DOWN BY THE SEA
The Salton Sea, an accidental sea caused by the breaking of the aquaduct that was under construction to bring Colorado river water to the Los Angeles basin back in 1903.
The San Andreas fault line is a crack in the earth's crust that stretches from the eastern edge of the Salton Sea until it heads out into the ocean off the northern coast of California. Salvation Mountain quite possibly sits on top of the start of this notorious and tumultuous line.
Leonard Knight, who used to be a snow shoveler in Vermont, came to this site from the air. His hot air balloon crash landed here. He decided that, because he wasn't dead, it was a sign from God and he should stay. And stay he did! In thanks to his good fortune he decided to create a tribute to his love of God. He worked with the earth around him and turned it into an adobe type mixture so that his mountain has a smooth and solid surface. He added paint and sculpted the adobe into glorious colours and shapes of flowers, hearts, doves, streams and biblical messages. As you travel down the 111 highway you can see it in the distance. A brightly coloured hill in the distance, resembling a giant petits fours! When your curiosity gets to you, you find yourself heading off in that direction. When you arrive Leonard is there to greet you. Paintbrush in hand, he offers up the entire story. He lives in an old trailer that sits at the base of this hill amidst a pile of scrap, including empty paint cans. His paint is constantly being supplied to him by visitors, and I must admit that when I said my Good-byes to this delightful, polite, gentle and eccentric man, I thought that I should one day return with a can of paint and a brush!
These pictures do not do much justice to the spectacle of this place. The mountain covers 5 acres. You can walk to the top with Leonard and receive a beautiful view of the Coachella Valley and the Salton Sea. Environmental groups might see this as very detrimental to the Colorado Desert, and I am amazed that no discord has followed. Perhaps they were fortunate enough to meet Leonard and lost their train of thought. I feel lucky to have made his acquaintance! A treasure to behold!