Heat and sureality.
Those are the two things I remember the most about visiting Salvation Mountian. The sun beat down on us as relentless as ever- not even at Death Valley had it felt so harsh, like it’s only purpose was to shine brighter than anything else out here.
Lucky for me though, because it made all the colors of this place stand out in brilliant contrast to the almost literal wasteland surrounding it. Slab City is the place you’ll find Salvation Mountain, or if you actually want to googlemaps yourself here, perhaps searching for Niland will help get you there. I learned about Salvation Mountain around the same time as my interest (obsession?) in the Salton Sea started and getting the chance to visit one meant of course I had to visit the other.
The parking area was half filled with cars when we arrived, people climbing all over the mountain and taking selfies. By the way yup, you can climb it, just make sure to stay on the “yellow brick road”, by which they mean the yellow painted steps or else the caretaker will yell at you very loudly and you might just slip and hurt yourself. We stayed with our feet on the ground though, wandering in and out and around, just literally dazzled by the colors. Its surreal and something close to madness, but it’s also beautiful and the passion that created the whole thing is certainly felt at every turn.
If you’re headed to Coachella, Joshua Tree National Park or you want to get away from it all by moving to Slab City (billed as the last free place in America ), do stop by. Keep an open mind, don’t go wandering too far off into the desert and keep a small grip on reality.
p.s in case you dear reader are curious, i’m not exactly religious but I could still appreciate the fervor and devotion so very much evident here