Lagos, Portugal

We based ourselves in Lagos for the 2nd half of the week to explore the Western side of Algarve. We were based in Tavira while exploring the Eastern side of Algarve for the first part of the week. We chose Lagos as it boasts the best beaches in...
Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain

Leonard Knight spent 28 years building, Salvation Mountain, a self-funded tribute to god using adobe clay, hay and donated paint. He lived on-site in the back of a truck, building or patching his mountain daily. Salvation Mountain is proof positive that love and faith – some may even say, madness – compels people to do wonderful and inspiring things. Visiting Salvation Mountain was as moving as seeing Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia or Michelangelo’s Sistene Chapel ceiling – even more so knowing that it was built in our lifetime by one man with no institutional funding. It’s truly an inspiration. This was Luna’s favorite stop on our Palm Springs trip. She happily calls it the “Rainbow Mountain”. The mountain’s vibrant rainbow of colors creates a striking contrast against the desolation of the surrounding desert. Nearby is Slab City, an off-the-grid community of desert residents and part-time RV snowbirds. I first learned of Slab City and Salvation Mountain from Sean Penn’s 2007 film, Into The Wild. In act two of the the film, Christopher McCandless, the disenfranchised protagonist travels to Slab City and finds a like-minded community who, like himself, have rejected mainstream culture. There’s a scene in the film where the real Leonard Knight impassionately explains his message of love to the films characters. Leonard’s message of love, transcending religion, reaches out to everyone. I was moved by the scene. Years later, I had forgotten about the mountain until seeing beautiful images from adventure-seeking desert travelers on Instagram. We felt compelled to make a pilgrimage to experience it ourselves. Climbing the rainbow-covered slopes was a magical adventure. Luna, free of...
Salton City – Salton Sea

Salton City – Salton Sea

Salton City, once a booming lakeside resort town in the Salton Sea, is now sparsely populated and desolate. The only remaining evidence of the beach boom is a road glamorously named “Yacht Club Drive”. The drive is two large lanes running east and west divided by a once landscaped median. The Salton City developers obviously planned for lots of traffic but now the road leads literally to nowhere. At the end of Yacht Club Drive there’s nothing. The Yacht Club, seemingly burned down in a fire, is a modern ruin of concrete foundation and topless burnt palm trees. Strikingly, however, the harsh washed out white beach set against the stark blue sea creates a moody, eerily beautiful scene. Obituaries of the Salton Sea and its environs have been written many times, but the people on its shore in Salton City never have taken them seriously. With the fanaticism of revivalists, many are convinced they live in Southern California`s last frontier, waiting to be discovered-again. – Bill Graves, Chicago...