The desert has seen tremendous amounts of rain, and the rain has wreaked havoc not only on the Morongo Basin, but on a nearby cultural icon, Salvation Mountain. Salvation Mountain is an art installation covering a hill north of Niland, near Slab City and just several miles east of the Salton Sea. It is made from adobe, straw, and hundreds of thousands of gallons of donated paint. It was created by local resident Leonard Knight, and encompasses numerous murals and areas painted with Christian sayings and Bible verses. In 2000, the Folk Art Society of America declared it a “a folk art site worthy of preservation and protection.” The caretakers of Salvation Mountain had their eye on repairing the chinks and cracks in the paint and adobe covering 150-foot tall man-made “mountain,” but Mother Nature got to it first. The recent rains weakened the adobe covering the mountain and allowed water to seep down below, creating mud, which led to a mud slide, causing a section of the painted mountain to slide down. The area is covered with plastic for now. A work party that had been scheduled for mid-October to paint the mountain may come sooner. A photo of the damage can be seen with this story at For more information about how you can help restore the mountain,

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