Gargoyles in Finland, 11.16
Originally published as a Frederick Afield article on MOTUSworld.com
Three hours (or so) outside of Las Vegas is a place with some real magic that’s known as Little Finland. Its a small spectacular landscape feature found on BLM land and accessed via graded dirt roads and some wash roads out along the Gold Butte Scenic Byway.
I did my research ahead of time regarding the route and road conditions, loaded my GPS (iPad with Bad Elf GPS and Motion-X application) with the appropriate maps, printed out some notes and packed my gear into my truck, a 4WD Toyota Tundra with a mild lift and all terrain tires. Minus one stretch of soft sand, a 2WD truck could have gotten back in there - in dry conditions - any rain and it would be a different story.
There are petroglyphs in the area and on my drive in I stopped and looked for them at the Waypoint I had marked for them. I spent an hour and a half wandering through the formations looking, couldn’t find them.
Once I had the tent and other gear set up I went for a stroll through the formations. It is hands down the reddest earth I’ve ever seen, and the formations are fantastic - literally. It was handy to have a little handlheld GPS as you could easily get turned around wandering through the features.
The next day after getting up and having some coffee and oatmeal I went back to look for them. I parked the truck off to the side of the wash, looked up, and there they were, I had literally parked the truck right in front of them, both times.
I set up camp at the base of this large sandstone formation, there is a spring nearby and the earth is almost wet to the touch. It was January so a bit chilly with damp grey skies almost the entire stay, fortunately it was pretty calm wind-wise. I am glad I packed the little Mr. Heater.
The days went by with a relaxing pace filled with reading, some painting and a few fun Lego shots (follow @legoexpeditions). I keep a little battery powered speaker in my camp kit, pair that with an old iPod and a small solar panel and throw on some Sons of the Pioneers and it felt like home away from home.