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Leonard Knight, an artist and believer with a mission at his Salvation Mountain

May 20, 2010 |  8:05 am

For pure joy, it's hard to top Leonard Knight, the creator of Salvation Mountain, and his religious monument in the desert in Imperial Valley.

"My dream has come true a million times over," said Knight, 78, putting down his paintbrush long enough to describe his passion.

His message, painted on a three-story-tall mound of earth and adobe, is unchanging: God Is Love. "Don't get complicated, keep it simple," he said.

Simple but heartfelt is Knight's artistic desire. And a daily stream of visitors comes to visit Knight and his creation.

 "I don't know anything about the modern world," he said. "I'm just out here in the wild -- happy as can be."

Click here for the full story.

For a look at an audio slide show of Knight and Salvation Mountain, click here

-- Tony Perry in Imperial Valley

Photo: Leonard Knight, 78, an eccentric artist and creator of Salvation Mountain on the east side of the Salton Sea, near Niland.  Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times