If you’ve visited my blog before you are probably well aware that the Mister and I love to travel and we especially love road trips! Whether it is a 40-day trip across country and back, or a single day road trip out to the folk art installation of Salvation Mountain and the apocalyptic desert area surrounding the Salton Sea, we love it all!This last weekend, we decided to venture out to Salvation Mountain and the Salton Sea primarily because we’ve been wanting to see Salvation Mountain for years and since the creator of the folk art mountain passed away last year, you just never know if or when it is going to close or be shut down. The area is about a 3 hour drive from Los Angeles, and it is in the middle of a desert, so we knew it was going to be HOT! I made sure to pack a cooler with a ton of water, fruit, snacks, and sunscreen. Salvation Mountain is located in Slab City, just off the main road near Nyland, California. To get there, you pretty much have to drive by the Salton Sea. The first few things we saw were muffler men, date farms, abandoned property, and dive bars.Not to mention the International Banana Museum and the North Shore Yacht Club which has recently been refurbished back to it’s hey-day with the beautiful Albert Frey designs.Then we hit Slab City which is a bunch of RVs with nomads and artists living in the desert. And then I spotted it! Salvation Mountain! A gleaming pinkish hill standing out from its drab desert surroundings.We got out of the car and the heat just HIT us! It was 110 degrees … in the shade. But we kept going and explored all around Salvation Mountain. The folk art mountain is made of adobe and paint and was made by Leonard Knight starting in the mid-1980s until he passed in 2014. Salvation Mountain is basically made of two parts: the “God is Love” mountain area and the igloo/woodsy area which was left unfinished when Leonard Knight passed away.After we had our fill of Salvation Mountain (and let’s be honest, when we got too hot to keep going), we jumped back in the car, cranked the A/C, and downed a couple bottles of water. Thank God I brought 6 bottles of water with us! At the time, I thought it was overkill, but in that moment, I was starting to worry that 6 wasn’t enough for the two of us.
We then drove the rest of the way around the Salton Sea over to Salton City just to see what was there. It was at that point that we were able to drive right next to the Sea, so we jumped out to go see it a bit closer. I knew the shore was covered in fish bones, but I didn’t really expect to see any. I was wrong. Fish bones everywhere. The smell was horrible and the flies were unbearable. The Salton Sea was created in the early 1900’s when an irrigation canal broke and the Colorado River flooded the Salton basin for 2 years. At first, the newly formed lake was a boom town of tourists, but in the 1960’s the rising salinity level of the lake started to cause the fish to die off and the area has become an apocalyptic resort town. So we got back in the car and beelined it to Palm Springs for a relaxing dinner before driving back home to Los Angeles.