The View From My Windshield: The Last Free Place

Lead There be Light: Leonard Knight, 79, began building Salvation Mountain at the entrance to Slab City in 1986 (Photo: Tim Murphy).Lead There be Light: Leonard Knight, 79, began building Salvation Mountain, outside Niland, California, in 1986. I’d hesitate to call anything made from gallons of paint “green” except in a strictly colorful sense, but Knight does get creative, constructing “trees” out of stacked tires, adobe, and large sticks. Mostly, though, the place is about getting the message out: God = Love. In recent years, Knight’s legend has grown with appearances in Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild,” and the John Waters-narrated documentary, “Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea” (Photo: Tim Murphy).

(Photo: Tim Murphy)(Photo: Tim MurphyBonus photo below the jump!

(Photo: Tim Murphy)(Photo: Tim Murphy)


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  • Tim Murphy

    Tim Murphy is a senior reporter at Mother Jones. Reach him at