On a cold January day, I hiked out into the wilderness of the Old Dad Mountains in the Mojave Desert. Just driving out there was a bit of a challenge; the roads were long and rocky.

After parking the truck, I hiked up an alluvial and entered into a rocky canyon. The canyon got increasingly steep and narrow the further I went. Around a few constricted corners, I found twenty or thirty petroglyphs scattered on the walls and flat surfaces. The canyon naturally concentrates water here after a storm and it collects in shallow places along the bedrock and in natural tanks. This is why the Native Americans were here; for the chance of life-saving water. This part of the Mojave is exceedingly dry and there are no springs for many miles.