We’ve been holding this can of Budweiser for Durango Steve for 4 years. The Texas heat finally got to it and it burst inside the van. ———
Last time we were in Slab City, we met Durango Steve at Bark-Bark’s Skate Park (yep) and he asked if we could give him a ride into to town for groceries. We all loaded into Dorris and headed a few miles down the road to the closest/only store. Durango (or Steve?) hopped out and ran inside to buy what he needed and we waited in the van. A few minutes later he walks out with a 30-pack of Budweiser. Nothing else. He rips open the box. Tosses everybody a beer and says “the law stops at the train tracks.” As soon as we cross the tracks, we crack the beers and I awkwardly sipped a warm Budweiser on the way back to the skate park. Durango left us a couple “for the road” and at some point we threw some tape on it with the false hope that we were saving it for him. That someday our lives would stumble into each other. ———
Literally pouring one out for you Durango. Hope you’re alive and well.

This past week I finally got to cross one of many things off my bucket list: visit Salvation Mountain. It’s hard for me to put into words why this was so important to me, but let me try.
Back in 10th grade English, we had to read Into the Wild. The whole curriculum surrounding the book was based around heroism. Was Chris McCandless a hero? I always believed that he was, but I couldn’t ever fully explain why, and I didn’t put a whole lot of thought into at the time. Little did I know how much this book (and subsequently movie) would grow to impact me.
Over the years I kept thinking back on this book, why it stuck with me so much. To me, Chris McCandless was a hero because he followed his passions and beliefs in life. He valued experiences over material things. He rejected society’s expectations of him, and went on a search for fulfillment. All ideals that would eventually become my own.
I rewatched the movie at some point during college. His time spent in Slab City always intrigued me the most, and in the movie there’s a beautiful scene about Salvation Mountain, featuring Leonard Knight, the artist who dedicated his life to creating it.
To see these places for myself was surreal. My friends who hadn’t read the book were thoroughly creeped out. Someone spending 30 years in the desert without electricity or running water just to create this obsessive piece of art? Right next to Slab City, lovingly called by its tenants as, “the last free place on earth?” Yeah, that’s a little weird, and a lot crazy. I mean, come on, who really wants to live out in the middle of nowhere in the desert? Not someone I’d normally be friends with.
But there’s also something beautiful about it. As much as I (and most others) don’t understand this kind of lifestyle, some people find their love, happiness, and community in the strange corners of the world like this. And to see this side of humanity that’s so different from my own was fascinating, inspiring, and all together eye-opening.
Anyhoo, sorry for this long confusing post. Shout out to Mrs. Cheng’s 10th grade English class - thank you for being such an impactful class in my life.

Video village |night shoot | Salton Sea | producer (me) & art director (@briell_a ) #bunheads 😍🎥
#moviemaking #producer #shortfilm #crazy #nightshoot #filming #makingmovies #stress #coolshot #setlife #factory #womaninfilm #life #dark #ulcer #saltonsea #niland #california

Crescent Moon Setting Over the Salton Sea.

Short timelapse of the crescent moon shooting over the Salton Sea. The colorful lights in the background are from Bombay Beach.

This is 227 frames shot with a Canon 6D and Canon EF 75-300mm lens in aperture priority at 2.5 sec f/4.5 ISO 800 120mm on August 12, 2018 at Niland Marina.

#saltonsea #timelapse #niland #nilandmarina #bombaybeach #california #desert #moon #moonset #lake #reflection

Finally starting "middle of nowhere " by sara m Patterson, another book I haven't read about @salvationmountainofficial . I'm enjoying this so much 2 chapters in simply because of the way patterson breaks down the simple and uncomplicated love for God that #leonardknight carried through his life and #salvationmountain carries on. I can absolutely relate to his wish to "just be friends with god "
#saltonsea #saveoursea #slabcity #niland #themiddleofnowhere #sarampatterson #faith #outsiderfaith #outsiderart #reading

Old photos of desert graffiti 🌵 🎨
#tbt #niland #california #desert #funadventures

This place was magical ✨ photo cred: @alana_______

Off the bucket list ✔️

California dreaming, as of late.

Almost died from falling furniture this week. Conclusion: death by waterfall >> death by bookshelf. Therefore to the VA wilderness we go 😊

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