I've been doing some investigative research and travel in the southwest. Two things that stick out: the wide range of what we call 'outdoor recreation' and the frontier spirit of the individual. The American desert has given room for both of those pursuits to breathe. I spent some time in Quartzite, AZ - the largest migratory stopover point for RV dwelling snowbirds in North America. There numbers are down here due and they have scattered throughout the region, but Quartzite still dominates as a winter mecca.
Leonard Knight has been devoting his efforts over the last 24 years to the creation of Salvation Mountain - a Land Art based billboard proclaiming the universal of message of "God is Love". I'm reminded of a passage in Paul Shepard's book, Man in the Landscape:
"The desert is the environment of revelation... To the desert go prophets and hermits; through deserts go pilgrims and exiles. Here the leaders of the great religions have sought the therapeutic and spiritual values of retreat, not to escape but to find reality."