about the artist

Mecca and Salvation Mountain

OK, I know you are wondering if I have gone off on some strange pilgrimage! Keep reading.

Today, we awoke to a glorious day in the desert — sunshine, clear vistas and sweater weather. With Mike driving and Mr C navigating, the four of us took off for a visit to the Salton Sea area to the south. We drove through the Joshua Tree National Park. We stopped at the Cholla garden and were amazed to see this bad boy cactus growing as far as the eye could see.



Our first mission was to arrive in Mecca.


We arrived at the Salton Sea to find a tranquil and beautiful spot in the middle of a desert. The sea was formed in 1905 when the Colorado river flooded the Sonoran Desert’s Salton basin. It is a major resource for millions of migratory birds.


These are American White Pelicans.


We did some off road driving on some muddy roads looking for the mud volcanoes. We decided that it was not worth leaving the vehicle to walk through the mud for a closer look. I didn’t even take a photo. But, it was an exciting detour.

Our next mission was to find Salvation Mountain, an outsider art installation, and Slab City, a place where folks hook up rather sketchy trailers and mobile homes and have built quite a community.

Here is Salvation Mountain and the creator.



That is him in the red jacket. What a charming man.


On up the road we found Slab City, so named because it was originally laid out for campers in rvs. It seems to have been taken over by camping squatters who have claimed the area and say it is the “last free place.”



The area we drove through is very fertile and with irrigation, many crops grow there. I love this photo of date palms.


We ended up in Palm Springs where we enjoyed a late lunch/early dinner of chinese food. It was a fun day.

You can see all my photos, from the sublime to the ridiculous, on this Flickr set: Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Slab City.

Tomorrow, we head for the coast to see the Visions show at the Oceanside Museum of Art and then to San Diego to visit the Visions Gallery.

6 Responses to “Mecca and Salvation Mountain”

  1. Reva says:

    You don’t want to mess around with cholla; I couldn’t resist, once when I was a kid, and I learned my lesson. Years later, I named a cat Cholla; it was particularly appropriate for her.

  2. Helen Conway says:

    Come on be honest. Didn’t that cactus sign actually make you wnatt touch it – just a little bit to see how dangerous it realy was?!

  3. Jacquie says:

    Oh, yes! I was there also and we probably passed by each other. I was so stunned, fascinated with everything, that I had to go back a second time. We have an rv, but I’d never live at Slab City.

  4. PaMdora says:

    What a great slide show! I love all your detail photos of Salvation Mountain and the cacti!

  5. Fitzy says:

    I live on the “other side” of the Sonoran in Tucson, wher cholla abound. I wouldn’t trade desert living for anything!

    Glad to see you out and about and enjoying traveling.

    How are your feet doing these days, and what did you finally determine was at the root of the pain?

  6. Gari says:

    What an unusual place. Your trip is certaily taking you to different locals: I love it.