Phil Lee

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Imperial Sand Dunes

Not even sure if this counts as a blog or if it's just me ranting about the day... But hey, there's a first for everything right? Let me start with my one-day trip to the Imperial Sand Dunes of Glamis, CA on 02/25/17.

The party started when my friend called me at around 5:50 AM to make sure I was awake since we were planning on leaving Riverside at 6:30 AM. Guess where I picked up the call? In bed, and definitely not very awake. Guess where I live? Irvine, about an hour away. Safe to say, I took the fastest shower of my life and ran to my car. Thankfully, there's no traffic on Saturdays so I actually arrived at Riverside around 6:45 AM.

A little after, three of us hopped into my friend's SUV and began the 2 hour drive towards the Imperial Sand Dunes... Or so we thought. Turns out, we got our directions mixed up and drove about 15 minutes the opposite direction. In the end, everything was okay because our other friends were running a bit late as well. Summarizing the next two hours, the drive was filled with bomb donuts, recounting old memories, talking about disbanded K-Pop groups, discussing freak accidents, and good music.

For us, our first stop was at Salvation Mountain in Niland, CA. It was my second time visiting after about four years. With the caretaker now gone, there's been a few changes in the area, but the art is still a spectacle nonetheless. Even if you're not religious, I highly recommend checking this place out. One man painted the hills, trees, ground, and cars. Isn't that crazy? Also, mad props to those in the area going the extra mile to take care of the mountain. We pulled into the lot and started to explore. The lighting was really harsh so I didn't snap too many photos, but we had a good time.

Salvation Mountain is Leonard Knight's tribute to God and his gift to the world with its simple yet powerful message:  "God Is Love."  Leonard's passion has lovingly created this brilliant "outsider art " masterpiece resplendent with not only biblical and religious scripture such as the Lord's Prayer, John 3:16, and the Sinner's Prayer, but also including flowers, trees, waterfalls, suns, bluebirds, and many other fascinating and colorful objects. - Taken from Official Website.

Salvation Mountain is Leonard Knight's tribute to God and his gift to the world with its simple yet powerful message: "God Is Love." Leonard's passion has lovingly created this brilliant "outsider art " masterpiece resplendent with not only biblical and religious scripture such as the Lord's Prayer, John 3:16, and the Sinner's Prayer, but also including flowers, trees, waterfalls, suns, bluebirds, and many other fascinating and colorful objects. - Taken from Official Website.

After staying about an hour, we departed Salvation Mountain and headed for the rendezvous point in Brawley. It only took a few Bruno Mars songs before we finally met up with our other friends at a gas station. Finally, the dunes.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I remember seeing the dunes off in the distance and saying to myself, "that's a lot of sand." But, it was great. I brought a boogie board to see if I can "surf" the slopes, but it utterly failed. We ate lunch together on the sand, blasted music, watched the off-road cars zip by, and just chilled. However, more than playing in the sand, taking photos, and seeing this new side of California, it felt good being with friends. I've come to realize that that's what makes all the difference. It doesn't really matter where you go because if you're surrounded by good people, you'll almost certainly have a good time. There was good company on this trip. Met two new people, and reconnected with old faces. I'm going to end the blog here and throw a few pictures to show the rest of our time at the dunes. Hope you enjoyed! Until next time, peace!

Location: Imperial Sand Dunes

Recommendations: Unless you bring out off-road cars, I'd suggest a day trip. Remember to buy an entrance permit online at isdpermits.net or in the city of Brawley at any gas station. Bring lots of water, food, and random things to do. It's a big sandbox so go nuts!