Sunday, April 26, 2009

Devil's Fire - The Hike!

No matter whether you call it "Little Finland," "Hobgoblins" or its real name Devil's Fire there is a hike involved. And, now that the BLM has finished spewing their closures - a substantial one! However, I've just met a person who may have taken the longest one yet! [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Devil's Fire: the HIKE]

Several weeks ago I received an email from an unknown fellow who said he had looked at the information I, and others, had posted and felt he just had to see Devil's Fire. Because it appeared that he had the idea he could just drive up to the site and "car camp," I responded and very bluntly pointed out the "error in his thinking."

Apparently, his trip was part of an already scheduled conference attendance in Vegas, so he dropped off his companion and set off for Devil's Fire anyway. Of course he found that his compact rent-a-car wouldn't go past Devil's Throat, so he attempted the "end run" around the Gold Butte Back Country Byway.

And, of course, his "lower-than-a-segway" car didn't fare any better down there. So, not to be disappointed, and for diversion, he climbed up the mountain near Gold Butte Ghost Town before driving back up to Devil's Throat.

This guy showed that he was more tenacious than "moss on a rock" and decided if his car wouldn't go with him, he would go alone... and began hiking! Down the Byway he trod into Mud Wash and then down it too.

He said he was following the GPS coordinate he had gotten off the web so, just before the Mud Wash turnoff to Lollipops, set off Northeast cross country. That route took him through the red sandstone cliffs which few have seen and through the "back door" into Devil's Fire from the North.

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
Lao Tzu

He had finally achieved what he had set out to do and was able to photograph the delicate erosion's before realizing that he now had to go retrieve his car.

He then climbed down into the wash at the Oasis. His GPS was pointing Southeast over the cliffs as the shortest way back to Devil's Throat... so he took it, and found himself coming down into Mud Wash, East of the Corral.

Following the "normal" way back out, he was at least able to see the Mud Wash Petroglyphs before finishing his nearly 10 mile round-trip hike back at the Throat.

After he was back home he wrote to thank me and send the link to his photos. After a bit of correspondence, it turns out that this adventure was his normal "modus operandi." He sent me several of his "hikes" to add to the "master map" I've got accumulating on my web site

When you follow his track on Google Earth you can see just how difficult a route he chose; but he said he enjoyed every bit of it. Unfortunately, you can see that he came within 10 feet of the Devil's Fire Petroglyphs without seeing them. Which goes to show just how difficult they are to find.

[To read his view of the hike you can view his blog page at Michael Blitch Blog]


Shawn said...

I've been trying to get out to Devil's Fire and finally have 4 days to spend doing some night photography. It sounds like all routes ( I have a four wheel drive Frod F-150 with camper shell) via vehicle have been blocked by BLM? Can you no longer drive the wash and truck camp?? Is it all hike and tent camping now??

thanks for any information

Shawn Peterson

Dr J said...

@Shawn - If you want to discuss something - there is the email link and the forum. Also, it's easy to search this site for 'devil's fire' and see many posts about the area. Camping is in several areas in Whitney Pockets - the BLM blockaid was placed by the contractor illegally and has been removed for now. Access via high-clearance vehicle is possible - camping at the site is discouraged.

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