God. He worked on it for two decades and it is now a designated National Folk Site. He passed away a few years ago so there are other people maintaining it now. Leonard and his mountain were feautured in the movie Into the Wild that you may have seen. I also went to another part of Slab City called East Jesus where a lot of artists also created art from items discarded in the desert. There is no shortage of discarded items in Slab City because they have no garbage pick up. It’s called Slab City because of the slabs that remained there after the military abandoned the area. It is a city created by people that just moved out there because it’s free government land to live on with no rules. You would think names like Salvation Mountain and East Jesus would make it a nice place. Not so. I was going to stay there a few nights until I drove around. It is mostly people living in falling apart RVs and some RVs with missing sides to them and missing windows and a lot of shacks people created out of pieces of wood, plastic and discarded items (definitely not artwork) with ‘occupied’ or ‘keep out’ spray painted on them and lots of old tents with tons of garbage surrounding them. I wanted to take pictures but it didn’t seem right plus I was a little scared somebody would see and come after me. I met a nice guy there that said I could park between his truck and this group of men called the ‘goonies’ (not sure what they are about). I am sure there are some more nice people there but a lot of people I saw looked pretty scary to me. I was told there are a lot of drug addicts and crime there but there’s a snowbird population that comes down in the winter that sets up their own area where they have a neighborhood watch. I tried to find the snowbirds or anyone else that looked like they were a decent group of people to park near but after driving through a lot of the area I decided to trust my gut instinct which told me ‘Get the f— outta here’ so I did. Sorry my gut curses sometimes. It was worth going there though just to see Salvation Mountain. I love that mountain. Maybe I’ll go back to Slab City one day with a group and we can form our own neighborhood watch. I am back camping with my people in Ehrenberg, Arizona now, where I feel safe. img_4623

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