Since my last blog post which was shockingly (to me) just under a month ago I've been moving non-stop. I guess that's pretty usual in my world, but normally I don't go on a two week trip where I am conducting daily interviews, driving across country, trying to not eat gas station snacks in substitute of meals and always desperately trying to find good coffee.
Normally, I am just regular busy, but this special trip was a result of my current labor of love, a documentary I am co-directing with friend and collaborator Sam Macon. It's been in the works for over a year and a half, and the subject is Sign Painters. Yes, all things hand lettered- windows, signs, sandwich boards, trucks, boats, etc. and really more about the people behind them. The film on it's own deserves its own post so I'll stick to my trip to Salvation Mountain for the sake of keeping this short.
In a nutshell we were conducting interviews in a number of cities. Sam had driven from Chicago to Los Angeles, so he picked Travis Auclair (our director of photography) and I up at LAX. We drove directly to Big Bear Lake, then Las Vegas and back to Los Angeles in a week. We then had to get to Austin for our next round of interviews. Travis flew home between shoots, Sam & I had two days to make the drive to meet Travis in Austin at the airport. We almost made it in time.
On day one we didn't make it as far as planned. Due to a late start, lunch in Palm Springs at the Ace Hotel, a date shake at a road side stand, ogling and smelling the Salton Sea from up close and then a slight detour to see the magnificent Salvation Mountain. We got to Tuscon and hit the wall, so we stayed at the trusty Hotel Congress. The next day's brutal 18 hour drive to (almost) Austin was worth it, as you can see why with the photos below. The entire way to Austin from LA is beautiful, so much open space. So much border patrol. So much nothing. I have photos of all this carefully cataloged on my new terrible new obsession of instagram [username: faythelevine].
There was nothing that could of prepared me for when hen we turned the corner driving up towards Salvation Mountain which according to their official website "is located in the lower desert of Southern California in Imperial County just east of the Salton Sea and about a hour and a half from Palm Springs". As a lover of all wild and crazy environmental art- I had seen photos of Salvation Mountain before, but in person it's incredible, vast and amazing. Sort of impossible to describe. Visionary artist Leonard Knight wasn't working when we arrived, but if you have the time there is a number you can call to have him come from "town" and talk about his project. Please note: these photos were taken on my iphone (I KNOW I KNOW) but you should get the gist.
You need to go, full photo set is here.
p.s. If you ever get to drive through Marfa, TX, check and see if this rainbow is still hanging out.