November 24, 2012

Since neither of us could go home this Thanksgiving Break, Christian and I decided to go to a few places we’ve been wanting to see for awhile but just haven’t had the time to visit.

On Wednesday afternoon, we went to Corona Del Mar. I LOVE walking around looking inside tide pools…this time we found all sorts of anemones. No starfish, but I was delighted to find Christian’s face inside one of the pools.

Thursday was a big day. We got an early start and drove 3 hours to Salvation Mountain. I have been waiting for years to go to this place, and it was just as beautiful as I imagined (and by “as I imagined,” I mean “as all the pictures online that I drooled over”). The “mountain” has a really interesting history… it was all built by one man, Leonard Knight, who used to live right near it in one of those trucks you see past Christian in the second picture.

After climbing all around and inside the mountain, Christian and I ate lunch at a (/the only?) local diner. It was delicious and also kind of sad (we were actually shocked anything was open on Thanksgiving Day, especially because the place felt like a ghost town).

Next, we went to a place called “Slab City,” just a few miles away from Salvation Mountain. It’s basically a community of squatters, but the diversity of the place is what made it so interesting/confusing/scary. One one side of the road there was a group of people with guitars laughing next to a rainbow school bus covered in flowers, and on the other side there was a trailer with a confederate flag waving high. (I didn’t take any pictures because I was already feeling a little too inappropriately tourist-y for the place).

Then we headed to the Salton Sea, famous for its shores lined with dead fish (instead of sand, there are fish bones everywhere…see the second picture). We also found this strangely beautiful red-ish pond(?) by the sea…it was especially strange because in the car just beforehand, we were listening to a Radiolab (on NPR) about why Homer described the sea as “wine dark” in the first lines of the Iliad. (Although, admittedly, the water we found was more like tomato soup than wine…).

Our last stop was a place called Pioneertown, a small town built as an Old West movie set in the 1940s, and still maintained today. All the little shops were closed because of the holiday, but it was cool wandering the dusty roads by ourselves (that is, until I bare-footedly stepped on about 10,000 mini burrs…ha).

On our way home, we stopped by our friend Joel’s house for some Thanksgiving leftovers and board games. I was happy to spend at least part of the day with a big, happy family, because to be honest, even awesome mini road trips are not as good as spending the day eating and being lazy with family. Also, there really are few funnier things than playing Pictionary with 6 little kids.

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