This gnarled old tamarisk tree once stood tall and broad next to Route 66 in Amboy, California. Before the tree collapsed around 2010, people from all over the world hung shoes from its branches, making it a world-famous landmark of the West's "Mother Road."
Shoes tumbled to the base of the fallen Shoe Tree.
Painted Cholla Cactus, Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, California.
Death Bed? Shrine, Wonder Valley, California.
In the style of a roadside memorial, plastic flowers adorn an old bed in an abandoned Jackrabbit Homestead dwelling. When I inquired, locals speculated about what had gone on here, but no one was sure. The scene of a wake? Just a party?
Roadside Shrine to Pris and Jaz, at a Rural Intersection near Westmorland, California.
Roadside memorials abound along desert roads, but this is one of the most elaborate I have seen. I wish I had found this one sooner. It has a number of solar-powered lights on the central cross and amongst the other decorations that have dimmed over time. Nonetheless, this memorial has survived the harsh stresses of the low desert amazingly well. During the summertime, daytime high temperatures here exceed 100 deg F almost every day, and often exceed 110 deg. The norm is high UV levels. Wind-blown sand abrades all in its path.
Salvation Mountain, near Niland, Imperial Valley, California.
Artist: Leonard Knight.
Media: straw bales, adobe mud, latex paint.
The structure is hollow with various interior chambers and passageways.
For scale, note visitors standing on top, next to GOD.
This work is recognized as part of America's folkart heritage.