A few months ago, during Coachella season, my friend Tien invited me out to stay at the “Coachella house” for the week! She had a couple days off before the festival, so naturally we made plans to take a mini trip around the area! First things first, if you ever decide to visit the Salton Sea, do a little bit of research beforehand! We missed Bombay Beach, so that is definitely on the list for the next trip out there! Our first stop was on the northern shore of the Salton sea, where there was a stone jetty that went partially into the lake. From a distance, the lake and the mountains look beautiful! But once you start walking towards the jetty, an odious smell emanates from the water, and the “sand” and “rocks” you’re walking on are partially comprised of fish skeletons. That kind of stuff doesn’t freak me out, but for the queasy, this might not be the place for you to visit! Amongst the rocks, there are dead, decomposing birds and fish, and decomposing fish are strewn all along the waterfront. But of course, for someone like me, I enjoy the weirdness and overall bizarre-ness of this entire place!
A little history about the Salton Sea as I understand it: it was created by an unexpected flood by the Colorado river, and the water flowed into the Salton land depression. In the area surrounding it, there are large scale agricultural fields, and the agricultural water runoff would flow into the Salton Sea. Due to the runoff, the salinity of the water increased over time, eventually killing off any fish that inhabited inside the lake. Before the salinity of the water increased, it was a popular destination in the 1920’s though the 1960’s. But over time, the lake had become so toxic, it became what it is today. (Totally smelly, but awesome!)
But of course, no smelly decomposing anything, dead fish, and strange colored waters would keep me away from getting some awesome photos of this place! Looking out by the water is still really pretty, and unexpectedly so! Photo by Tiensirin Tienngern.
After the Salton Sea, we decided to head towards Salvation Mountain. There was a lovely pit stop just before the mountain, so naturally we did a mini photo shoot right there! I’m wearing a crochet trim top from Forever 21, acid wash denim shorts from Torrid, gold mirrored aviator sunglasses by Le Specs from Nordstrom, and black Nike Air Max 1’s. Also, Salvation Mountain and Slab City are right next to each other! My only advice is that if you do this desert trip as well, start early! Photo by Tiensirin Tienngern.
Salvation Mountain was definitely at the top of my desert bucket list! Seeing it in photos does not do it justice at all! It is much bigger, brighter, and beautiful in person! The entire mountain was created by artist Leonard Knight, who felt upon his heart to share the message that “God is love”. Over the course of many years, he built and painted this massive, large scale artwork using adobe clay, straw, and donated buckets of paint. After driving through miles and miles of brown desert land, this place is a radiant pop of color within it!
In my attempt to blog about my wardrobe, I had to change outfits just for this particular location! I’m wearing a vintage 1970’s red gauze angel wing dress from American Archive, a brown leather belt from Kohl’s, acid wash denim shorts from Torrid, my mom’s vintage 1980’s sunglasses, and thrifted Frye boots from American Way. Photo by Tiensirin Tienngern.
On the right side of the mountain, there was a lovely little dome shaped cave, which to me, seemed like a small prayer chapel! There were letters to God, as well as bits and pieces of paper, along with a Bible. My friend mentioned there is a little spirit in there, but he is friendly and just asks you to pray for him. Across from the cave, there is another entrance to another mountain, but this one is a little different, you can actually go inside of it!
Walking inside the second mountain was like walking into the inner workings of the human nervous system! There was a large framework of colorful connecting branches up above, and more small caves you can walk inside of! This entire place is practically Instagram worthy, it’s hard not to take a photo with every turn!
And, what makes Salvation Mountain even better? The fact that you can climb up it! The signs say to stick to the yellow (non-brick) road, and it takes you all the way to the top where the cross is. It goes up pretty high too, so you can see the other outdoor sculptures surrounding the mountain (yes, there’s more!), and Slab City nearby. Photo by Tiensirin Tienngern.
And that is my “Instagram wife” Tien, doing what she does best! Taking photos with her phone and professional camera!
It was hard to leave this place, but it won’t be the last time I’ll be seeing it! For more information about Salvation Mountain, please visit their official website at: http://www.salvationmountain.us/.