Sunday, July 20, 2008

Petroglyphs and Dry Lakes North of Barstow

Yesterday I toured some great desert roads north of Barstow. I wanted to test the new Land Rover in some deep sand, but never found anything very challenging. Mark came along in his VW Thing, which has amazing ground clearance. We started at the small town of Hinkley, just west of Barstow. Hinkley is famous for being the home of Erin Brockovich, the legal clerk who sued PG&E and later became famous from the movie about her.

We drove north toward Harper Dry Lake. It actually was dry, so it was safe to drive across it. We could see the SEGS VIII and IX solar power plants off to the west. They are included in this CA government site list of solar power plants. Here's a useful page from the CLUI about that area.

From there we tried to locate an alleged old F-15 crash site in that area. That was a bust. Then we drove off for Black Canyon to view the petroglyphs there. The last time I was there, the sand was too deep for my Acura MDX and I turned back. This time the sand wasn't bad at all and any AWD vechicle could easily drive up the wash. We continued on to Inscription Canyon, which is reported to have more than 10,000 petroglyphs. It wasn't too hot (my car thermometer read 107F) so we walked up the short canyon to view the petroglyphs.

Then we tried to locate an alleged B-26 crash site that's nearby. That was also a bust, so we drove off to Superior Dry Lake. When we got there, I decided to try out my new kite. The wind was very flaky and would often die down to nothing. I was lucky to get a couple pics with both kites in the air.

We drove south to find the famous XB-70 crash site. It took some patience to find our way around a habitat restoration area that was fenced off, but we found it. A small memorial has been placed there, including a cross, plaque, information sheets, and sundry offerings. My favorite model airplane when I was a kid was of an XB-70. I really liked that design. It's too bad this one crashed, and worse that the pilots died. This site has some details and several photos of the crash site debris.

I made a couple comic sheets from photos I took.



1 comment:

michael said...

My apologies for the poorly written text in the upper right of the first comic. "Zoom to see..." implies that the reader can zoom in further. It was a poor choice of words. I should have written: "This zoomed view shows..."