One of Joshua & Eric’s first stops on Adventure #2 was Salvation Mountain!
Salvation Mountain is an art installation covering a hill in Niland, California, north of Calipatria and a few miles from the Salton Sea. Made of adobe, straw, and thousands of gallons of paint, Salvation Mountain was created by Leonard Knight, who became a local resident an.d somewhat of a celebrity because of his mountain.
Knight started his project in 1984, and continued to build and rebuild it until he was unable to. It features numerous murals, Christian sayings, and Bible verses. Knight’s overall message was, “God is love.” His background, and the history of Salvation Mountain, is well documented on his first official website.
In 2000, The Folk Art Society of America declared it a “a folk art site worthy of preservation and protection” and in an address to the U.S. Congress on May 15, 2002, California Senator Barbara Boxer described it as “a unique and visionary sculpture… a national treasure… profoundly strange and beautifully accessible, and worthy of the international acclaim it receives
In December, 2011, the 80-year old Knight was placed in a long-term care facility in El Cajon, California, where he died on February 10, 2014.
Concern has been raised for the future of Salvation Mountain, which requires constant maintenance due to the harsh surrounding environment. Many people visit and bring paint to donate to the project, and a group of volunteers has been working to protect and maintain the site.
Check out the current Salvation Mountain official website for directions to the site, and Google “Salvation Mountain” or “Leonard Knight” for interesting interviews, articles pictures, and videos.
And if you find yourself anywhere near Palm Springs or the Salton Sea, plan a visit to Salvation Mountain. It’s worth the trip.