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Ellen Homontowski
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Utah's
Great Basin

*Click photos to enlarge*

From our property in the outskirts of Enterprise and entering the National Forest, Gum Hill's peak is our destination.  The first image has snow but we usually don't hike up our home-made trail till it's melted
Yes, snow does exist in Southern UT. See this pdf of us being snowbound
 January of 2016; 28" here & lots more nearby (more than Cedar City & Salt Lake city combined that are way north of us!)

Us at our property in 2014

Ancient kiln off the dirt road (left); up a little further about 1/2 mile is an attempted man-made reservoir for cattle, now our peak is "hidden" (right)
Facing what we just hiked and the start of the trail we made is behind me (left); venturing on upward as the views get more spectacular of this basin (right)
Taking a breather on the ridge. Depending on our energy level, R-T to here & back is about 2 hours
Pretty desert flowers along the way to the peak
A longer rest with a snack on the peak. This complete hike is about
3 hours R-T
Hiking an alternate route looping around the peak
Below the peak, a view of Hwy 18 to the south Interesting agate rocks along the way
Holt Canyon down the road from our property, a great spot to hike and cool off in the summer (especially during the week when no one else is around :))

Eagles are seen in winter usually on the Bench Road east of Enterprise

Our "barn" on the property
My solar tanning booth that works even in the winter! as long as the wind isn't from the south or west (left); and finally our garden (right)
Snow-shoeing up to the trailhead (left); and obviously, the full moon (right)
Farm friends
Open iron ore pit (how deep is it?) & iron ore mine off of Hwy 56 (left); sunset in Enterprise (right)
"Lone" Table Butte centered in the basin north of Enterprise (per Google Earth in the Beryl-Newcastle area)
Image taken from Hwy 56 near Enterprise in winter (obviously) Hiking up and around the butte
Driving away from Table Butte
Historical Page Ranch's pond & tree house on Pinto Road on our scenic route to the challenging Stoddard Mountain Interesting sandstone formation, sort of like a turtle head with its mouth open (or an alien?)
This was by far the worst hike I let my husband take me on but he had a goal to do it. Constant scratching & whipping of high brush--I was not a happy camper
This was the most fun part of the hike, crawling on all fours up the scree, quite steep I might add. Needless to say we did not descend this way Views from the top, or rather as close to the highest point the rugged rocks & brush allowed us to go. See the columnars, Newcastle Reservoir below and Cedar City beyond
View from Hwy 56 showing the scree in snow
Mount Elenore is west of Modena and a few miles east of the Nevada border. These are some interesting specimens found along the dirt road that leads up to the base of the mountain. It is obvious that ancient Native Americans have worked on the obsidian shards in this area
This is a bit steep and lots of loose rock
Zooming in on the cargo train passing through Modena, heading to Los Angeles from Salt Lake City. In the past as a passenger train, Modena was the northern end of the line Just below our high point destination is an alcove of obsidian in the volcanic rock
Interesting little "cave"
Larger amounts of obsidian
Beyond this high point (about 2/3 up and very satisfying) is an extremely rough, rugged hike to the summit
Cricket Mountains off of Hwy 257 west of Fillmore, Jim tries to explain the geology to me as we looped up & around a couple peaks
North Wah Wah Mountains,  west of Milford and north of Hwy 21 (Ely Highway).
The image below is our favorite and framed at home :)
Colorful finds, especially the quartz
Looking up at the rugged high point, and viewing west through the basin to the Mountain Home range east of Nevada
Flowers & butterfly along the highway at the Wah Wah Mountain range, West Central Utah (see more spring for other flowers)
Hiking along Minersville Lake from Minersville State Park campground in Milford Boy scout project for the birds
Another hike across Highway 21 from the campground. Check out the size of that anchor chain!
Views from the hike:
Frisco Mountains (left);
Beaver Mountains (right)
Now on solar in our Q-hut made to our home, we started with the wind generator (more of this story below) Wind Generator Build Jim designed & built this green house but painted brown (das gloom haus) Green House (Brown House) Build

When the start of building the wind generator, I thought the mound was on an ancient burial ground. For 3 nights I could not sleep from seeing ghosts, but friendly, One was a short Mexican, another an Indian, and I soon discovered looking closely that the one with a Clint Eastwood hat was black. Jim walked right through him going to the bathroom. He just thinks I'm crazy but I know what I saw. A lumber jack, a hiker with a back pack who I asked if he died in a hiking accident and he nodded yes. They only nodded yes or no, never spoke. Then there were 2 teenage girls sitting on my counter bopping to the music I began hearing from our garage. Thought it was our neighbor while working on his bike but he said no, never played it that loud at 4am. When the 2 little ghosts came into bed with us there was a ghost cat, beautiful white & fluffy but when I tried to pet it my hand went threw it, I woke Jim to try because he didn't believe me but his hand went through it also, still a non believer, I saw some weird figures on our fridge, then in my office on a folder but got upset when I saw them on a paper in my purse. When I turned on a light they disappeared. The little boy in bed with us was the only one who answered without a nod when I asked what that was, and he replied to me "mathematics" so I really think they were alien ghosts. I was upset at finding these in my purse and saw a teenage girl ghost reflected in my bathroom window and said "BOO" go haunt someone else and they were gone so I finally got my sleep! Think I'm nuts?

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Our Property    Stoddard Mt


Generalized geological cross section of Big Mountain near our farm drawn by Jim

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