Be prepared for extreme temperatures in the summer above 100 degrees and in the winter below freezing. Always carry plenty of water. The Mouse’s Tank is an easy hike of three-fourths of a mile round trip in a sandy canyon. As you come down the stairs, look to your left. There, depending on what time of year, you will be able to see a tank of water, very similar to Mouse’s tank, but not quite the same. As you go further down the canyon, on the left, you will see petroglyphs on a huge rock face. As you walk along, there will be four or five more sites containing petroglyphs, just keep your eye out. Petroglyphs are rock symbols, in this case made by Native Americans, scratched on what geologists call “desert varnish”. Desert varnish is a dark, somewhat shiny stain found on desert rocks that have been exposed for a long time. Manganese and iron oxides, hydroxides, and clay minerals form most of these varnishes. On the right side on the canyon, there are many “blowouts”, or deflation basins. Deflation basins are hollows in the sandstone formed by wind. Some of these blowouts are large enough for a human to hide inside.
As legend goes, there was a Paiute Indian whose name was Mouse. He created many rivalries with the settlers and other Native Americans. There are many stories, none with any historical documentation, claiming that Mouse hid in this canyon and used the water in this “tank” to drink. This tank is a natural depression in the rock that catches and holds rainwater from the limited rainfall of, in this case, the Mojave Desert. It is cooler here in the summer and provides shade in an area that lacks any overhead shade from the relentless sun.
Send me an email with answers to these questions:
1. Estimate the depth of Mouse’s Tank.
2. Some scientists say the water is not potable (drinkable). Based on your observations, tell me why you think it is or is not.
3. Post me a picture of you and your GPS, or provide a description of the tank's location in your email, at the above coordinates, but don’t include the tank in it.
1. You must answer all the questions in your email to me and post all picture(s) with your log.
2. Your logging this cache and sending me the email should happen at around the same time.
3. Begin your email with the name and geocaching code of this Earthcache, your name(s), and the number of people in your group.
Failure to comply with the above will result in your log being deleted!
The above information was compiled from the following sources:
1. Fiero, William. Nevada’s Valley of Fire: The Story Behind the Scenery. KC Publications, Nevada, 2008.