Monday, July 6, 2015

Road Trip: Day 2 - Salvation Mountain & The Free Zone

After a rough night sleeping in our rental car, we drove an early twenty miles or so and got to Salvation Mountain just before sunrise. There are a lot of strange and random places out in the desert, and this is certainly one of the most interesting. Leonard Knight, the man behind the mountain, passed away in February of 2014. The mountain is located on land known as Slab City. It's owned by the state of California and is described as a 'free zone,' meaning that you can't live there, but you can camp there indefinitely. Basically it's full of squatters and people living off the grid. The government actually tried to have the mountain demolished, but Leonard and the other residents of Slab City fought back and convinced the state to abandon their fight.

The first light of the day.

The rest of Slab City.

Just outside of Slab City is a small town. This dramatic building sat in the center of town looking completely out of place. 

I wish all abandoned buildings had signs like this.

After we left Niland and Slab City, we headed to the nearby Salton Sea. Last year we had spent a good amount of time finding and photographing all of the old abandoned trailers and small buildings that had dotted the areas of Bombay Beach and Salton City, but when we got there this time there was almost nothing left. I'm sure that if we would have spent some more time searching that we could have found a few remaining places, but since it seemed like the residents were trying to put the past to rest and clean up and salvage their tiny desert community, I decided it best to just move on.

Photos taken with a Canon 6D, using a Canon 20mm f/2.8.

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