12/31/06 Hike in Panamint Valley
Nothin' much goin on at home today, so Ace Desert Rat Mike and I drove up to northern Panamint Valley to search for some rumored intaglios. We didn't find them, mainly because it's dozens of square miles in area, and locations of most cultural sites like that aren't published anywhere.  But it was good to get outside after 5 days in the snow in Colorado....

  A drive through the Ugliest Town in The World (R) just wouldn't do without a pause to remind onesself that you don't live in Trona. (Video, 728kb, no sound, no smell...)

  Our car after the drive through the corrosive sulfurous Trona air. NAAAHH only kidding!!

  Looking toward the Panamint Dunes from the dry lake bed.

  Quicktime movie from hilltop overlooking Panamint Dry Lake (1 Mb, no sound)

  Anybody have any idea what this is?  Two big sandbags tied and secured together with ratchetting tie-down straps and a D-ring for lifting. Very military-looking. Aircraft ballast? We've found 50-cal aircraft shell casings out here before, from when the area was used for weapons exercises, but this has been national park land for well over a decade now, and this isn't that old. I rolled it over, and the underside of the bottom bag wasn't broken, so they couldn't be old, or been air-dropped and still be intact.

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