Friday, 16 March 2012

March 16th-17th, 2010 pt.1

Today we ride south towards the Salton Sea near a little town called Niland.  Not far from here is a place known as Slab City, an abandoned Marine barracks now used by RV users and squatters from all walks of life.  Some of you might recognize the area from the book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.  It was also featured in the movie version of the same name.  If it wasn’t for Paulmer who told us about Slab City, surely we would’ve overlooked it.
One last glance as we bid farewell to the area where we got married.  Someday we’ll come back here when we’re 65 years old and hopefully still riding the same KLRs. 

We stopped over at Mecca to find a post office and have our rings shipped back to Brian Bergeron Designs to have them resized.  Customer service was very friendly and cooperative; the rings would be resized and shipped back to Las Vegas at mpanther’s free of charge.  Mecca was an interesting little town; lots of sand and lots of Mexicans.  Not sure if they knew what to make of us as we drew odd stares from everyone who walked by us.  I don’t blame them.  I would too if I saw someone dressed the way we were.  The only thing we could do was to smile and keep on walking. 
We arrived at Niland not knowing what to expect.  We knew that Slab City was off the grid and that there wouldn’t be any road signs to indicate where it was.  We did the old fashioned way of asking a clerk in a convenience store.  His directions were direct and simple, “Turn left right here and keep going.  Trust me, there’s no way you can miss it.” 
The store clerk sure wasn't foolin...welcome to Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain is the creation by folk artist Leonard Knight.  He started in 1984 and has been living and working on the mountain ever since.
The truck Leonard sleeps in
Most of Leonard's time is spent on working on the mountain and giving free tours.  Since the release of the film Into the Wild, most of his time is spent on the latter.
Most of the structure is made out of adobe, straw, and paint.

Work in progress

You can barely see Amanda at the top between the letters G and O
Amanda's perspective from above
Leonard & Amanda
150 km

Man finds his calling.
Dedicates life to his work.
Inspires many.

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