Early in the hike, you go by "Submarine Rock". You can see my granddaughter checking it out, which gives a nice perspective to it's size.
This is a nice view of Ivanpah Tank. I don't know anything about the dam (year built, who built it, etc.) but it's one of the larger ones in the Park. I'm sure it was built to catch water for livestock back in the day. I can imagine, years ago, much less sand being behind this dam, and the dam having the ability to catch a significant amount of water after a desert thunderstorm. It doesn't look like it would collect much water now with all that sand. I plan to come back next winter after some significant rainfall to check it out.
Here's the back (upstream) side of the dam that might transform into a lake after a series of heavy rains. I like how the late afternoon light was turning everything golden. Getting around the dam to the downstream side turned out to be a little tricky, and required climbing down a steep rocky slope. My granddaughter held my hand, and I told her to "hang on tight to Grandpa in case he slips!" Fortunately, Grandpa didn't slip and we made it down to the lower wash without mishap.
Here's a view of Ivanpah Tank from the front (downstream) side. I have a theory, which is that the original dam was built of stone, as seen in the photo. Over the years, as sand and silt built up behind the dam, they extended it higher (probably easier than removing the sand). That would explain the weird dual construction, with the bottom half being stone and the top half being formed concrete.
It's a beautiful wash as we followed it down from the dam. Rumor has it that there is another tank or dam further down the wash, and I'm hoping my granddaughter can hang with me long enough to find it. The photo above shows the wash from a vantage point I've scrambled up to. Hmmm, wait a second, where's my granddaughter? I better scramble back down and find her!!
Ah, there she is! I can just make out her little pink hat. Do you see her?
Here, this should help. I cropped the image so you can see her more easily.
Time for a little rest and a light snack.
I'm calling the rock face above "Bison Rock". See the dark pigmentation on the rock? In the late afternoon sun it really stood out and reminded me of a bison, with it's head (on the left side) in a downward position. Or maybe it's just the wide open desert spaces playing tricks on me again?
Split rock? Or perhaps Eel Head rock?
Periscope rock? Hey, just winging it here. Looking for suggestions!
Here she comes!
I give her high marks for making it down this rocky wash!
Ta daa!! We found the "lower" Ivanpah tank. Not marked on any maps, just another one of those JTNP mysteries. Coming down the wash, it's more or less invisible because the sand has totally filled in to the top of the dam. It's not until you step over and look back that you can see there was a dam here!
On the hike back, I noticed this strange obelisk sticking up in the middle of the wash. The sun was lighting it up, so impossible to miss. I'm calling it "Tombstone Rock", although I think others have named it "Fish Rock". Either way, very cool.
Finally, back to the Jeep and ready for the ride home. But first, we need to bundle up! The Jeep is open air and the desert is starting to get chilly.
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