Looking for a good reason to get out of town? Here?s one: An important art piece is in danger, and it?s your moral imperative to seek it out. (Can?t really argue with that.)
We?re talking about Salvation Mountain, the giant installation made by folk artist Leonard Knight.
Knight spent 30 years living in the desert--without utilities or running water--as he built a mountain out of clay, mud and hay. He coated the surface with paint, then decorated it with happy religious quotes.
The artist died in February, and the future of his life?s work is unclear, so now?s the time to see (and climb) his monument. Plus, its cheery aura is a real mood-lifter.
Start with a two-hour drive to Desert Hot Springs. Check into the TV-free Hope Springs Resort and unwind in a mineral bath outside your room. Then have an early supper of veggie chili nachos over at Pappy & Harriet?s in Joshua Tree. Set your alarm for 5 a.m. the next morning to drive the half hour to Salvation Mountain for sunrise--and in lieu of a hymn, cue up Pharrell?s ?Happy? on the stereo.
Salvation Mountain, Beal Rd., Niland; salvationmountain.us