Monday, November 28, 2011

Leonard Knight's 80th Birthday at Salvation Mountain

This wasn't my first trip to Salvation Mountain, but it might be the last one seeing Leonard there.  A few weeks ago, he had his 80th birthday party at the mountain and I knew I needed to make the three hour trek to see him again and to wish him a happy birthday. Leonard Knight has touched the lives of so many by building this mountain out of adobe clay and donated paint.  His motto that surrounds the mountain is, "God is Love."  You will see  this phrase all over the mountain and surrounding vehicles. He welcomes everyone to visit and appreciate his work of art.  As many have seen and experienced, he greets everyone by saying, "Welcome, make yourself at home." The photo above of Leonard was taken during my first visit a year and a half ago.

Throughout the day, there were stories of how Leonard's creation and philosophy have helped them through difficult times and they would in turn, share this with him.  One by one, people came to take a seat next to him for a moment to express gratitude.  He has a hard time hearing so you can see him struggle a bit to understand what people are saying.  Several people enjoyed telling stories to Leonard about how he has touched their life in some way.  He always keeps a positive attitude with his signature "thumbs up" gesture.

My first visit to the mountain and to meet Leonard was in March of 2010.  He was still living at the mountain but since he is slowing down a bit, he is currently living in a home in a nearby town.

Salvation Mountain is a sight to see if you haven't already.  I hope it will be preserved over time so future generations will also be able to enjoy it.


Jude Nagurney Camwell said...

These are wonderful photos, Alison! Happy 80th to dear Leonard! Here's to many more - with every moment lived in the sunshine of God's love!

cumulus said...

Thanks for this, Ali. It's a beautiful tribute.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Ah yes, I too should go see Leonard just one more time. I will always have the memory of spending an afternoon working with him on the roof of his museum. It left with me a deep respect for all the hard work (and it was hard) he has put in to his monument.

Alison said...

Thank you!

Leonard is loved by so many. He's in the hospital now so I hope he has a speedy recovery.

Get better Leonard!!!!!


Rob said...

Alison, great pictures of Leonard!

I visited Salvation Mountain earlier this year and found out that Leonard is now in a care home. I would have enjoyed meeting him but his legacy survives for now.

Casita Adventurer

Anonymous said...

I too have some awesome pics of Leonard and I wrote 3 poems for him
and gave him 2 of them. Is he still
in the nursing home? He was quite an inspiration. Joyce

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