The Original Dashboard Diary [Day 18]

May 18, 2011

"Salvation Mountain"
Wednesday May 18, 2011

Well today is the day I’ve been looking forward to for as long as we’ve been planning this trip. I told Josh the only stop we were required to make on the whole west side of the country was Salvation Mountain. After seeing the movie “Into the Wild”, I mainly just wanted to get to meet Mr. Leonard Knight. Josh, Michael, and Taylor got to meet him last year when they came here and he even gave them a personal tour. I’ll try to post their video sometime when we get home.

For those of you who don’t know much about Salvation Mountain, it’s basically a brightly colored painted mountain that is a monument of Leonard Knight’s faith. He’s been living in the desert working on it for over 30 years. He built it all with no electricity, gas, running water, heating or air conditioner. He estimates he has put over 100,000 gallons of paint into his mountain. (If you have time, go to for his full story, its SO powerful!)

We got to visit with Mr. Leonard for a little while, as he was hard at work painting. 
He had friends there helping him, and they told us that he had recently been hospitalized for heart complications. 
80 years old, just got out of the hospital, and still wanting to paint out in the desert sun . . . . mind blowing. 
He was so happy. 
 When I asked him if he would mind taking a picture with me, he agreed but then kindly said that the paint was what I needed to be taking the pictures of because that’s what matters. 
I almost cried. 
I didn’t want to leave . . . I could have sat there all day just staring and listening to him talk. 

Here’s some of our pics:

That’s Leonard in the blue and his two friends behind him. We were at the top of the mountain looking down.

Someone had this picture made for Mr. Leonard and he incorporated it into the mountain.

Look closely at the ceiling and you can see Mr. Leonard’s bluebirds that he’s sooooo proud of.

Meeting Mr. Leonard was an unforgettable experience.

They were so sweet! They gave us a DVD documentary about Mr. Leonard. 

I could probably write 5,392,084,092,834,823 more blog posts about Salvation Mountain, but I’ll save you the torture of hearing me babble.

Anyways, we went to dinner last night at The Brewhouse in Santa Barbara.

The guys were particularly excited because they served Habenero Pilsner. 
As soon as I read an appetizer called “Extremely Cruel Prawn” on the menu, I cringed. 
I knew they would want to try it. 
The menu read: Made with Ghost Chile Pepper, hottest pepper known to man. 
Warning: The Brewhouse is not responsible for anything after the chile is ingested. 
We’ve always heard about the treacherous Ghost Chile on many Man vs. Food episodes . . .  so the boys can’t claim they weren’t warned. 
They faced their fears and dove right in . . . 

Notice their clothing in the before photo.

Katie was also very brave (MUCH braver than me) and tried the “Cruel Prawn” which was covered in Habanero sauce.

For the first few minutes, they were cool, calm, and collected. 

Then came the sweat & watering eyes. 

Then they started stripping. 

Then came other problems . . . thank goodness we have no photo evidence to document this portion of the “problems” but we will never be able to forget Bart throwing himself out of our moving cab to projectile vomit on the sidewalk in the rain for about 15 minutes. 
Josh never threw up, but I’ll spare you of enduring the details and just leave you with this tidbit: He’s been reading the website most of this morning. 

They are pretty entertained by googling the dumb things they’ve done after the fact, so here’s some info we learned about Ghost Chilis. 
This article was our favorite. (click here for article) It stated that eating a ghost chile was like drinking a cocktail of battery acid and shards of glass. Mmmmmmm, appetizing huh? There’s a heat factor index called the Scoville Scale in which the ghost chili ranks at an average of 1 million Scovilles and the only other closest chili is a Habenero, which is 100,000-350,000 Scovilles.   

I was fascinated by this gas sign on the way out of town. 
Different prices for cash and credit.  

Here’s some pics of the Mojave.
For a second I thought we were in Saudi Arabia . . . especially with Josh playing music from Aladdin in the background. 
He’s all about setting the mood if you haven’t noticed . . . 

Well now we’re on the way to Phoenix to drop of our rental car and pick up the U-Haul. 
Now the real adventure will begin . . . wahoooooooooooo


tiff@thecoffeehouse said...

ok, Salvation Mountain is so cool. it all is ... except for the vomiting. ugh. honestly though, great pictures!

ms.composure said...

stumbled onto your blog and just wanted to leave you a little blog luv! Def enjoyed this post!! you def took some gr8 pictures!! and yes that gas sign would def catch my attention...New Follower via email :-)

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