NILAND — Leonard Knight, the 80-year-old creator of Salvation Mountain was hospitalized this week and is entering a full-time care facility, leaving the fate of his creation as yet unknown.
Knight’s caretaker, Kevin Eubanks, said Knight has been suffering from progressively worse cognitive issues for weeks and had asked to be taken to the hospital earlier this week.
“It was a good choice on his behalf, because he’s been suffering emotionally,” Eubanks explained in a YouTube video posted earlier this week. “As you can imagine, he has some pretty heavy memory lapses and difficulty with what’s going on right now.”
Knight was transferred out of the county last night to a full-time care facility specializing in dementia and Alzheimer’s after living for decades near his life’s work, Salvation Mountain.
Eubanks, who was hospitalized recently himself, plans to stay around for as long as it takes to get Knight settled and properly cared for but will then leave as well.
“I will not be here to take care of Salvation Mountain,” he said. “As of now, I don’t know who will be … That does not mean that the mountain is available for the first person who wants to take it over as a pulpit. We’re trying to avoid that altogether. It’s Leonard Knight’s creation. It was built to spread the message that Leonard Knight spreads.”
Eubanks said people can continue “to spread Leonard’s message of love by loving somebody else.”
People can still visit the mountain, and it will be watched over in the meantime, he added. The land is owned by the State of California Division of State Lands.
A phone call to the division was not returned in time for print.
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or email@example.com