Thursday, July 19, 2018

Twin Tanks Petroglyphs

I posted last week about Pat Tillett and I tromping around the desert (remember? 6.8 miles; 18,711 steps; 13 floors) looking for petroglyphs which we never found. It was bugging the heck out of me because I know we were very close. After doing a bit more research, I was pretty sure I knew how to get to them and I was itching to try again! You might recall we hit a dead end (a dry fall) which we couldn't get around. Anyway, I'm keeping the location secret except to say it's somewhere in the Twin Tanks area. That's a BIG area, so I don't think any knuckleheads or troublemakers will find the petroglyphs based on my description here. The location also has something else in its favor: it's remote.
If you get to this remote spot in the wash, I'll be impressed! Somewhere in this general neck of the woods there are petroglyphs. Not a lot of petroglyphs... just a few that I am aware of, but in pretty good shape.

See the petroglyphs?
I didn't take this photo (wish I would have!). Photo credit goes to DzrtGrls at http://www.dzrtgrls.com/twin_tanks/twin_tanks.html (used with permission). They have an extensive knowledge of all things desert, and their detailed posts have been super helpful to me over the years. They are careful not to give too many secrets away about locations, but they often seem to drop little hints. That's how I got interested in the Twin Tanks petroglyphs.

You have to climb up into a little side wash to get to the petroglyph location.

Connecting circular patterns with anthropomorphic pattern in the middle. Interesting and mysterious!

I have no idea what these rectangular patterns represent.
I felt a nice sense of accomplishment in finally locating the petroglyphs, and the surrounding area is really pretty. Also remote enough that I'm not seeing human footprints very often. Exactly the kind of place I like to explore, so let's keep going!
A little further up the wash, I came across some intense colors that I'm not used to seeing...a large white quartz boulder (what's it doing here??) next to a yellow shrub. The late afternoon sun was shining in at an angle, highlighting things nicely.

Hmmmm... I try to avoid boulder-filled washes like this whenever possible. It's a good way to twist an ankle or worse. I don't see any way around them, so I'll forge on (very carefully!). As it turned out, I found an easier way back so I only had to cross these boulders once.


Glad I decided to continue on, as the rock formations are decidedly interesting. The only sound is that of my own footsteps and the occasional chirping bird.

Push the button?? Reminds me of something off a "Raiders of the Lost Ark" movie where you push the button and boulders start moving and shifting around!


Just another Joshua Tree bowling ball!

This was interesting, and the photo doesn't do it justice. Viewed on Google Earth, I had marked a waypoint at this spot and called it "the wall". There is a perfectly straight line of rock for about 200' and very visible in satellite view. It looks like someone built a wall here thousands of years ago. Of course, that's not what happened, but I always marvel over some of the stuff nature creates! Oh, and a nice moonrise just to add interest to the photo!

Rocky cairn? Nope, another rocky structure courtesy of Mother Nature.

Yet another weird geologic formation. These craggly rocks cover a large area, but they are not boulders. It's the top of a huge, weather-worn, rock formation. In between the rocky nooks and crannies is solid rock. It occurs to me that this area would capture and hold quite a bit of water after a rain, and I'm guessing the local critters take advantage of that.

My favorite sky shot of the day (actually, just past sunset). A great hike and glad to have found the petroglyphs and explore some remote areas I've never seen. Only bummer was my partner in crime (PT) didn't get to join me on this hike. There's always next time!

Linking with Skywatch Friday.
Thanks for stopping by!!

42 comments:

  1. Awesome, glad you found them, th ephotos are outstanding as ever

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  2. I have to disagree with Jim. These are "hot" shots---assuming, of course, they were taken during the heat of summer. :)

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  3. Excellent shots! Incredible and rough terrain.

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  4. Congrats on finding the petroglyphs. No need to worry about me stomping around the desert - it'll never happen. I'll just keep coming back to see more great photos and descriptions from you.

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  5. Well, you've done it yet again! I marvel at your achievement-- Hiking that far, finding the petroglyphs, and Nat Geo quality (better) quality pictures!

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  6. Beautiful - I love that sunset shot. But you're more adventurous than me going up that boulder-filled wash, especially if you're alone.

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  7. I actually get creeped out by boulders such as these and would definitely not attempt walking in such a place . Apart from twisting my ankle , I might get picked up by an alien !!! You are brave to do this .

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  8. I'm going to start calling you Indiana Jones. Such an intrepid explorer. I love your photos and the petroglyphs. As a kid in central Utah, we used to see pottery shards, arrowheads, peetroglyphs, the rock and mortar grain grinding rocks, and sometimes high up on a cliff a long forgotten adobe brick wall. Didn't appreciate what I was seeing.

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  9. Amazing captures and narration. Love your sense of adventure!

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  10. What a terrain! So well explored with the pics. The texture of rocks evident. Great skies.

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  11. Dramatic and lovely. Thank you so much for taking us along.

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  12. Great shots of rock formations and sky from your adventurous hike!

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  13. Awesome sky shots, and rock shots too.

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  14. Congratulations on finding the petroglyphs! Your persistence paid off. Yes, these rock formations are very intriguing - shapes, textures, colors … I also thought of Raiders of the Lost Ark with the 'button'. Your sky shots are stunning, as always. TRULY enjoyable to look at the artistry of your photography!!!

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  15. Always loved your post. Stunning pics.

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  16. I have no idea how you would set about finding such tiny, faint inscriptions in that vast jumble of rock, but I'm glad you did.

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  17. Never thought that stone could drape like textile and then also illuminated with drawings totally in the wild. Great pictures as always.

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  18. Hello, congrats on finding the petroglyphs! The rock formations are wonderful. The wall and button are interesting too. Love the beautiful sky, the last photo is gorgeous. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

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  19. ohhhhhhhhhhhh

    Wonderful, earthy photos. I miss rocks. Not a lot in Florida. (Florida is a beach).

    Loved that parting shot, too.

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  20. Wow! Congrats to you in persevering and finding the petroglyphs! Great photos always and yes the last photo of the sky is a real gift!

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  21. Congrats in finding the petroglyphs. Great shots as always, the last one is stunning.

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  22. Amazing views! Last one is very beautiful.

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  23. ...what on the surface looks like a dry barren landscape sure looks gorgeous in your images. Thanks for sharing. 😀

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  24. This might be a silly question but do you think the whole area was covered in water at one point in time?

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    1. Hi Amy. It's a great question! I don't think this area was totally covered in water, but I know things were a LOT wetter in the past. I seem to recall that the Pinto Basin (not too far from this area but lower in elevation) had lakes and lots of water. In general, everything is getting dryer. Thanks for your comment!

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  25. It's nice you found the petroglyphs. There are various kind of rocks. Your photos are very beautiful,especially the last one.

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  26. Wonderful images (again) !

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  27. I'm glad the petroglyphs I saw this summer in Utah were easy to find. I don't have your determination or desert adventure skills. Great shots all! I love your Indiana Jones humor.

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  28. Well done finding the petroglyphs. Hope they stay hidden from the masses. As always stunning country.

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  29. I've only seen petroglyphs once in my life, and they were not "in the wild" but in a protected setting in Canada. This is amazing, along with your other pictures. Let's hope these treasures do not ever get discovered by those who would harm them, intentionally or not.

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  30. looks like a giant's playground...amazing rock formations. And yes I found the petroglyphs in the first photo. I used to like climbing around on rocks on the Oregon Coast, but that boulder field looks really lethal. What a wonderful hike -- thanks. (I feel a little sorry for Pat; i'm sure he can't wait to come back.

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  31. Such beautiful desert scenery!

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  32. Amazing landscapes ! Looks like on the moon although I haven't been there yet !

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  33. How interesting! And your photos are stunning.

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  34. Absolutely stunning photos!! The rectangular pattern petroglyphs...definitely Stonehenge lol

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  35. Such an interesting amount of boulders, rocks and canyon! This area definitely looks like an interesting place to explore often.

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  36. Congrats on finding these petros. Your photos really do justice to the area. One gorgeous shot after another. Yep, I need to go back there. That boulder filled wash looks intimidating. You are pretty spry for an "experienced" person. As hot as it is at home, I might as well be in JT!

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