Little Finland desert landscape

Most of the fanciful sandstone rock formations at Minor Finland, are to be discovered alongside the lessen and upper ledges of the western edge of the plateau. That reported. Wandering the size of the plateau by itself features large landscape sights in all course and some fascinating rock types alongside the way.

Very little like mountaineering cross country in a scenic location in the desert on a heat blue sky day!


Friday the third of March, 2017: The weather was wonderful. Heat and sunny. Fred and I expended hours mountaineering the plateau made up of innumerable, unique, and suave sandstone rock types. Minor Finland, now positioned in the Gold Butte Nationwide Monument.


The Story: There is beauty in wintertime I do like living in a location in which there are four seasons to look ahead to. Winter, having said that, is not my beloved (that would be Autumn).

What I have towards wintertime is:

1. adverse street conditions in which “obtaining out” on the street is perilous, nerve-racking, or not possible.

two. extended nights and brief times.

three. much too a lot snow, clouds and high winds.

four. cold.

I checklist cold previous for excellent rationale. You can gown for cold weather and if the roads are Alright, and the weather excellent there are a good deal of things I delight in undertaking all through the brief times of wintertime.

The wintertime of 2017-2017 has been the absolute worst yr in a 10 years, for bad street and driving conditions (ice, snow, visibility, slush, wind, and so forth.) The outcome: cabin fever and much too a lot of jigsaw puzzles.

So soon after the previous football game on Television set I started out hunting ahead to heading to the Southwest as a way to “get exterior” and hike and generate again roads as before long as doable. I viewed the 15 day weather forecast like a hawk for all the towns closest to my beloved areas in Utah, Arizona, and Nevada.

Turns out there ended up some truly awesome home windows of wonderful weather in Southern Utah, Arizona, and Northeastern Nevada in January and February. I was primed to go. I even stirred up some curiosity between a several of my like minded mates.

The issue: When roads ended up excellent to generate in Japanese Washington (in which I reside) and excellent in the Southwest (in which I preferred to go), the roads in between ended up horrible (lined and iced, site visitors mishaps, and street closure indicators).

All-around the 1st portion of February there appeared to be a temporary opening for street conditions from right here to there, with wonderful weather: there (The Southwest).

I had two of my street vacation mates confident to go for it, but then however yet another succession of wintertime storms moved across the Western states and I was pressured to admit – – street vacation #1 for 2017 was not a go. My mates agreed. Journey cancelled. Cabin Fever continued.

A further SW street vacation weather and street conditions window occurred all around the twenty second of February. Ed, a excellent mate and an fantastic photographer, whom I have traveled with a lot of occasions on street journeys, had an prospect to join me. His wife was again in the Southeast assisting out their daughter, who was obtaining important foot surgical procedure, and my wife was in Colorado with her two tiny granddaughters day treatment obligations.

So Ed and I set the twenty second of February as our departure date. We had motel reservations set in Boise for the way down and again and then various times at St. George, Utah, in which we meant to use as our “base camp” for drives, hikes, and image ops in the Arizona, Utah, Nevada corner of the Southwest.

Ed picked me up in his awesome Jeep Wrangler on the twenty second and we ended up on our way. What a wonderful sensation it was to be “on the street again” and out of the residence!

We headed for Boise, in which we had rooms reserved for Wednesday night time the twenty second. Between my residence and Boise the roads had been ice and snow clear. No complications driving at all.

We headed out of Boise for St. George, at dawn on the morning of the 23rd of February. The farther east we traveled on the interstate, the larger the winds turned, snow started out slipping and worst of all, ice patches started out displaying up on the interstate.

I-84 east of Boise, is an eighty mph freeway that some people will generate at eighty mph, even when ice and snow on the street, coupled with bad visibility inform most fair people, that isn’t really a wonderful strategy.

About a hundred miles from Boise near an exit off I-84 (near Bliss, Idaho), site visitors arrived to a end. State law enforcement ended up directing every person off the interstate eastbound, who had not however passed that exit. The interstate was shut down thanks to a wreck involving to semi rigs, on the ice lined freeway.

We ended up fortunate. Had we arrived ten minutes earlier we would have been previous the exit and stuck in the extended parking good deal of cars, obtaining to wait for hours for the wreck to be cleared and the eastbound lanes re-opened.

Ed and I checked the maps and he applied a smart mobile phone ap to see that roads all over the place ended up displaying no movement of site visitors.

It appeared we could get all around the wreck by having freeway 26 as others ended up undertaking, but I preferred to be specified and ask about the interstate street conditions outside of the wreck between Bliss and Salt Lake Metropolis.

I jumped out of Ed’s Jeep and in blizzard conditions, went over to a law enforcement car or truck blocking accessibility to the interstate. He rolled down his window and confirmed that sure, you could get all around the wreck by having a loop on freeway 26 but it was slow heading with all the interstate site visitors, attempting to do so.

When I asked about the freeway and weather conditions outside of the wreck to Ogden and Salt Lake Metropolis, he just shook his head and reported “horrible”.

I returned to the Ed and his Jeep with the undesirable information, and although both equally of us hated the selection, we decided to abandon our vacation to the Southwest. We called and cancelled our area reservations and started out again to Boise, Baker Metropolis, La Grande, and Pendleton.

Ironically the farther we drove to Japanese Washington, the improved the weather and roads turned. At Pendleton, the solar was shining, so we decided to salvage the day and took off for Walla Walla, Dayton, and Starbuck, Washington to check out and photograph Palouse Falls.

Ed expended Thursday and Friday nights at my residence, so Friday, we took a excellent weather consolation generate alongside again roads in the Ellensburg, Washington place to photograph some wildlife and wintertime snow scenes. Saturday morning Ed headed again over Snoqualmie Go to his house.

Precisely 1 week soon after Ed and I had given our Southwest vacation a test, I decided that the roads and weather forecast again “looked suitable” for a the vacation that had now two times been abandoned.

I failed to come to feel suitable inquiring Ed to dedicate to yet another endeavor, particularly due to the fact his wife would be returning house from their daughter’s location, so I decided to make Mesquite, Nevada, as an alternative of St. George, Utah, my place and go solo.

I called up yet another “like minded” street vacation, backpacking, mountaineering mate in Boise (Fred), to permit him know I was heading to give “strike 3″ a possibility, and head out on in my pickup truck on Wednesday the 1st of March 1st, 2017, as early as doable.

Fred (suffering from important cabin fever, like me), reported he would really like to satisfy up with me in Nevada, although he only had a narrow window of two times to devote in the place, thanks to his work duties.

So, I sheepishly called my wife and told her “You is not going to feel this (but soon after staying married 46 several years, of study course it failed to surprise her), but I am heading to give the vacation yet another – go”.

Wednesday three.1.17 I drove to Ely, Nevada.There was only A person icy interstate segment about ten miles extended east of Baker Metropolis, Oregon, in which they decreased the speed limit temporarily to thirty mph, but as soon as previous that – – dry street only.

When I bought to Ely, I bought a area for the night time. The future morning it was 9 levels, but no wind, no snow, clear dry freeway and THE Sunshine WAS SHINING.

Just in advance of the intersection of Nevada’s highways ninety three and 168, in which I would cut over to Mesquite, Nevada. My pickup truck shook, then a loud sounds boomed. A several seconds later it occurred again. I realized quickly what it was, given in which I was.

Fighter jets (twin tail twin exhaust), ended up heading single file for some higher than the desert flight teaching. They ended up flying on the deck (a several hundred ft higher than the floor and at high speed). I pulled over and stopped to enjoy the previous jet cross the street higher than me and then pull into a vertical climb to join the flight development gathering.

It was a excellent practical experience.

I bought to Mesquite, Nevada and bought a area and bought my mountaineering gear prepared to go for a vacation out to the very recently designated Gold Butte Nationwide Monument, a brief distance southwest of Mesquite.

A cell mobile phone from Fred reported he would satisfy up with me early Friday morning for the again street driving, mountaineering, and image ops at: Whitney Pocket Devil’s Throat and the fascinating rock formations of Minor Finland by Mud Clean.

We piled into Fred’s car or truck Friday morning (a awesome roomy Ford Explorer rental unit), and ended up on our way. The weather was fantastic. Few other people out in the place that day. We expended the day mountaineering and photographing, and bumping alongside the designated again street routes in the place.

To add a tiny exhilaration to the day, the remaining front time of Fred’s car or truck blew a gap by the sidewall, when traveling Mud Clean.

A Laurel and Hardy scene ensued, as we read the owner’s handbook, unloaded the again of the Ford Explorer, and bought the doughnut spare set on. (Fred undertaking all the major work. Me boasting aged age as an excuse for undertaking the mild work affiliated with the tire alter).

We bought again to Mesquite in time for Fred to get the blown tire replaced and for the two of us to have a awesome Mexican supper at Mesquite. They even had horchata, my beloved drink, when I applied to work in Mexico from time to time.

In advance of dawn the future day (Saturday March 4th) we ended up on our way to Toroweap on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It was a fifty six mile generate, (by the finest route) on filth roads, with a four wheel generate only segment near the stop. The street started out just west of Fredonia, Arizona.

There was some conflicting information on whether or not any of the street would be open up to Toroweap and we attempted in vain, to see if we could receive a permit to camp the night time there. All worked out properly although. We decided to devote the night time in Kanab, Utah, and make the Toroweap a “day vacation”, which we did.

Notice: My 1st and only other vacation to Toroweap was in April of 2008. Close friend Ed (who had attempted this vacation with me a week earlier), mate and photographer John, my son Derek, and I had all four camped at Toroweap on that celebration. We took the extended route in from St. George on that vacation.

With John’s guidance, I had just bought my 1st electronic digicam: a Canon Powershot G9, and was trying to discover how to use on the spot. Below are my Flickr shots of that Toroweap vacation and camp out:

Fred and I expended the overall day at Toroweap and ended up shocked to discover that the campground was open up but not 1 person was camping there. I hiked by the campground later in the day and frequented site amount 1, in which Ed, John, Derek and I had camped 9 several years ago (no permit necessary then, just 1st come 1st provide).

I was delighted to obtain fairy shrimp in some of the sandstone drinking water tanks at Toroweap. Along with tadpole shrimp, I obtain their life system (with eggs feasible for up to a century), fascinating.

We celebrated our Minor Finland on Friday and Toroweap on Saturday excellent weather and excellent fortune, with a excellent, stop of the vacation supper at the “Rocking V” in Kanab. I did justice to a 1 pound rib eye steak and Fred went local with some bison steak washing the meal down with his beverage of alternative: a Spiral Jetty. Thanks Fred.

Sunday morning Fred headed again to Boise and I dithered. I assumed about extending my continue to be with some hikes in the place but winds in extra of 20 mph and cold weather was heading to shift into Southern Utah. My wife would be flying house on the 10th, so I decided to commence on house myself.

I bought a surprise on the generate house. North of Ogden, it started out blowing and snowing. It bought even worse and even worse until visibility was truly a issue, with snow on the street but luckily no ice. All the way to Twin Falls, it was near blizzard conditions.

Then the snow stopped for most of the way to Ontario, Oregon, in which I bought a area for the night time soon after looking at the large “Winter Driving Problems Forward” warning sign, across the freeway.

Monday morning the sixth of March: no wind, no snow, dry street, sunshine. I drove from Ontario to La Grande, Oregon. No issue. Then across the Blue Mountains between La Grande and Pendleton,

I was reminded that wintertime is not however over in the Pacific Northwest. Sound ice on the street and forty mph across the Blue Mountains. I stored my pickup truck in Four wheel drive,

Everybody, primarily truckers, ended up driving sensibly in the conditions, so I failed to see any mishaps or vehicles in the ditch. I was certain glad I hadn’t attempted driving the street the night time in advance of.

At a lunch end at Meacham (sure of study course: biscuits and gravy, side of bacon, and major glass of milk at the Oregon Path Cafe), locals talked of the snow that was thanks in the mountains that night time.

I was happy to get there house by midday on Monday the sixth of March, 2017. A excellent street vacation, fantastic mountaineering, excellent enterprise, and I managed to get weight on the vacation (may have had a little something to do with Mexican supper, in Mesquite Steak supper in Kanab and a lot more biscuits and gravy at Meacham).

Enjoy some of the images. Oldmantravels seven March 2017

Posted by oldmantravels on 2017-03-13 21:34:fifty six

Tagged: , Gold Butte Nationwide Monument , Minor Finland sandstone rock formations , Mud Clean , Lake Mead , Mesquite, Nevada , Nevada desert hike , scenic desert landscapes , street vacation