There's a vast basin in the northern Panamint Range in Death Valley National Park. Although lots of canyons and washes drain into it, there is no outlet. Not that this matters much now because since the last ice age the same gradual climate changes that have dried up Death Valley's huge Lake Manly have also desiccated this spot. If we could travel back in time, though, we might find it a more hospitable place. Apparently the early Indians found its marshy character to provide good hunting. When you have a good thing you want to celebrate it and try to guarantee that it will continue. Possibly that's what was going on in a small pictograph shelter tucked away on the margins of this depression. This rock shelter and its art work is our primary goal for today. This is going to be a group effort. The basin is huge and we'll need all the bodies that we can muster if we hope to find this proverbial needle in a haystack. Fellow desertologists Guy and Alysia, Dezdan and Boxcar Dan will accompany us on our quest.
We also plan to check in on a very remote mine that's in the area. The Mule Tail Mine, whose discovery is attributed to Shorty Harris, is thought by many to be the site of the first strike that started the Goldbelt Mining District. This small talc mine had enough traces of gold and tungsten in its ore to set off a flurry of mining activity in the vicinity. Nowadays, though, it's rarely visited due to its isolated nature and the poor condition of the road.
If you feel like traipsing around the back country, then why not join us? Just fire up that all wheel drive mouse and get to clicking on the photo link below!