This past summer, Petra and I explored some of California’s secrets together. This one is in the desert of Niland and called Salvation Mountain. In the 1970s a man named Leonard Knight built it out of adobe, hay, and paint to spread his message of love and God, but whether you’re religious or not, it’s a pretty incredible creation. Especially when you can experience the huge size of it, and the ridiculous heat, and consider that this guy worked on it every day and still has not abandoned it, decades later. I would like, make a clump of dirt with my fist, and dip it in a paint bucket, and then give up. But look at this thing!
Exploring Salvation Mountain made me feel like a little kid, which is a rare and sacred thing when you are no longer one and can’t figure out why you can’t just LIKE stuff the way you used to. It’s magically colorful, and the only sound was the wind whistling, and when we drove up, a black cat ran by, and we didn’t see it again. It exists in the middle of the desert, and sort of independent of time. It’s sad to say, but as someone who’s been alive only 15 years, I think Salvation Mountain is one of very few things I’ve ever seen that haven’t become a commercial opportunity or tourist attraction. Still, the best secrets you don’t wanna keep, so we hope you like these. —Tavi
Thanks to Dana and Stazia (Vision Models) for modeling. All photos styled by Tavi.