As soon as you enter Slab City, you will be welcomed by Salvation Mountain. It is the creation of Leonard Knight. He started building this in 1984. In 1994, the County tried to have it torn down, but today it is registered as a National Folk Art Site.
There are flowers, waterfalls, and the Sea of Galilee depicted, along with messages of love and repentance.
This structure is nothing short of monumental. I can’t imagine the drive he had to build in the blazing sun of the Sonoran Desert. He built using adobe clay, straw, tires, and anything he could find. Then, he painted it all. Of course, this structure needs constant maintenance, and there is a non-profit group that works to preserve it.
You can climb the mountain by following the “yellow brick road.” It is a little precarious, so I feel for those volunteers who willingly go up to painstakingly apply paint.
Paul and Ted at the top:
Looking down from the top:
Adjacent to the mountain is the “Hogan.” It is built from 80 bails of straw. I found it peaceful and a reprieve from the blazing sun.
Around the structure are several vehicles, also decorated, including an Airstream.
At the top and out a little way there was a geocache, so we were able to deposit the Travel Bug we got near Yuma.
Overall, I loved Salvation Mountain. It is a masterpiece. It was uplifting and cheerful. I couldn’t help comparing it to the Sistine Chapel, which I found to be oppressive. And, Salvation Mountain is free!
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