Golden Butte Rd and Whitney Pocket, Nevada

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Can you direct me to a Gallery where one can visit and imprint the Art within a camera? Of course not, Artist protection and so on… I have often asked, but the eyebrows raised by fear have always denied me that pleasure, or maybe was it my curiosity. Today was not so as Mother Nature has always willingly shared her Art, and again in parallel, my Friend Michael also sharing, pulled a big one out of his deck of hidden cards! I myself came back with more than 500 pictures and we had only spend a few hours when the sun was the harshest, no sunrise and no sunset on the premises… yet! As I sit here and write these words, I might be physically present, but the mind is not. Overwhelming would be an understatement. Today was scouting the Whitney Pocket, and there is no doubt that Spirit and I will return to camp for a few days in cooler weather, for as long as we can, basically till we ran out of water. There was so much to discover, look and feel. Moss, colorful rocks and shapes, narrow trails, small caves… spirits lingering throughout the heat of the day while we were searching for shadows.

Break time a


We left fairly early trying to beat the Mojave Desert heat while passing through Arizona to finally Mesquite which its frontage road which would take us to Golden Butte Road. With my excitement of a new destination I had been up already a few hours and coffee was wearing off too quickly. Michael was hungry and… since I was only having coffee, a Mc Donald all dressed up in red with a vagrant resting on its sidewalk selling Sunday souvenirs, seemingly color coordinated, appeared at the end of town.

Mc Donalds

It did not take too long after the pit stop to make that left on Golden Butte Road. Paved but in very bad shape entering BLM land which went on for 26 miles, 26 miles without seeing a single soul or vehicle to the turn off that would take us to Whitney Pocket, also called Whitney Hartman. We actually never saw anyone all day, never wrongly naming this part of the country "Wild Nevada". We could see lake Mead on the right and it had been a long time since I had seen Joshuas, a bit dry this time of the year, waiting for the rainy season.

Lake Mead


The views had not been anything unexpected as the ones I was going to experience the rest of the day, and also unexpected was the condition of the 2 miles of road we had left to ride when we saw the first red rock formations. Now, against my better judgement, I had seen some pictures of what was waiting for us 2 miles ahead. I have always liked the element of surprise and that fact was against the grain, as for example I have only see a couple pictures of Toroweap where we will be going soon, and really do not want to know any of its history either in time or geologically speaking. We have been on the road now almost two years, my curiosity has always been fulfilled and discovering it all first hand to me is the "experience" itself. This time however it worked out to be an advantage as maybe I would have not gone down that road, learning my lesson a while back near Moab on Hurrah Pass, also learning a valuable word "U turn".

dirt rd a  

dirt rd b

It was bumpy and rocky, not too bad really except for the few washes and ruts from recent rains. Michael at one point was ahead of me and I did stop a couple times to scout the road before getting into it over my head or Old Faithful’s ability. It is always tricky, I think many two wheel riders think we just lay back and go… Riding a sidecar is much more physically challenging than two wheels and then sometimes much easier, only on flat straight roads. It is truly a vehicle very unique with three brake pedals and without camping gear about 1100 lbs with the two of us going down the road. I was just listening to the silence at one point when he returned to check on us, I also needed to know what to expect a bit further, knowing well however from experience to not listen to anyone! Just get an idea as I have to be my own judge to move forward or not. He took the two shots below… with his broken camera.

dirt rd c

There was a good reason for us to go down that road, I knew it was not too much further, whatever was awaiting… I know the road does not look that bad in the pictures!!! Funny…

dirt rd 1 dirt rd 2

"Photos by Michael"

We arrived. As an Oasis suddenly, all was forgotten, the bad road, the heat (for a while anyhow) and it felt right away as this was a wonder unlike I had seen. Truly. When such landscape presents itself I right away want to spend days taking it all in. This was not Utah anymore, but Nevada, who would have thought, and as interested suddenly with the area I looked through a magazine today finding out more destinations near by. As is Nevada’s Atlantis "St Thomas" near "Valley of Fire", the town of "Eureka, a Nevada boom town that time has forgotten to spoil, "Wheeler Pass", the sleepy and silent towns of Tonopah, Goldfield and Rhyolite, even a bit further south "Death Valley" and "Titus" pass which we have never explored. Arriving here was as turning the door knob to so many more routes unencumbered by the tourist flow.

break time b

So we will pick a better time, a cooler time to come back. Maybe April, before heading north for the next summer that hopefully will be awaiting us. In the meantime, I knew we were here for just a few hours and we started a circular hike through the colorful rocks and the vision of Petroglyphs luckily unmarked by graffiti. Part of the Art form here was the moss, in many colors, free form paintings unmatched by humans.

moss e

moss d  

No need for words… right?

moss f

moss b  
moss c  

I was torn between listening to Michael’s comments, as he had been here a few times and of course eager to point out the treasures, and at the same time blocking it all trying myself, without a sound, savor what was in front of me. Combined with trying to to take some pictures I knew this was not going to be the time to fully absorb it all… It was a scouting mission! And we did accomplish it as there will be more in the next Blog.

rocks k 

Spirit in the Hole  


Two years of Photography is finally in order on SmugMug… In "Your Favorites", organized also in "States", some even labeled "first year" and second year". Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun. I still have 17 T shirts that need to be sold at cost, $20 including shipping… I do! Some day they will be "collector’s items". You don’t believe me? These are the sizes left.

With the "ADV" (Adventure Rider") logo:   2 XXL ~ 4 XL ~ 2 M 

Plain:  2 XXL ~ 3XL ~ 3L ~ 1 S

Your participation toward the site is always welcomes and accepted through the "contribution" button above… 323 colorful Chapters with many destinations for $1 a month?… now more than ever. Help the site stay alive.

Be well, always. Ara & Spirit

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3 Responses to “Golden Butte Rd and Whitney Pocket, Nevada”

  1. Evelyn Says:

    I loved the petroglyphs and the moss painting the walls
    Who cant love mother nature or God

  2. Melissa Says:

    I googled Whitney Pockets for my first time tonight out of curiosity as to what I might find. You see my Great-Great Grandfather was George Fenton Whitney for whom the pockets are named. Each year in October between 100-150 of his descendants still meet and camp for a week together. We re-tell old stories visit places that our Grandparents visited as children and learn about our heritage. I’m so happy to find others experience this amazing place, it truly is one of the most spiritual places I have ever been.

  3. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Do you have the dates? Love to go there during that time!

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