Most people aren't aware that there is a strange, colorful oasis in the desert between Los Angeles and San Diego. I heard about it many years ago and have always wanted to journey to see it for myself. A few days ago, I finally made it... and it felt like home.
The story behind it is interesting and very human. There is an encampment nearby of people who live off the grid, outside of society, because honestly, our society isn't for everyone. This place is called East Jesus. A man living there built this masterpiece to create a place where he could be with God. I'm not religious, but I believe in spirituality and energy that holds us all together. This space is filled with that energy.
Coming to Salvation Mountain was like a mini version of coming Home, a.k.a. Burning Man. There's something about the desert, with it's white-out sand storms, inescapable heat and unstoppable winds, that creates a dreamscape where manifestation is instant and you come face to face with your internal self.
Aside from a place of spirituality, Salvation Mountain is a beautiful piece of art. It's hard to believe that one person had the vision to build it. The painted mountainside matches the abandoned cars and dead trees to create a wonder for the eye everywhere you look. I just couldn't get enough.
I definitely recommend making the 1.5 hour drive East, past the Salton Sea (another man-made wonder with a magical and tragic history) to this place next time you're in L.A. You have to see it to believe it.
Photos by Anna Muravitskaya
Julia O Test is a lifestyle blogger and photographer based in San Francisco.