Auf Wiedersehen Part 4

January 5-6, 2022
Part 4 of a rock art road trip, spending eight days and seven nights driving 1,870 miles through Utah, Nevada, and California.

Our second-to-last day made up for the previous day where we’d gotten skunked twice. First Chris and I visited the Steam Well petroglyphs. There’s a road that goes straight to the rock art but we arrived to find it closed. We had to hike maybe a couple of miles round-trip but the rock art was worth it. Along the way I found two mylar balloons.

Wednesday morning in Indian Wells Canyon
Wednesday morning in Indian Wells Canyon

Bloon #3
Bloon #3

Hiking to Steam Well
Hiking to Steam Well

Steam Well ruin
Steam Well ruin

Steam Well petroglyphs
Steam Well petroglyphs

Steam Well petroglyphs
Steam Well petroglyphs

Steam Well petroglyphs
Steam Well petroglyphs

Burma Shave
Burma Shave

Steam Well petroglyphs
Steam Well petroglyphs

Steam Well petroglyphs
Steam Well petroglyphs

Steam Well petroglyphs
Steam Well petroglyphs

Steam Well petroglyphs
Steam Well petroglyphs

Bloon #4
Bloon #4


Our next destination was in the Black Mountain Wilderness, which may have been my favorite place of the entire trip. There’s a lot of flat, barren desert surrounding a volcanic mountain with a lot of petroglyphs in the area. In Black Canyon we first found a spot with some inscriptions and a little bit of rock art. Further along there were a lot of petroglyphs, including some representing corn stalks and some very large bighorn sheep.

Driving across Harper Lake
Driving across Harper Lake

Black Mountain petroglyphs
Black Mountain petroglyphs

Desert Foxes, February 26, 1961
Desert Foxes, February 26, 1961

Erik(?), November 12, 1932
Erik(?), November 12, 1932

A. Tillman, San Francisco, July 1874
A. Tillman, San Francisco, July 1874

Black Mountain petroglyphs
Black Mountain petroglyphs

Black Mountain petroglyphs
Black Mountain petroglyphs

Black Mountain petroglyphs
Black Mountain petroglyphs

Black Mountain petroglyphs
Black Mountain petroglyphs

Scout’s Cove cave
Scout's Cove cave

Scout’s Cove cave
Scout's Cove cave

Black Mountain petroglyphs
Black Mountain petroglyphs

Black Mountain petroglyphs
Black Mountain petroglyphs

My shadow
My shadow

Black Mountain petroglyphs
Black Mountain petroglyphs

Black Mountain petroglyphs
Black Mountain petroglyphs

Black Mountain petroglyphs
Black Mountain petroglyphs

Black Mountain petroglyphs
Black Mountain petroglyphs

Black Mountain petroglyphs
Black Mountain petroglyphs

My shadow again
My shadow again

Black Mountain petroglyphs
Black Mountain petroglyphs

Black Mountain petroglyphs
Black Mountain petroglyphs

Black Mountain petroglyphs
Black Mountain petroglyphs


After spending a few hours in that area it was time to find a place to camp for the night. We started aiming for Rock Tank near Shadow Valley, a favorite camp spot of ours where we’d camped twice the previous year, but I wanted to stop for the night sooner rather than later so we ended up at the north end of Soda Lake just south of Baker in Mojave National Preserve. We could see but not hear the endless stream of traffic between L.A. and Vegas. I saved the best meal for the last night of our trip, ribeye steaks seared in a cast iron pan.

Ribeye steaks
Ribeye steaks


On Thursday, the last day of our trip, we stopped at the old Hi-Lo gas station at Halloran Springs. There wasn’t much left to see there, but nearby were a couple of petroglyphs that were worth stopping for. We found a couple more mylar balloons before hopping back on I-15.

Hi-Lo Gas
Hi-Lo Gas

View from Hi-Lo Gas
View from Hi-Lo Gas

Halloran Springs petroglyphs
Halloran Springs petroglyphs

Halloran Springs petroglyphs
Halloran Springs petroglyphs

Halloran Springs petroglyphs
Halloran Springs petroglyphs

Bloon #5
Bloon #5

Bloon #6
Bloon #6


Our very last stop of the trip (besides fuel in St. George) was at the Royal Cement Plant at the north end of Moapa Valley, Nevada, abandoned for nearly 20 years. We spent maybe 20 minutes there, enjoying the ruins and grafitti. Chris and I parted ways at my house later that evening, but I still receive Snapchat messages from him on a daily basis–a glimpse into the life of a reluctant American living in Germany. I’m still anxiously awating the day a couple of years from now when he returns to the states and we can finally go camping together again.

Royal cement plant
Royal cement plant

Royal cement plant
Royal cement plant

Royal cement plant
Royal cement plant

Royal cement plant
Royal cement plant

Royal cement plant
Royal cement plant

Royal cement plant
Royal cement plant

Royal cement plant
Royal cement plant

Royal cement plant
Royal cement plant

Royal cement plant
Royal cement plant

Royal cement plant
Royal cement plant

Royal cement plant
Royal cement plant

Royal cement plant
Royal cement plant

Photo Gallery: Auf Wiedersehen Part 4