*Photos by Ryan Alexander
But really, I mean it. Some of the best moments and most precarious finds are discovered in moments designed with no intent or purpose in mind. My preferred methodology applied to my travels. I have been to the Palm Desert area on multiple occasions, however, this particular venture out to 106 degree territory led me to uninhabited town, met 24 Jesus's on a hilltop, immersed myself in hippie salvation on a mountain, watched TV in a busted recliner in the middle of no where and walked amongst a valley of dead fish whilst inhaling sulfur fumes that would knock out a small army. (also accomplished this in 3 days)
If you so choose to have a similarly odd and eye opening experience, I have politely listed the stops I made along the wayward way below. Enjoy!
1. Mecca, CA: Jump out of the car and run down the train tracks (CAUTION- train is in operation and it's conductor will wave)
2. Roadside shanty: Located somewhere in between Mecca and Slab City...look for the TV and recliner.
3.Salvation Mountain: A splendid artistic expression inspired by the Sinner's Prayer and executed by the late Leonard Knight with the intent to share his interpretation of love with the world.
4.Pioneer Town: A non governed old Western movie set built in the 1940's located just off Route 62 next to the iconic biker BBQ joint, Pappy & Harriets (also a gem)
5. Desert Christ Park: Located in Yucca Valley, this hillside sculpture garden created by Antone Martin consists of massive stone Jesus's and his disciples. Odd....I know.
6. Salton Sea: Created due to an accidental break in the Colorado River, contains 60% more salt than the Pacific Ocean, hence why its wild life could not sustain and washed to its ever decreasing shores. Salton City, the surrounding township, suffered the same isolation and demise as the wildlife and left behind a deserted town in their wake.
Lastly, for apropos tunes for the journey, Father John Misty of course!