Leonard Knight lived alone in the desert for twenty-eight years, building a mountain to share his message: "Love God, love Jesus, and love the people."
To build Salvation Mountain, Leonard used adobe, straw, materials from the local dump, and thousands of gallons of paint.
When his health failed, Leonard's friends rallied to save his life. On Sunday, May 19th, he returned to the mountain for one day to see how a new generation of caretakers have preserved his life's work.
Images and footage courtesy of: Getty Images, HeuMoore Productions, Dan Westfall, & Cookie Richardson.
Video produced by Jennie Josephson. Editor: Mario Framingheddu. Directors of Photography: Victor Velazquez, Ricky Montalvo, and Mario Framingheddu. Audio by James Kelly and Shaun Cunningham. Graphics by Todd Tanner for Yahoo! Studios. Executive Producer: Anna Robertson
Arts reporter Angela Carone of KPBS San Diego chronicled "The Fight to Save Salvation Mountain" in January 2012.
The late, great Huell Howser profiled Leonard twice: Watch 2009's "Desert Adventures-California's Gold Special"
In 2007, Leonard appeared in the feature film "Into The Wild" directed by Sean Penn.
In 2006, then sixteen-year-old John Moore spent a week with Leonard. John produced this documentary: "A Lifetime of Childlike Faith: The Leonard Knight Story"
And in 1993, Tony Perry of the Los Angeles Times wrote "Tell it on the mountain - Modern Day John the Baptist's Hill in the Desert Is a Multicolored Obsession."