Located in an otherwise unremarkable expanse of desert landscape between the Sierra Nevada Range and Death Valley, the sign reads: “Darwin. Established 1874. Population: 50 or so. Elevation: 4750.”
Two of the 50 residents, “Death Valley Dave” and “J,” pose with their rock art. Dave retrieves the discarded cores of rock that the local mine digs up, cuts them in slices and then polishes them into multi-colored flat discs. He calls them Earth Tokens. He gives them away, refusing to take money for them. He hopes the tokens will remind people to treat the Earth well. J carves designs into the colorful rocks he collects and then finishes the rocks with a “desert patina.” Here he shows a piece of basalt into which he’s carved an Irish knot. He plans some new designs that will incorporate ancient Navajo pictographs. J hopes to get enough money from his rock art to buy insurance for his truck.