Wanderlust Wednesday: Salvation Mountain

Today we've got a wonderful guest post from Emily of The Dashboard Diary! Enjoy!

Hey y'all, I'm Emily from The Dashboard Diary! I've been blessed to be able to travel all over our wonderful country, and the one place that stands out to me the most is by far Salvation Mountain.
Last May, we took a little three week road trip for Louisiana to California and I told my boyfriend the only stop we were required to make was Salvation Mountain. 
After seeing the movie “Into the Wild” I mainly just wanted to get to meet Mr. Leonard Knight. 
(If you haven't seen it, watch the clip here)
Salvation Mountain is basically brightly colored painted mountain in the middle of the desert that is a monument of Leonard Knight’s faith. 
He’s been living out there working on it for over 30 years. 
He built it all with no electricity, gas, running water, heating, or air conditioner. 
He estimates that he has put over 100,000 gallons of paint into his mountain. 
(If you have time, go to www.salvationmountain.us for his full story, its SO powerful!)
The year before we visited Salvation Mountain, Josh, my brother and our friend were able to get a personal tour from Mr. Leonard. 
That's Mr. Leonard down there in the blue shirt, still painting away.
Mr. Leonard is extremely proud of his bluebirds painted on the skylight.
His trophy room:
While there, we got to visit with Mr. Leonard for a little while as he was hard at work painting. 
He had friends there helping him, and they told us that he had recently been hospitalized for heart complications. 
80 years old, just got out of the hospital, and still wanting to paint out in the desert sun . . . mind blowing.
 He was so happy. 
SO. HAPPY. He is hands down the most genuine soul I have ever encountered. He radiates love. Talking to him felt unreal.
When I asked him if he would mind taking a picture with me, he agreed but then kindly said that the paint was what I needed to be taking the pictures of because that’s what matters. 
It brought tears to my eyes.
 I didn’t want to leave . . . I could have stayed there all day in awe. 
Since we were there Mr. Leonard's health has deteriorated, and last we heard he was that he was placed in a local nursing home. 
If you ever have the chance to stop by Niland, California you won't regret seeing this phenomenal work of art.
Send Mr. Leonard our love!

A big thanks to Emily for sharing this great place with us and be sure to check out more of her adventures over at: the dashboard diary!


  1. Wow! That is dedication! Awesome post Emily!

  2. Isn't that crazy! I've never even heard about it until Emily's post!


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