December 26 – 29, 2016
On Boxing Day (Day after Christmas) I left St. George behind and headed west and south towards Nevada.
I was heading for a place called Whitney Pockets, which was south-west of Mesquite, on the east side of Lake Mead NRA and The Virgin River. The area is also known as Gold Butte.
The picture below shows The Overton Arm, the northern most part of Lake Mead National Recreation Area in the distance. The water was very low.
Whitney Pocket is a breath-taking natural area of multi-hued rocks in shades of pink, red, white, and all the shades in-between, all sculptured by rain and wind.
At the time I drove in, The Gold Butte region comprised of 360,000 acres administered by the Bureau of Land Management. Some was designated an Area of Critical Environmental Concern for its tortoise habitat; cultural and historical resources; and natural, scenic, and botanical qualities.
I spent two whole days exploring as many of the rocks as I could. Up down, up down. Great exercise, and not in the least bit boring.
I then spent a day exploring the native artwork at The Falling Man Petroglyph Site. I have to give kudos to BirdandHike.com for their very detailed picture map guide to this area. There is so much to see, that I’m sure I would have missed something had it not been for their guide. Even with it, I still missed a few things. That’s okay though, it will just give me an excuse to go back again. I also didn’t make it to an area called Little Finland, so I know I’ll be back for sure.
THANKS FOR SUPPORTING THIS SITE BY ACCESSING AMAZON VIA ANY OF THE LINKS IN THE NOMAD STORE $ OR ON THE HOME PAGE, I’LL MAKE A SMALL PERCENTAGE ON YOUR PURCHASE AND IT WON’T COST YOU ANYTHING EVEN IF YOU BUY SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Please return here to enter Amazon each time you place an order, links are good for only 24-hours.
Just to show you how hard some of this rock art can be to spot. Can you find The Falling Man? The ledge is in the bottom left corner of this image.
It was now December 28, 2016, and I was listening to NPR when I heard them announce an unexpected piece of news. President Obama had just designated Gold Butte as a National Monument.
What a thrill it was to be the only person camping in The Whitney Pocket area of Gold Butte, on the very day that it became a National Monument.
The next day, as I was driving out, I witnessed tons of trucks hauling OHV and ATV’s into The Gold Butte area. I don’t know if they were just going in for their last fling, or whether they were going in to protest, but it was rather unsettling to see so many going in at once. Of course, its possible that is normal at times, and is part of the reason it needed to be protected.
There was another National Monument declared on that night too, and that was The Bears Ears, an area full of cultural history and beautiful scenery, and an area I had just driven by a few weeks earlier. Here’s a National Geographic Article about the two new monuments.
I hope you have enjoyed this installment of my travels during the winter of 2016/2017, and hope you’ll continue the journey with me.
If you only get an email notice of this one blog post, you may be unaware that I have many other categories and tons of travel posts available to read on my HOME page.
Thanks for following me, and remember to keep searching outside the box.
Roxy ~ A Nomad for Nature and Photographer at: