destination: salvation

Hi all! So I guess this photo diary came much quicker than anticipated (thanks, Gary!). I went on a whirlwind of a trip to the desert. We had originally planned on going to this secret and beautifully minimal pool in the middle of the desert, but the girl who promised to coordinate giving us the key ended up giving it to someone else. It was a sucky situation, but we made the most of the day and half of us decided to trek out to the desert anyway since we had planned around this day for a while.

Our first stop: Salton Sea.

The Salton Sea was created by a huge natural disaster (a flood, obvi) and has become increasingly saline over the years. It's crazy salty now, to the point where most fish and wildlife can't survive within its waters. When I was out there, it was incredibly still and silent, except for the flies. Really eerie. Also it was really hot, around 115 degrees Fahrenheit, so it felt extra deathly.

Of course I needed to get some outfit shots in

On our way to Salvation Mountain, we came across a stopped train with all the boxcar doors flung open (we later discovered the reason for this was that it was being sniffed out for drugs by police dogs, oops). Being the adventurous kids we are, we drove right up to our favorite boxcar, got out, and hopped on.

Okay, more like struggled was a lot taller than I thought it was from a distance

We didn't want to risk the train moving again and us having to jump off a moving train like real vagabonds, so we hopped off after we took some snaps and kept driving towards our main destination: Salvation Mountain.

After driving 5 hours (including our stops), we made it.

Words and pictures can't really describe to you how amazing this place is. I've seen in it photos countless times, but never in real life until Tuesday. Salvation Mountain is an enormous art installation by local resident Leonard Knight, who hoped to bring a revival (spiritually and economically) to the Salton Sea area. He died earlier this year but volunteers and donors help keep his vision alive.

I felt like a minimal babetron in stark contrast to my rainbow psychedelic surroundings in this dress by Last Night and bodychain by Element 7. The white dress is thick and not sheer, so I didn't have to worry about wearing extra layers in the desert. Topped with this heavy-duty hardware from the original bodychain gang, I was good to go for stomping all across the desert.

The crew, minus Gary (who is behind the lens)

It soon got too dark for Gary's camera, since we didn't bring an external flash and all, so from here on out are photos from my iPhone.

Carson scaled the highest point of Salvation Mountain (the cross) and watched the sun set

I wandered around and took some shots on my Olloclip 4-in-1 lens. The lens I used here is the fisheye! I've been crazy over this kit since I bought it. It makes every photo ten times better.

We ended the night on the most amazing note--taking a dip in the Palm Springs canal. It was such a welcome refreshing swim after such a long, hot-as-hell, and strenuous (albeit exciting) day. I will warn you that if you do try this, do not swim near the water tower. That's where the dam is and the canal will siphon you into it. It's seriously not as scary as it sounds because the current is very slight and there are ladders on the side every half mile or so, so make sure to stay towards the end of this four-mile canal.

Regardless, this was probably the best day of my summer. Thanks for reading what might be my longest post ever!

Product links in post:
Milla Dress by Last Night

photography by Gary Orellana
photos edited by Coco Layne


  1. Salton sea and Salvation mountain are such cool places to see…it was so much fun looking thru these images!


  2. it looked like it was a great experience! loved all the outfits your had on <3

  3. I love all the pictures. What a cool trip
    wish I could be there.
    Salton sea is beautiful and that mountain, wauw I need to go there one day!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Much Love, M

  4. Those pants in the first photos...oh my lord, sexy!


  5. this is honestly my first time to read about Salvation Mountain and now it's on my bucket list!! one of my most favorite posts from you, Eugenie xo

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