Thursday, April 6, 2017

"Surprise" Tank

So, I left you hanging last week by mentioning "Surprise Tank" but making you wait until this week to see photos. Inexcusable!! First, a little background. Elliot over at Cali49.com is where I first heard about Surprise Tank. As a matter of fact, I think Elliot came up with the Surprise Tank name. Unlike a lot of other tanks in JTNP (Barker Dam, Twin Tanks, White Tank, etc.), Elliot was unable to find any information on this particular tank and even a couple of the park rangers he spoke with were unfamiliar with it. He had to call it something, right? Only time will tell if the "Surprise Tank" name sticks.

After our recent CA rains of a month ago, I had been anxious to see what Surprise Tank looked like. If you read last week's post, you will recall this was my second hike to the area. During my first hike, I didn't make it to Surprise Tank. But had I made it, there likely would have been a lot of water behind the dam. As it turns out, when I finally got there about a week ago, it wasn't much more than a mud puddle. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

I think most people get to this area by parking where the CA Riding Trail intersects Geology Tour Road, and hike S/SW, which eventually takes you to the front of Surprise Tank. I chose to continue further south on Geology Tour Road before parking, and then head directly west to the rocks. This requires off-trail hiking and a bit of rock scrambling and you eventually end up behind Surprise Tank. It's a fun hike and you pass through some very photogenic rock formations!
"Window Rock" #1
"Window Rock" #2
 
"Weird Rock" (as you can tell, I'm running low on creative rock names!)


No shortage or rock formations in this area!!

Just before reaching Surprise Tank, I found this water hole. I wonder if it's natural, or perhaps some animal dug it as a convenient source of water? Either way, lots of critter footprints all around it, and I even noticed some bighorn sheep droppings in the area.

Surprise Tank!! Bigger than a mud puddle, but not by much! Still, a beautiful area and fun to see a little water in the desert.


A nice side view of the dam. It actually goes straight for some distance, then makes a sharp turn around some rocks. 

The height of the dam is low, perhaps a maximum of 6-8' measured from the back. Below is what it looks like after a good rain or two.
Photo credit Elliot Koeppel at http://cali49.com/jtnp/2014/3/6/the-dam-with-no-name
Pretty cool, don't you think? I'm sure I'll be coming back to this location, perhaps next year after the rains.

I'll leave you with a Joshua Tree picture. I never get tired of these guys... all are unique, no two are the same! I tried to grunge it up a bit to give it that "old west" look!
Linking with Skywatch Friday.
Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world!
Thanks for stopping by!!


49 comments:

  1. You have such great adventures and are such a good photographer documenting your journeys. I love the rock formations and the watering hole is great.

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  2. I love the desert--- except in the summer--- Thanks for sharing these great pictures. Super.

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  3. It is certainly a beautiful area.

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  4. Honestly, that desert is amazing! I could wander all day in those rock formations.

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  5. Neat to find something new! Awesome rock formations.

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  6. what a pretty little surprise this would be for someone like me to see in the middle of the desert. It's beautiful when there is actually water there. how cool the rock forms a dam.

    love your old west edit of the JT

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  7. What a great area and fabulous rock formations! Your last "wild west" looking image is awesome!

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  8. Your photos are making me want to go there soon. I will plan on visiting next spring perhaps.

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  9. You always show the beautiful side of the dessert. I love the natural rock formations and I would love to see the dam after the rain.

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  10. Great sky shots and I like the boulders!

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  11. Wonderful place. Amazing skies.
    Thanks for all pics.

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  12. Whoooaw that very last photo with the Joshua Tree! I could hang that one in my room :) As always, amazing shots with an amazing adventure! Thanks for always taking us to the desert :)

    Steve

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  13. Awesome,there are some great formations around there. Seems you can always find something new

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  14. The first one looks a bit like a turtle making advances to another one and the desert looks as always very beautiful on your photo's. Keep them coming.

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  15. Incredible formations. Love your desert captures!

    Happy weekend ahead :)

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  16. Hello, I love all the various rock formations. The watering hole and Surprise Tank are cool finds. The Joshua Tree is gorgeous. Wonderful series of photos. Happy Friday, enjoy your day and weekend!

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  17. Water in the desert is always fun to find, it's cool you found some.
    Your images are beyond wonderful. Superb post!

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  18. I love to feel nostalgic with you. Always appreciate the chance to follow along with you. :)

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  19. Really really nice photoes:))I love stone art and here the nature has created it!!

    Beautiful taken are the pixtures--Such lovely place !

    Anita

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  20. Amazing and rugged scenery.The photo opps would be endless in that area.

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  21. You go so this wimp doesn't have to! Thanks

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  22. Lovely pictures! Happy weekend!

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  23. Awesome photos. I love the look of those weathered rocks. You captured the beauty of the desert and thank you very much for sharing your journey with us.

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  24. Fantastic rock formations. Thanks for sharing.

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  25. A place I would like to hike. I like seeing all of the rock formations. I never get tired of your Joshua Tree photos, so keep posting them!

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  26. Beautiful photos of a beautiful landscape!

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  27. Sure looks different the Northren Idaho but very pretty.
    Coffee is on

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  28. Beautiful and amazing rock formations! Such a surprise to see the watering holes. I can see why it is called 'surprise tank'. Love the Joshua tree.

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  29. The Joshua tree is perfect - also like the rocks ... and water! Can tell we live more more North - today we had rain, last week several time, and the week before that also several days! Can't believe I still live in California:) Have a great weekend!

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  30. Makes you wonder about the forces of nature that created these rock formations.

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  31. Nature sure was busy making these boulders unique and of different sizes and placed here and there or was it all helter skelter? You are so fortunate to live near such interesting hikes. I have been to the Joshua Tree National Forest but your stand alone is absolutely beautiful.

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  32. Wonderful shot of the various rock formations and love the Joshua Tree ~ thanks for a wonderful photo tour ~ ^_^

    Wishing you a Happy Day ~ ^_^

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  33. I love the vintage look of the last shot. Your tank is full after all those surreal rock vistas. What a great hike.

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  34. Well worth the week's wait! What wonders you get to see on your hikes! Love the Joshua tree Wild West style too!

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  35. Always so rewarding to visit, and Surprise Tank was no exception. You could always have a contest for your readers to name the rock formations. I thought of one of them as "walrus rock" - I'm sure you'll get some creative entries.

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    1. Great idea, Alana, thanks for the suggestions!!

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  36. The first photo almost looks like a pair of hands holding a rock - very cool. Is it unusual to find waterholes there?

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    1. Yes, Amy, never seen a water hole like this before. Then again, pretty unusual to find standing water of ANY kind in this area except after the rains. Thanks for your comment!

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  37. That last picture makes me so wish I were there. Wonderful to find the tank .... no wonder there are lots of critter footprints... precious water!

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  38. too much beauty to comment it all. But one thing for sure. I would never get tired of you world. If I was able to visit. Thanks for sharing.

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  39. Amazing rock scenery! Lovely warm colors.

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  40. Another gorgeous group of photos Pete! It looks like you could spend a whole day exploring there.
    As deep as that tank is now, it was probably deeper in the past (before it started filling up with silt), like the ones we saw in the Wonderland Wash a while back. Me thinks this might officially be "Deep Tank." I really want/need to get there. I'll let you know when, and maybe we can go together. I almost forgot, I love the Joshua Tree photo, it looks like an old time postcard.

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  41. I love these pictures. I have not seen such a warm dry country where the rocks look carved.

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  42. I enjoyed your lovely photographs.

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  43. Delightful and technically perfect shots! I love your photos

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  44. Such unusual and remarkably beautiful rock formations!

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