Salvation Mountain / Salton Sea


People lined up along either side of the balloon, trying to get it filled. Unfortunately, it's over a decade old, has huge holes, & is larger than a functioning hot-air balloon should be. I didn't find out until later that the thing had never been successfully launched. This was Leonard's final attempt--the balloon's now on view at Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum.
Leonard's source of hot air: a wood-burning stove on the back of one of his trucks.
"Who's the statue?" an older woman asked from the other side of the balloon. I held up Wagner. She frowned. "You don't like Wagner?" I asked. She just grimaced and shook her head.
Update, 14feb2010:

This is the hogan, a structure Leonard built around 1998-99. I forgot to take photos of it when I was at Salvation Mountain in 2000 but I noticed that day that Leonard had built into it a photo taken during balloon raising day that included Whip It! in the foreground.