Archive for the ‘Ruins’ Category

Salvation Mountain

with 2 comments

“Good gets better. Love gets bigger. Keep it simple, love everyone.” – Leonard Knight. September 2011

Salvation Mountain is a colorful art installation covering much of a small hill north of Calipatria, California, near Slab City and just several miles from the Salton Sea. It is made from adobe, straw, and thousands of gallons of paint. It was created by Leonard Knight to convey the message “God Is Love.” Another of Leonard’s expressions “Keep It Simple” refers back to his message of universal love. Knight refused substantial donations of money and labor from supporters who wished to modify his message of universal love to favor or disfavor particular groups. (text from Wikipedia)

More information on Salvation Mountain:
Salvation Mountain’s Official Website
Salvation Mountain: one man’s momument to God’s love.
Salvation Mountain – A Visit with Leonard Knight
Interview with Leonard Knight
Salvation Mountain scene from Into the Wild



Written by Nicole

September 21st, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Posted in Personal,Ruins,Travel

Slab City

with 2 comments

Slab City has been created by a small but committed community of squatters in the Colorado Desert of South Eastern California, USA. Taking its name from the concrete slabs that remain from an abandoned World War II base, it is a tragic yet romantic landscape that commands its residents to possess the same balance of beauty and beast. Unbearable temperature highs in summer weed out the many who inhabit the free space in winter leaving only the most resilient, or the most unfortunate, as permanent residents. These same people maintain the ad-hoc infrastructure that makes it such a desirable community to visit in the cooler months. Those who stay year after year could be described as poverty stricken; living in some of the worst conditions in America. Some residents would tell you this is the truth. Others fiercely defend their lifestyle as a deliberate choice of rejecting mainstream society. For these people Slab City provides a freedom they’d never experienced before. There are others who were forced here through circumstance; society won’t tolerate them due to their pasts as felons, addicts or vagrants, but who wholeheartedly embrace the opportunity to live in a community that won’t judge them. Slab City is a place for the broken and desperate and for the fierce defenders of freedom from tyranny. But more than anything else, it is what this small group of people call home. (text from Light Journeys)

More information about Slab City:
The Land of the Free (The Observer)
Parked in the Desert, Waiting out the Winter of Life (New York Times)
Light Journeys – Claire Martin
Facts about Slab City
Culturally enhanced desert boondock town.


View of Slab City from the top of Salvation Mountain


“The Range” built by a permanent “slabber” – Builder Bill.  Every Saturday night the community gets together at The Range for music, socializing and all around fun.


The Range was also featured in Sean Penn’s film, “Into the Wild” with Emile Hirsch and Kristen Stewart. Check out a clip from The Range. ** Random fact: Builder Bill has been a resident at the Slabs for 13 years as of 2011. It wasn’t until 7-8 years after Chris McCandless passed through there that Bill settled in, so The Range didn’t actually exist until well after Chris McCandless’s stay there.


The Lizard Tree Library – open 24/7.  Originally opened and run by a slabber who called herself Rosalie.  Unfortunately, she passed away in 2003, but a memorial in her honor was left in front of the library.  The library is run on the honor system – take a book, leave a book.  Many of the books, magazines and anthologies have been donated by the seasonal “snowbirds” during their travels.


John and Dave outside the church waiting for the sermon to begin.


Pastor Pat preparing for his sermon.  Prior to moving to the Slabs, he had extensive surgery for cancer and had a new outlook and view on life.  When asked if he had a choice between “normal” life and life in the Slabs, he said he would chose the Slabs because you don’t experience the type of freedom in any other “society.”


Dave, John and Laura, the church’s congregation for the day.


Written by Nicole

September 5th, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Posted in Personal,Ruins,Travel

Mike and Nicole: Detroit

without comments

Photographing this wedding meant a lot to me. It’s not very often that I visit home and it’s not often to be able to witness and be a part of something so beautiful. Everything about it was perfect. Call me a sap, but moments like these remind what’s really important in life. A little touch of home so you don’t forget your roots, creating memories that will be remembered for your entire life and the company good friends / family.

I’ve known Mike for the latter half of my life and he has been one of closest friends for the past 12 years. He’s been there for me regardless of the dilemma, he is everything you could wish for in a good friend. We even started a business together. His family has become my second family – many nights spent watching movies, chopping vegetables, fishing, lighting fireworks, beach house vacations and all around fun. I knew he and Nicole were perfect for each other when they met eight years ago. Nicole is one of the most down the earth, genuine and caring people I’ve met, it was a perfect match.

We decided to hit all of the major landmarks in Detroit – Fox Theater, Monument to Joe Louis (the “fist”), Hart Plaza, Renaissance Center and Packard Plant. Mike was actually the first person to go with me when I started exploring abandoned buildings, so it was only fitting that we made a stop at the abandoned Packard Plant in Detroit for some photos.

Be sure to swing by Forever Cherished Productions – they stood next to me and captured the day in motion. If you’re in Michigan and you’re looking for quality wedding video and awesome people, you need to hire them. You can check out the trailer from the day below all the pictures.

I’ve never been good with words, so I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking.

mike and nicole’s wedding trailer from forever cherished productions on Vimeo.

Written by Nicole

May 3rd, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Posted in Personal,Ruins,Weddings

Traverse City State Hospital

without comments

Reposting this because Detroit Ruins went down with my old server. These were from my visit in late 2006, one of my favorite places ever.








Written by Nicole

July 25th, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Posted in Ruins