Something bad happened near Death Valley, at a place called the Divide. NCR couldn’t cut across anymore and it slowed down their reinforcements. Terrible storms ripped entire companies apart before they even got to Nevada soil.Joshua Graham
On the eastern side of Interstate-15, there is an area that is distinguished by the Clark Mountain range to the north and west and I-15 to the east and south. The area is like a little pocket that is home to, aside from our locations, most notably the Ivanpah Solar Plant and a bizarre, out-of-place golf resort.
# 133 – Mesquite Mountains crater
# 134 – Canyon wreckage
# 135 – California Sunset Drive-in
# 139 – Nevada Highway Patrol station
# 144 – Mesquite Mountains camp site
# 199 – Hell’s Motel
# 402 – Mesquite Mountains lean-to
# 133 – Mesquite Mountains crater – The location that looks to be a close equivalent in our world is called Colosseum Mine, an old quarry located in the Clark Mountain Range due west of Ivanpah Solar Electric. It is super cool!
The water at the bottom was an unnatural aqua green, similar to in-game. It is pretty important to have a 4×4 vehicle with high clearance, especially on the road leading up to the pit. It was a super rough drive. I was too nervous after that to attempt to drive down the spiral to the bottom, so I walked. It took forever, but it was worth it.
To get there, take Yates Well Road exit off of I-15 but this time, head west. Skirt around the solar plant, taking Colosseum Road all the way up to the quarry.
Another crater-like place I found was called the Ubehebe Crater, which is fairly close to Mesquite Campground. However, despite being a massive crater in the same geographical location – if not a little more north – it did not have that bizarre water in the bottom. It was still cool to stand in a crater, though. It was not from a bomb, though, and instead from a volcanic eruption.
# 199 – Hell’s Motel – There are no small homes here in the Mesquite Mountains Crater, which I suppose is a good thing, given the circumstances. RIP Dr. Rotson. In the game, I liked the mushrooms he was growing. They looked a little different than the ones growing in caves. And after my own countless failed attempts to grow anything in the desert, I am impressed.
# 134 – Canyon wreckage – In this general vicinity, northwest of Primm, I traversed through State Line Pass. This is an impressively beautiful pass between Clark Mountain to the south and Devil Peak to the north. Geographically speaking, Joshua Graham describes the location to be north of the Mojave, near Death Valley, but not in the state of Nevada, which is all correct for this location. It has a lot of mine detritus along the way, and you will emerge to the west in the Mesquite Wilderness area. If you keep driving, the road will lead to my place in Sandy Valley!
# 135 – California Sunset Drive-in – There are no drive in movie theaters in this area, but farther down the I-15, past the Mojave Outpost to the west is one called Skyline Drive-in, located in Barstow. It makes since, as it is in California. Update: I recently drove past it on my way to see Claude Bell’s dinos. Joy!
Honorable mention – Before going too much (more) into the depth of this area, I would be remiss if I did not go into a little more detail about the Ivanpah Solar Electric facility. You cannot miss it when you are driving south on the I-15. It will be the bright series of structures on the right hand side. I want to mention it because it looks very similar to HELIOS One. There is another solar plant in the correct geographical location, but this place looks much more like the in-game location.
# 139 – Nevada Highway Patrol station – There are two places I found here. The first because it is called Nevada Highway Patrol, located close to the NCR Correctional Facility in Jean. More close to the in-game geographical location is the California Department of Transportation Port of Entry Station, along the I-15, which had many state trooper cars parked alongside the building.
Either location I think is a good match for the in-game equivalent, but looks-wise, I would err on the side of the Jean location. I would also like to point out the detail that the developers included, in that they added both Nevada and California trooper vehicles, since the patrol station hugs the border of the two states.
In the real world, I found two articles about this Jean Nevada Highway Patrol Station that you may be interested in reading. One was about how the troopers clocked someone traveling 147 miles per hour (wowza) and the second was about how the troopers saved an owl. The owl was expected to make a full recovery. Very wholesome.
# 144 – Mesquite Mountains camp site – A little north of where I am standing right now is the Mesquite Spring Campground. I found it later in my travels when I was in the Death Valley National Park area. There were no tents, just a primitive camp site – but a camp site none-the-less. The view is incredible. I want to get a sunset photo next time, I forgot on this trip. Stay tuned.
Honorable mention – I just wanted to mention how identical the map is when it depicts the intersection of I-15 (Barstow Freeway) and Nipton Road. A lot of places are spot on like this, very cool.
# 402 – Mesquite Mountains lean-to – I was not able to find our tell-tale lean-to, with motorcycle and traffic cone, but I still wanted to mention it here. Partially because I did not know what a “lean-to” was and had to lookup the definition: 1) A shack or shed supported at one side by trees or posts and having an inclined roof or 2) a roof of a single pitch with the higher end abutting a wall or larger building.
2 thoughts on “Mesquite Mountains and Nevada Highway Patrol station”
Awesome write-up! HELIOS One always reminded me of the Solar One/Solar Two heliostat systems in Daggett CA, which was demolished in 2009, nearly a year before the game was released. Solar One/Solar Two was a popular landmark to those who lived in the Barstow/Yermo/Daggett area, where I grew up. It was sad to see the tower go! I like to think it lives on in HELIOS One, though.
I agree, they are definitely the spiritual successor. Also, I love the Barstow area. Love, love, love!