A News about Love


star rain

The News

Recently, In Colorado Desert (California, U.S.), a Salvation Mountain has been built. What endowed this mountain with beauty was an old man’s faith. He was the unique resident of this area and created the ornately Salvation Mountain with his hands and life.


The Story

1931, there was a barren desert. At the same year, an ordinary boy was born on a farm. Like what other teenagers did, he went to school, joined the United States Army, and finally became a guitar teacher.

Until 1967, he found his faith. He believed “God is love” into his heart, and then decided build a salvation mountain in the desert in order to spread love and happiness to the bleak desert.


Leonard Knight and Salvation mountain.  Salton Sea, California.  Slab City.


Sand was embedded into his wrinkles. Exposure to sunlight made his skin become rough and redness. Malnutrition let him be emaciated gradually. But his passion has been unwavering.


1old man


There are no people, no electricity, and no water. The old man got up at 5 o’clock every morning, then rode his old bike to fetch water.

Sometimes, he spent half a day at the dump to find half a gallon of paint of which only half was usable. Afterwards, he used cement to stick materials from garbage heap together by hands.




Rome was not built in a day and neither was the salvation mountain. After one thousand four hundred and sixty days and nights, it had the initial appearance.


old mountain


However, a fierce wind gave him a trick. His outcomes collapsed beyond recognition.


broken mountain


That night maybe was the saddest night. Gentle moonlight comforted this ruined landscape and his sorrow. The next morning, he still got up at 5 am to collect water and paint as before. He still thanked god for showing him that the mountain was not safe, and he need try harder.

The old man sacrificed more than 20 years for the desert. During this period of time, the outside world has developed rapidly. The Internet connects the whole world. He was still living in the most primitive way of life: no water, no electricity, no mobiles, and no neighbor.




At first, just a few people knew him. They went through the vast desert, and suddenly were fascinated by a colorful mountain.




Subsequently, Salvation Mountain began to appear in the films, news, and fashion magazines. More and more people came to Colorado Desert to listen to stories of the old man and the mountain. But his health condition became worse and worse.





Although he could hardly see where to walk, he did not want to give up painting.

Although he suffered from alzheimer’s disease, he was not willing to leave the desert.




At 2014, the old man ran out of his last paint. Since then, he went to the heaven,and became a god’s gardener.

People who are moved by his story held a small farewell ceremony. Then people knew how simple his relics were: an old guitar, a pair of shoes which were full of paint, and a chair.





His name is Leonard Knight.

Maybe writing his name at the end is correct because you already realize his lonely life.

If one day you will go through Colorado Desert, please do not rush your time because here was a lonely man contributed his entire life to build a beautiful longing for us.

分割线jpgphotos from:





3 thoughts on “A News about Love

  1. Geoff Cook says:

    Celine, what a beautiful blog topic you’ve presented here! I’m especially glad that you told the story of Salvation Mountain through the heavy use of imagery. They really excite the eyes and demonstrate the uniqueness of what Leonard Knight created in the desert. His personal story seems like it holds a symbolic connection to Jesus’ 40 days in the desert too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Do Bo says:

    Celine. Me and my wife moved to California from New Hampshire to help care for him during his final couple years in a care facility in El Cajon, CA. We got to meet him once on December 31, 2012. After that, we decided to move here for him. However, beyond our control, Leonard passed away in that facility only a matter of weeks before we arrived in California. Since being here, we have learned quite a bit about him through our friendship with Pat Rea, a local videographer who had spent hundreds of hours talking and interviewing Leonard. He has been working on a documentary for the past 10 years almost and it has not been released yet, but it should be set to be released fairly soon. You should keep an eye out for it as there is a lot to his story. He was far from a lonely man. He actually sometimes felt he couldn’t be alone enough, especially with the amount of visitors he started receiving after the release of ‘Into the Wild’. But Leonard had neighbors and people there to help him and encourage him a long the way. It’s definitely a barren wasteland, but not one he lived in alone. He has a very cool story and you should keep your eye out for the release of the documentary. I believe it’s going to be titled “The Love Story of Leonard Knight”. But the creator is our good friend, Pat Rea, so if you look him up, you will definitely be able to find info on it. I thank you much for sharing your writings about Leonard. His story is truly remarkable and the thousands of lives he touched has made such an impact. It’s the whole reason we are out in California now.


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