You don’t need to be religious to find this sprawling slab of adobe worthy of pilgrimage. This psychedelic monument to God was built by Leonard Knight, considered to be either a passionate artist, a religious fanatic, or both. But once you arrive and are witness to the labor of love Knight spent years creating (and in the sweltering Imperial County heat, no less!) you have to marvel at the extreme commitment to detail and give respect where it’s due. Numerous concave rooms reveal tiny folk art-style paintings, with “Jesus Loves You,” “All People Are Loved,” “God Is Love” and Bible passages quoted all over the walls. Trucks and old cars permanently parked nearby are also painted with the same wild, embellished, colorful style. Visitors may not be able to walk up the giant red heart that greets them, but Knight had the gumption to build a staircase so people could climb to the top. While Knight departed this earth in 2014, volunteers (and volunteer cats) provide upkeep, monitor visitors and give free water. Get thee to this divine roadside attraction, only two hours away from our metropolitan county.
Beal Road, Niland; www.salvationmountain.us.
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