All the rain we've had in Southern California lately left us wondering what Howe's Tank would look like with water in it. (For our first encounter with Howe's Tank click here.) After all, this had to be part of the magic that brought the Indians to the site in the first place. So a trip was born! And to make a long story short, it certainly did have water in it, but it was frozen! This was even better! The Tank itself continues to amaze us with the sense of awe that it instills. But we also wanted to do a detailed exploration of the general area. What else, if anything, was out there? We had found some areas on the topo map that interested us, and we had those coordinates loaded into the GPS. Before the day was over we would hike over eight miles across a lava flow landscape paved with unstable rocks from the size of eggs to basketballs. We would totter, slide, stumble, trip and stub our way to some substantive discoveries. We would find an undisturbed grouping of rock rings, as well as several other petroglyph locations, some containing big horn sheep representations. We also found some other natural tanks and a truly monumental drop-off at the edge of the lava flow. Interested? If you want to come along, lace up those boots and shoulder your pack, and click on the photo link below!
Note: Don Austin, at the superb www.petroglyphs.us and www.sandcarveddesigns.com, passed along some information about the name of the Tank. It seems that this came from a "survey report written by Gerald Smith in the late 1950's. Smith was an archaeologist who did extensive work in the Mojave and Howe was Smith's hiking companion who is credited with a lot of archaeological photography from those times." Don goes on to say that he heard a story once that "it was Howe who first recorded the site in the 1940's and later got Smith to come and do a more thorough study."