I'd read about Salvation Mountain over on Bri Emery's blog a couple of years ago and it went firmly on the list of places I wanted to visit. It just seemed like a really strange place to find in the middle of the California desert and rare that anyone would be so committed to a cause these days - particularly one with no commercial value. But perhaps that's what keeps people coming to Salvation Mountain.
I'm not a religious person but I respect that everyone is entitled to their own belief system, and it's (or was) Leonard Knight's belief that 'God is Love' which kept him building and adding to Salvation Mountain. It's questionable about the state of his mental health to be honest, a vet of the Korean war, he returned the US and spent a large part of his life living in the back of his van, chasing dreams of flying a hand made hot air balloon.
But he finally settled just outside Slab City, and started what would become his life's work - and a spot for religious followers, folk art fans and hipsters hanging out. Whatever you think of his intentions, his ill-health or his artistic integrity - he was committed to creating something he believed in, and these days that counts for something.
But what I found to be the most interesting part was the inside. The shrines and messages left by visitors keen to be part of something. From notes about dodging Satan in a Dodge (!) to love letters left by widowers - it was a strange collection of papers and photo's.