Salvation Mountain, Salton Sea Ca.

It is your favorite child travel adviser, Tyler,  once again bringing you the best in last-minute vacations. Your road trip planner for the weekend getaway to the coolest and strangest places in America. How do I know about them all? My parents are contract workers in the software industry and keep moving the family every 6 months….

Well, I guess it is not too hard to realize my parents get to California a lot being software engineers and all… On one of our moves, we saw this bright hill in the distance. My parents knowing my love of odd places indulged me by stopping at it as when came by. My father cut across three lanes from the fast lane to make the left to get into the driveway…

Salvation Mountain is this hill painted with many interesting images. Around the 50ft tall, 150ft wide adobe hill are flowering, trees, waterfalls, suns, bluebirds, and many ‘other fascinating and colorful objects’.  Leonard Knight had all the paint donated to create this site and has splashed it with famous biblical quotes as colorful as the paint is. At the bottom is a representation of the Sea of Galilee, a  big red heart in the middle,  and the cross is at the very top. Its overall statement is that of love. Its creator Leonard lived in his house built on the back of an old 1939 White fire truck ‘decorated as ornately as his mountain’ and everyday works on his mountain after his coffee downtown. He lived off the grid!

He was this cool New Englander Veteran who moved west and never came back. Many Folk Artists flocked to see him and placed him in their books. He was in Into the Wild as himself with his mountain too.

It reminds me of the boulder in the Pines on Rt #539 outside of Manchester. My father told me that it used to get painted a new color monthly, but since 2001 it just has flag painted on it and no one dares to paint over it. How boring.

Funny thing is, there is no natural boulders in the Pines. My father showed me an old X-Files episode on the Jersey Devil where the trees were 100ft tall and there were boulders everywhere… Silly rabbits!

Leonard gets me thinking. He lives on the back of a fire truck, how cool is that, but he goes nowhere as I always have lived in houses, but my parents move me all the time!

 ~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. Keep checking back often for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up surprising you and becoming the best vacation you ever had! Red proved to be always full of surprises…

Cool Places in America~ Grand Canyon Caverns and the Coolest Hotel Room

What a Cool hotel Room..

Its your favorite child travel adviser, Tyler,  once again bringing you the best in last minute vacations. Your road trip planner for the weekend getaway to the coolest and strangest places in America. How do I know about them all? My parents are contract workers in the software industry and keep moving the family every 6 months….

My parents had a gig near the Grand Canyon off of Route 66. If you sing that song I will give you your kicks, kicks in the pants (My father edited this..). Well they were working for a company that created a video game in which some hikers stumbled upon an ancient civilization of aliens that were hiding in the canyons. It was a very strange game.. Never less, I got to go exploring in the Grand Canyon Caverns.

In 1927 a cowboy named Walter Peck almost broke his neck falling in this hole on the way to a poker game. Later he came up with the idea to charge a quarter per person to lower them into the caverns. Now you can take a guided tour or go on your own through them. They run more than 63 miles, so bring lots of string.

The other cool thing about them is in one part is a hotel room. Imagine that a hotel room that is:

  • Largest. 200 feet by 400 feet with 70 foot ceiling
  • Oldest: Caverns and walls over 65 million years
  • Deepest: 220 feet below the surfaces, access via elevator
  • Darkest: absent of any light
  • Quietest: the only sound is your heart beating and your breath. You are the only living thing in the caverns… The only living thing
  • Driest: zero humidity, nothing lives in the caverns, not a fly, not bat, nothing!

It only costs $700 a night. So needless to say, we did not spend the night.

One other cool thing we did there was to watch the Goonies in the cave theater next to the room. It had seats donated from the American Film Institute and had amazing sound as the audio echoed through the cave. The best part of the film was when they were in One Eyed Willie’s cave at the end. Lights reflected in our cave just like in the movie. My father said the only thing better than this was a private screening of the Blues Brothers in the original Blues Brothers bar in Harvard Square with the house sound system.

Then like many places on Route 66 there was this Dino Statue outside of the Grand Canyon Caverns Inn. I know, dinos did not drag their tales, but it is an old statue.

~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. It is now available in paperback at most bookstores. Ask for it by name. Keep checking back for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up being your best vacation you ever had!