Monday, September 22, 2014

SALVATION MOUNTAIN




I have seen many pictures throughout the years and have heard the stories about Salvation Mountain, a piece of rugged rock in the California desert that was turned into a canvas for one man's vision of love and spirituality.  Beautiful beams of hope are emitted from this magical mountainside thanks to the artwork of Leonard Knight, who spent three decades bringing it to life.  When I heard about Leonard's passing this year at the age of 82, I knew I needed to finally cross it off of my bucket list in case mother nature reclaimed this inspiring piece of earth.  When someone no longer has control of their art, there is no telling what could happen to it.  While planning a vacation to Palm Springs this summer, I jumped at the opportunity to include an excursion to Salvation Mountain.  I know… Palm Springs in the summer!?  Welcome to the life of an off-season sort of traveling family with an eccentric sense of adventure!  Anyway, once in Palm Springs, it is only about an hour and a half away.  The region is ridiculously hot and you may start to wonder if you will make it out alive (just kidding -- it's totally safe, but bring water to stay hydrated and make sure your vehicle is in good shape with a strong air conditioner!).  I'm guessing less people visit during the summer due to the intense temperatures but I wouldn't want it any other way.  Crowds of tourists drive me nuts!  We almost had the place to ourselves and it was truly magical.  MAGICAL!  We are not your traditional religious family, but this place inspired us in every spiritual way possible.  What Leonard did is truly mind blowing.  You can feel his passion and love all around you and the mark he has left behind makes it feel like he is still there with you.  I will never forget the experience of visiting this place or the courage and dedication that this man poured into it with every stroke of the brush, which will forever live in my heart.  I find his passion inspiring in my everyday life and hope to capture a portion of love Leonard had to share.  This is what life is all about... feeling so strongly about your work (whatever it may be) that it continues to inspire and give hope to others even after you leave this world.  Amazing.  Inspiring.  Touching.  I hope all of you get to experience it one day!


















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