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Salvation Mountain

In the Southern Californian desert is a thing called "Salvation Mountain". It is a stunning art installation in the middle of nowhere, devoted to the Christian god. I went there the night before and spent the night in the car, since an inhabitant of the neighboring Slab City advised me to be careful about the rattle snakes and the scorpions.
Although I was the first person to be there in the morning it filled up quickly after a while.

Apparently god has even a mailbox there.

The site seems to be very popular with Asian tourists... there was even this Chinese guy who was admiring my camera and speaking Chinese to me. Which I can't understand, besides two or three words.

I used polarized filters to enhance the contrast and the colours. That's why the sky appears to be super dark blue in some of the pictures.

A semi dome structure, influenced by the way some Native Americans, the Navajos, build their Pueblitos, which stay cool in the brutal heat of the desert.

It is really awesome how much time and effort one single guy devoted to build the Salvation Mountain. Leonard Knight apparently spent 28 years building this shrine-like art installation.

That's one of the shots I took early in the morning, when I climbed atop of the mountain for the very first time. The mountain was mostly backlit at this time of the day, but it still makes for a nice composition here.

Leonard Knight not only painted a whole mountain, but parts of the surroundings as well, as this station wagon here, plastered with bible verses.

I spent almost the whole day taking pictures at Salvation Mountain. I love this location! This one I shot in the afternoon. If you want to see the front of the mountain in full light, don't even bother come before the early afternoon.

The entrance to the semi dome structure also carries Knight's message: Love!

I have no idea how this boat ended up here. Although, maybe it's from the nearby Salton Sea, another pretty weird thing in the middle of the Colorado Desert.

Visitors are supposed to stay on the yellow path and leave the rest of the structure alone. Of course there were some tourists who ignored the signs and walked all over the place. So this outraged lady watching the installation yelled at a bunch of Chinese women: "Stay on the yellow road! Yellow! And don't sit on god!"

There are so many details to see, so many different colors and shapes. The artwork is made from adobe, straw, and lead-free paint.

And that's the heart of the mountain. Literally.

From the top of the mountain you can see the surrounding desert. Afar in the right hand corner are some trailers that belong to Slab City, an anarchist Hippie neutral zone. Slab City is a settlement built on an abandoned military installation, and anyone who chooses to can live there. Besides some dirt roads there is no infrastructure though, no water, sewage system or electricity.
The latter seems to be the least problem: I saw some people had attached pretty big solar panels to their housings.

I shot all these pictures on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, 24-70mm f/2.8, 17-40 mm f/4 and the 100mm f/2, which I have acquired recently as a substitute for my 85mm f/1.8.

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