Some places stick with you.
Some you really have to see for yourself to understand.
I know my mom sometimes thinks I'm a little bit weird. I don't help my cause, falling in love with places like this.
So when, on the way home from San Diego, I casually tossed out the idea of a quick adventure off route to Niland, CA so I could share some of my weird with her, I half expected her to laugh and go back to playing Words With Friends.
She thought about it for a second, and said, "Sure, why not!?".
45 minutes later we were driving down a dirt road in the middle.of.nowhere, rounding a corner and watching the rainbow colored Salvation Mountain come into view.
It's a pretty special place, made all the more special by the people who take care of it. A few years ago, my sister and I stopped at the mountain and were fortunate enough to be the only ones there. We hit the jackpot when we got to spend a few minutes chatting with Leonard. The quiet, quirky, mastermind behind the whole outpost.
Leonard passed away a month or so ago. His memorial service was the day before we got there. For being an old, odd man, he sure had a lot of friends who cared for him and his old, odd mountain. We should all be so lucky.
When my mom and I hopped out of the car, the magic was still there. People were buzzing around, taking pictures, exploring nooks and crannies, letting it sink in. Letting it stick with them.
As we headed back to civilization, the mountain fading into the background, my mom smiled and said "I'm so glad we went. That place was so cool!".
And I knew it would stick with her, too.